Farmington River Report 5/4/22: Making our own luck

I guided Gerry and Sam today, and while Gerry did most of the fishing, a splendid time was had by all. The subject of today’s lesson was wet flies. We spent about 45 minutes on a bench for some streamside classroom, then Gerry and I went to work. Our first mark was in the upper end of the Permanent TMA. Flow was a reasonable 360cfs, but the water is still very cold, and we had rain showers that seemed to bring what little feeding activity there was to a screeching halt. (This was to be today’s pattern: active fish, then stop. Wait a bit. Then more feeding, or no feeding at all. Wait for it.) We managed one hookup, then decided to seek our pleasure elsewhere.

Mark #2 was in the lower end of the TMA. By now, the rain had stopped. There were no Hendricksons that we saw, and a few size 16 BWOs here and there. Nothing much was going on in terms of visible feeders — and then, as so often happens, suddenly it was on. A rise here. A boil there. Gerry was fishing a team of a size 12 Squirrel and Ginger, a size 12 Dark Hendrickson winged wet, and a size 14 Old Blue Dun. Fish on! Then another. And another. The fish, a mix of rainbows and browns, ate all three flies. A half dozen trout in an hour doesn’t suck, and we gleefully took our bounty and ran.

Another satisfied customer. Gerry is now officially on the path to becoming a dangerous wet fly machine. Even though the fishing was off today, he kept at it, trusted the method, and was repeatedly rewarded with bend rod syndrome. Way to go, Gerry!

6 comments on “Farmington River Report 5/4/22: Making our own luck

  1. Mike Fatse says:

    Well done as always!

  2. James Berry says:

    two size 12 s and g’s in a row? Is that right? So basically a 4 fly set up?

    • Steve Culton says:

      JB, it was a three fly team: S&G on top, Dark Hendrickson middle, OBD on point. Three flies. His trout ate all three. You could fish a four fly team. Funny I haven’t done that yet. Might be fun to try sometime soon. 🙂

  3. apurbano57 says:

    What is the water temperature where swinging wets/soft hackles start to turn on?

    • Steve Culton says:

      Anthony, my joke answer is, “beats the hell out of me.” But I know where you’re going with it. I don’t typically start fishing wet flies near the surface until it’s roughly Hendrickson time. Every year is different. That might be early April one year and end of April another. Rather than a thermometer, I look to the trout to tell me when I should be swinging wets. When I see those slashy, splashy rises, I know it’s time to swing, regardless of what’s hatching. I have successfully swung wets into December (W/S Caddis hatch) when the water temp was in the upper 30s. What a great question, and I hope my answers helped.

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