Farmington River Report 7/14/20: A learning experience (for me, too)

I guided Michael yesterday from 2pm-6pm. Michael is new to fly fishing, so we had a lot to work on. We stayed within the Permanent TMA, where conditions were excellent:  280cfs flow and water plenty cold. Hatch and feeding activity was again low, although we did experience a 15-minute window where there was something going on underwater and the feed was on. We spent the first half of the lesson on indicator drop-shot nymphing. Once Michael got used to the nuances of the rig, he stuck four fish. Great job, Michael, on a day when the bite was slow. (A seasoned angler remarked to us as we were gearing down that the fishing “stunk today.”) We finished up swinging wets and managed a juvenile Atlantic Salmon. So, while I was disappointed in the activity, I was excited to watch Michael’s skills develop in a matter of hours.

Hey, this indicator nymphing thing really works! Our first fish was a rainbow that treated us to a couple of aerials. 

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After our session I headed upriver where the water was even colder. The evening rise was OK — 5/10 for feeding and hatch activity. What was a learning experience for me was my success presenting a team of three wet flies upstream to feeding fish. I caught four of the six trout I took on wets this way. All the takers were in faster water with a broken, curling surface, all were active feeders, and all took my Light Cahill winged wet or Partridge and Light Cahill flies. Most success I’ve ever had fishing that way. At 8pm I switched over to dries and caught trout well into dark.

This chunky rainbow was slashing at emergers about 30 feet above me. First cast, upstream presentation, dead drift, bang! Light Cahill winged wet. As you can see, this guy’s been caught before. What a handsome fish! Love the spots and coloration.

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Farmington River Report 7/13/20: What hatch?

I guided Don yesterday for four hours mid-though-late afternoon. His goal was to work on wet fly fishing, and we had some great stretches of water to ourselves in and out of the Permanent TMA. Water was 225cfs, an excellent wet fly height, with a hint of stain, no doubt from storms upstream. Spot A produced two fish, a swing and a miss, and some finks that wouldn’t take. Spot B was a disappointing blank. Spot C held some players, and we had fun fooling them with the Hackled March Brown. While it was a very fishy feeling day, the hatches were terrible. I’m being generous by giving them a 1 on the 1-10 scale. Still, Don done good under some truly tough conditions. He’s going to be a dangerous wet fly machine.

Skunk’s off with this lovely rainbow. Check out that pink band! This fish was in great condition.

DonRainbow

Gotcha. I love these smaller wild Farmy browns. See you in a couple years, OK?

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Steve Culton 2019 Appearance Schedule

A busy first few weeks, kicking off with the Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough, MA, and Edison, NJ. If you’re the person in charge of finding a speaker for your group, now’s the time to book for 2019.

I’ll be presenting all three days at the Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough, MA, January 18, 19 & 20, 2019. Three brand new programs, each making their debut.

Wet Flies 2.0. This seminar takes a deeper dive into the ancient and mystical art of wet fly fishing. This will be almost all new material, and a natural extension of the very popular “Wet Flies 101.” Friday, January 18, 2:30pm in the Catch Room.

On Saturday, January 19, 10am in Room A of the Destination Theater, I’ll be presenting Targeting Big Stripers From The Shore. Catching bigger bass on the fly while wading is always challenging, even more so in these tough striper times. Come find out some of my secrets.

Speaking of secrets, we wrap things up Sunday, January 20 10am in Room B of the Destination Theater with Lost Secrets of Legendary Anglers. How do iconic fly anglers consistently manage to catch all those fish? Shhh…it’s a secret.

Moving on to Edison, NJ: one day only, Friday, January 25, Wet Flies 2.0 Seminar, 3:15pm in the Catch Room.

The best little fly fishing show is the CFFA Expo, Saturday, February 2 at Maneely’s in South Windsor. I will once again be on tier’s row; I have a coaching commitment in the afternoon, so I’ll only be there from 9am-12:30pm.

Sal at Legends on the Farmington is planning a cool weekend fly fishing/tying event at his lodge, I believe in February. More details on that and my level of participation as they come in.

As always, please don’t hesitate to seek me out and say hello. I always like to meet fellow currentseamsers — or a large truttasuarus.

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