I guided Jerry and his 8 year-old son Wesley on Friday. Both are very beginning fly fishers, and neither had ever fished the Farmington River before. But, this a great time to fish the river, and we had outstanding weather: sunny, 70 degrees, flows at 270cfs in the PTMA and 435cfs downriver. On that day, 11am-3pm, the story was caddis, caddis, and caddis. Wesley hooked up first, then dad, and we ended up with five in the hoop. What a tremendous job for both anglers. Well done, gentleman and lad!
The Farmington River is now moving into late spring/early summer mode. The hatches will begin to transition to heavier in the evenings, although caddis will still come off mornings/early afternoons, with egg layers returning later in the day. As you may have read, I am totally booked for June. Here’s hoping you get out to fish, and if you see me, please come say hello.
Last night’s cold front notwithstanding, the hatches, the water, and (finally!) the action are all starting to heat up on our favorite tailwater. I guided Alan yesterday from 10:30am-2:30pm, and we bounced around to three different marks below the PTMA. The Unionville gauge was reading 507cfs, and the river was running cool and clear. Our focus was drop-shot nymphing under an indicator, a good strategy for that time window this time of year. To give you an idea of how a typical lesson goes, we try to start in some water that isn’t too technical. (Great minds think alike, as Farmington River guide extraordinaire Antoine Bissieux showed up with his client at the same mark.) I showed Alan how I build a drop shot rig, then we moved to fly selection.
Right now, the hero hatch is caddis, caddis, and more caddis. I put an Electric Caddis with bright green caddis LifeCycle dubbing and no bead on point, size 12. For a top dropper I used one of my experimental caddis pupa (as yet un-named, details to come soon) soft-hackles, green body, size 14. Alan did a good job of getting his rig where it needed to be; casting that unwieldy shebang takes a bit of getting used to. Much of nymphing success hinges on managing drifts and setting downstream; those can also be challenging because there’s a lot to think about and tend to in a short period of time. I guess Alan did OK (he said, tongue planted firmly in cheek) as he brought a half dozen trout to net at the first mark!