Farmington River Report 1/10/19: Hook sets and the mystery salmo

I guided Rich yesterday from 10am-2pm. We fished three marks within the permanent TMA, with one of them producing four trout. As so often happens with winter fishing, find one trout and you’ll find another. Many thanks to Jerry for so graciously sharing the water! Since Rich is new to the river, we also spent some recon time at several other pools. The method was indicator nymphing with a drop-shot nymph rig. I didn’t get a water temp, but it was cold — I’ll guesstimate 36 degrees, 420cfs, and the air temp never got into the upper 40s as advertised. Four trout on a January outing is darn good, so well done, Rich!

Rich’s first ever Farmington brown, a lovely Survivor Strain (note clipped adipose). I wasn’t happy with Rich’s hook set motion, so after he struck I asked for his rod to re-demonstrate, not knowing that he had indeed hooked up. Too funny, my bad, good on you, Rich! We spent the rest of the day laughing about that one.

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Rich was on fire after the first trout. I had intended to bring the black latex gloves, but forgot. Folks, this water is unpleasantly cold. We caught fish on the soft-hackled pheasant tail (sz 18) dropper and Frenchy variant (size 14) point fly.

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The mystery Salmo. I had thought due to coloration, spotting, and tail fork that this was a beast of a juvenile salar, but the maxillary extends well past the eye, so that would point to trutta. A fisheries biologist once told me that there may be some cross-pollinating between browns and precocious young Atlantics — could this be the result of such a union? Either way, a lovely fish.

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Posterior of the mystery Salmo. 

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The Last Blast of 2015

Any year that I get to fish over a hundred days is by definition a good one. So be it with 2015.

There are far worse ways to close out a fishing season than by walking a small stream, alone with your thoughts and a Oliva V Melanio. An ideal day for a winter outing, with temperatures in the low 40s, gray skies, and enough snow to make things pretty without gumming up the walk. I fished downstream with a bushy dry, and I added a tiny BHSHPT dropper off the hook bend halfway through the session. I found a half dozen small wild brookies willing to slash at the dry, but the only one I brought to net took the nymph dropper.

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown.

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Then I got greedy. A half hour after leaving Ye Olde Brook Trout Emporium, I was wading into the bracing waters of the Farmington River. For some time now I’d had it in my mind to fish a certain stretch with streamers (I’d never done so in the winter). Bingo. Three bumps, and although there were no hook sets, I know where they live. Fished the full-sink line and some Deep Threats.

And so, on to 2016. If you’re new to currentseams, thanks for subscribing, and welcome. I have quite a few appearances and classes scheduled this winter, and I’ll post those soon. Hope to see you at one or more of them. And of course, if our paths cross on the river, please come say hi.