I fished the lower end of the Permanent TMA yesterday afternoon and we had much better flows (under 400cfs) for swinging wet flies. So much, in fact, that after a while I replaced my tungsten bead head soft hackles with non-weighted bugs, the better to target all the slashing risers. Atmospheric conditions were as they have been: chilly, windy, and uncomfortable.
I arrived late, about 1:30pm, and as I approached the mark, I recognized the faces of the two anglers who had beaten me to it. It was Bob and Andy. I’d seen them here last year, introduced myself, and we shared the water. These guys are very giving, and a pleasure to fish next to. I’d like to thank them again for being so matey and kind.
Right away, I was into fish. I’d made the comment earlier to Torrey Collins at UpCountry that if you hit this hatch right, fishing with wets is almost unfair. I took them on the swing. I took them on the Leisenring Lift. I took them dead drifted deep on a short line. Active feeders almost always hit on the first cast. I even managed my first double of the year.
Then, the bugs came. Lots and lots of Hendricksons. I’d give this hatch an 8 out of 10. The point where the trout would no longer take the wet came at 2:45pm. Once I figured out what they wanted — it wasn’t, to my surprise, The Usual, with which I usually do boffo box office — I managed a bunch on the surface. (The winning fly was a Comparadun.) Dry fly was very much a challenge in the fierce gusts. But it’s supposed to moderate, so tight lines to those brave souls venturing out this weekend. I expect the hatch to continue to ramp up and move upriver. Enjoy!
To this week’s mystery bug. I appreciate everyone’s input and guesses. My first thought when I observed them was some kind of early BWO. They were clearly too small for Hendricksons. After I captured a couple specimens, I was able to see that they all had only two tails. I ended up going to two people who have a far deeper technical knowledge of these things than I, and they both independently identified the creature as a Baetis. That’s good enough for me! (In case you’re wondering, my panel of experts consisted of Torrey Collins and Derrick Kirkpatrick. Those guys have forgotten more about Farmington River hatches than I currently know.)