Farmington River Report 12/2/20: The high water streamer tease

One question I get a lot is, “How do you determine how you’re going to fish the Farmington?” The answers can be complicated, but sometimes it’s simply dictated by conditions and, especially yesterday, what I feel like doing.

First, conditions. We had a high water event Monday night, the river spiked, and now it was coming down. 875cfs in the Permanent TMA is not for novice or foolish waders, especially in very late fall. That water is moving and it’s cold. You need studded boots and a wading staff, and especially you need to stick to wading slower, shallower stretches (that’s often where you’ll find the fish).

I liked yesterday’s overcast, and we even had a few snow showers to boot. Or is that to glove?

Next, method. I felt like swinging streamers. I fish for my own pleasure, and even though winter streamers on the Farmy can be dicey — the trout are either biting or they’re not — when it’s on, it’s good. And fun. I was using an integrated full-sink tip line with a short (3 feet) leader and a mix of weighted and neutrally buoyant streamers. I also played a bit with different colors.

So, how was the fishing? It started off great, with a bump on my first cast. I made the same cast and the fish hit it again. But no real grab. Sadly, this was to be the pattern of the two-hour session: lots of bumps, but no real takes. I fished two marks hard, then packed it in around 4:30pm.

4 comments on “Farmington River Report 12/2/20: The high water streamer tease

  1. GregTarris says:

    In that situation I put on a wet fly or small nymph about 18-24 inches behind the streamer. My favorite for that fly is the Hendrickson CDC emerger (14) or as I did about a month ago a nice small size 20 zebra midge successfully on the Housy. In fact I use a tail fly behind the streamer about 80% of the time.

    • Steve Culton says:

      Good on ya, mate. I know that many people use that system. That’s really not my bag — mind you I’m not downplaying its efficacy or that you or anyone else uses it. I just wanted to catch trout on streamers, not little droppers. On a more practical note, when I’m experimenting with different colors, depths, and presentations, it’s easier to switch out just one fly.

  2. William A Giokas says:

    Steve, how about a very small lead head jig fly in pink? An Alaskan secret fly technique.

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