Join me at the Compleat Angler, 541 Post Road, Darien, CT, this Saturday March 31 from 10am-2pm. We’ll focus on “Trout Flies for Local Rivers” (although there may be a smallie pattern or two thrown in). Here’s how the ad copy reads: “Join outdoor writer and guide Steve Culton as he demonstrates how to tie some of his favorite patterns for the Farmington, Housatonic, and other local rivers. There will be a little bit of everything: wets, dries, nymphs, and streamers, from traditional classics to new designs. These are all high-confidence, proven patterns, and Steve will also discuss how, when, and where he likes to fish them.” The demo is free, low/no-pressure, and a great opportunity to ask questions and talk fishing. For more info, visit the Compleat Angler’s Facebook page.
We’ll be filling some corks for sure.
And don’t forget! The Super Six Hundred Followers contest closes at midnight, Saturday March 31 — so if you haven’t entered, time’s a wasting. You can find all the rules here.
Some days I get so ambivalent about how and where to fish that it annoys the hell out of me. Not today. In fact, I knew last night it would be the Permanent TMA and streamers. The water was receding but still up (550cfs) and that along with heavy cloud cover suggested to me that some big browns might be on the hunt.
Spot A was a blank. One other angler was there, nymphing. He reported a blank, too. Spot B produced two fish, although I dropped the second to an incredibly bad hookset. I should have known what to look for after the first fish: no dull thud or sharp tug, but rather the sensation that the fly was hung up on the bottom, with the bottom then moving. I assumed the second fish was a rock, set with the tip, and a few seconds later the trout was off.
While I had Spot B all to myself, Spot C was a regular angler’s convention. (There were a lot of people out in the Permanent TMA today.) Everyone blanked there.
Fished the full sink integrated line and a short (<3 foot) leader.
I don’t often fish articulated streamers, but the trout liked this olive Peanut Envy today. Here’s a nice mid-teens brown.
A classic Survivor Strain adipose bump.
I usually write from my own experience, but for “Streamer Kings” I interviewed George Daniel, Chad Johnson, and Tommy Lynch. Their comments and insights compose the bulk of the article. Whether you’re new to streamers for trout or an old Mickey Finn hand like me, I’ll bet you learn something useful. On newsstands now.
If you decided to play hooky yesterday and fish the Farmy, you weren’t alone. I would officially describe the permanent TMA as “mobbed” (for a Tuesday in December the week before Christmas). Air temps in the upper 40s, water temp in the mid 30s, flow at 210cfs. A few bugs flitting about (midges, W/S caddis, small grey stones) but no observed risers. I carpet bombed one pool with nymphs, both indicator and tight line, for about two hours and could manage only one trout. Chucked streamers for 15 minutes to no avail, then moved upriver.
Now dedicated to the streamer cause, I fished an overhead-deep pool and blanked. Moved downstream with about 15 minutes left in my session and connected with a nice mid-teens brown — and decided to leave on a high note.
The Hi-Liter produces again! The Hi-Liter is one of my high-confidence winter streamers. I like it on bright days and medium flows, and you can learn how to tie it here. A cast, a mend, and as I came tight to the line, a dull thud. Many thanks to Nick who graciously shared the pool with me.
Not since the heady days of July have we seen this much water in the Farmington. 240 cfs! I fished in and out of the permanent TMA for 3 1/2 hours today. The water was somewhat stained — the closer to the Still, the greater the color — and 40 degrees. I saw midges and some really small BWOs, and even a few risers in some of the classic dry fly water. Streamers were the plan today, and things began well with several bumps and one mid-teens wild brown to hand. Then it got slow. Real slow. The last three places I fished were all blanks. I must confess to being a little surprised, given the warmth of the day, the height and color of the water, and the deep overcast. But such is life on the streamer edge.
For those who care about these things, I celebrated blowing off responsibility with an El Rey Del Mundo Flor de Llaneza. Like the fishing, it did not suck.
More rain is on the way, so whatever rain dances you’ve been doing, please carry on. I had most of the water to myself, but I would think that will change this weekend.
Excuse me, do I have something on my lip? The Deep Threat in olive/grey comes through again. The trout hit the fly three times over the course of two casts before delivering the kill shot.