Avoiding crowds, finding fish

You would have thought it was the weekend on the Farmington River Upper TMA. Mobs of anglers everywhere, eager to get their Hendrickson hatch on. Fortunately, Carl and his son Joel wanted to brush up on their wet fly technique today, so we were able to play keep-away from most of the crowd.  We found two spots that were not only productive, but also without another angler in sight. Both Carl and Joel are experienced fly anglers who took to the wet fly like they’ve been doing it for years.

Carl with a good bend in the rod. He worked hard for that fish — well done, sir.


Things got a little weird from the get-go. How about Hendrickson egg layers swarming at 9:30am, and a spinnerfall at 11am? Never seen that before. We found dozens of active risers that proved a challenge to hook. Both Carl and Joel solved the puzzle, though, and we were off to a strong start.

A handful of spinners. Scads of them in the film this morning.


We buzzed around the Upper TMA before ending the day on a section of river that rarely gets fished. Another good Hendrickson hatch, but this time precious little feeding on it. We still managed to get into fish.

Here’s Joel, net at the ready, about to savor another trout he put some serious time into fooling. Some fish don’t come easy, but when they do come, how sweet it is.


Today’s runaway favorite fly was a size 10 bead head soft-hackle Pheasant Tail. River was medium high at 575cfs, noon water temperature of 53 degrees. Glorious sunshine, solitude, and two fly fishermen that are now officially dangerous wet fly swinging machines. Thanks again, guys. You made my job an easy one.

Partake in this madness? Fuggedaboutit. We found our pleasures in water no one was fishing.


Yoram’s excellent wet fly adventure

I guided Yoram for a half-day today on the Farmington. Conditions were tough due to the rain. The upper TMA was 790cfs and the color of coffee ice cream. So we headed up to Riverton, where it was a more manageable 350cfs, with only a light stain. We fished streamers and the going was slow. Schizo weather with brilliant sunshine one moment and tropical downpours the next.

The last hour, we switched over to wet flies. That got us a few hits and an almost catch, but sadly we were well into overtime for our session. I saw a trout rise along the far bank, and told Yoram he had five casts to catch him. It wasn’t an easy cast to make, cross-river and just beyond the clutches of a fly-eating downed tree, then a quick mend to get a good drift. But Yoram nailed it the first three casts, and on that third cast the surface erupted. Yoram set the hook. And moments later we had a beautiful wild brown to net. He took the Drowned Ant soft-hackle on the top dropper. No picture, as Mr. Brown slipped away during his photo op. But I wanted to give props to Yoram for coming through in the clutch.