Farmington River Report 3/21/17: Trout on the move

The fish didn’t feel that big, so I was surprised when I saw that it was a mid-teens brown. Almost immediately, its lackluster fight, dull colors, and ragged, undersized fins registered: this was a recently stocked fish that had already travelled several miles up or downriver. You see, I was standing in the middle of the permanent TMA, an area that hasn’t yet been visited by the DEEP tanker truck.

I fished two spots. I shared the first with another angler (thank you, kind sir!); he was Euro nymphing, and I went with a mix of tight line and indicator presentations with my trusty drop-shot rig. Despite the sexy water and a decent midge hatch, we both blanked. Off to spot two, where I hooked Mr. Recent Ward Of The State followed by two long-time residents. All fish came on the bottom dropper, a size 14 Frenchie variant.

The takes of the two wild fish were odd. The indicator made a little nudge, immediately followed by a dip. It was as if the nudge was the actual take, and the dip the trout retreating with the prize. I’m constantly trying to refine my technique: playing around with indicator positioning, drift speed, trying to figure what’s bottom and what’s not, ditching the indicator and seeing which takes I can feel and which I can merely see. Every day is different; once I knew what to look for with the indicator, I was ready for that little nudge, and on that second trout I was in the process of setting the hook after the nudge when the yarn went under.

The TMA was packed for a Tuesday in March. Most of the anglers I spoke to said the action was fair to slow. Water was 233cfs and 37 degrees. Runoff may have impacted the bite. Many road entrances and dirt pulloffs (like Greenwoods and Woodshop) were still inaccessible.

That’s more like it. An equinox wild brown with an impressive power train. Note the deep gold coloring from the underside of the mouth to the gill plate.

DCIM100GOPROG0013788.

Positive waves amidst a seemingly endless winter

Snow. Cold. More snow. More cold. Ditto, ditto, et cetera, et cetera. Stand sure, folks. Spring’s coming. You can see it on the trees — just look at all those buds. If you have forsythia, the stalks are green and the buds are very well-formed, even in this ponderous sub-Arctic snow-making nonsense.

By the numbers, we are just over one week away from March. Eight weeks away from Opening Day (in case you still use that as a marker). Hendricksons will be hot on its heels. And stripers will be on the move well before that.

Hopefully you’re keeping busy doing some reading or tying flies. I’ve just been busy. But I am working on some new material for the site that I hope to have out soon. As always, thanks for reading, and thanks for following currentseams.

Wearin’ of the green. From May last year. IMG_1342

The state of the Farmington River and other shocking news

In case you didn’t know (and if you’ll pardon the inflamatory headline) the Farmington River has lots of trout. Lots of big trout. And lots of wild trout. All good news if you like to fish the Farmington.

We know this because every September, the MDC draws down the flow of the dam and electroshocks the river. The electroshocking has two purposes: trout census, and gathering broodstock for future generations, aka Farmington River Survivor Strain. (For more on Survivor Strain, see my article in the Spring 2014 issue of The Drake.)

I didn’t attend, but the DEEP delivered their state of the river address to the FRAA a few weeks ago. Here’s their story in numbers:

Small Stream Mini Report 10/24/14

A fairly gloomy type of day with drizzle, heavy mist, and fog-covered mountaintops — also known as breathtakingly beautiful. The drive was long, the woods and water chilly, and the creek was up and slightly stained from the recent rains.

The brookies were hunkered down today. I could tell right away that the dry would be unproductive, but I gave the Improved Sofa Pillow and the Bomber a fair shake. After pricking several and landing a couple, I switched to subsurface. That made all the difference. Weighted micro buggers and bead head soft-hackles in both dark and light colors met with approval.

Mountaintop shrouded in mystery. What secrets would her brooks reveal?

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I wouldn’t say it was a banner day, but one thing’s for sure: three hours on a remote mountain stream beats the tar out of sitting at one’s desk. Especially if there’s a Rocky Patel The Edge Corona Gorda in the mix.

Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” vividly rendered on Salvelinus fontinalis flank.

Van Gogh 2

Fall colors

The woods were ablaze this late morning/early afternoon. A substantial leaf hatch, though, is a lot easier to deal with on a small stream. The char certainly had no problem picking out my size 16 Improved Sofa Pillow and size 16 Elk Hair Caddis.

Spooky fish today — most of them gave the fly a single whack, and that was it — no return business. Not surprising given the recent low water levels. A good number of them were hanging out in tailouts, making an upstream dry presentation challenging. Many more were locked into the whitewater plunges and deeper runs. I induced a few larger members of the tribe to strike, but most of what I raised was smaller, which I always like to see, recruitment being critical to the next few years’ outings.

Went subsurface on the way downstream, and as usual, stuck some brookies where none were forthcoming on the dry. Even after yesterday’s rains, the water was medium-low, cool, and clear. Creamy midges and size 18-20 tan caddis out today.

I am fortunate to be able to say, “I feel like going fishing today.” And then actually doing it. What a nifty little dark horse. He took the caddis in a seam just off a pocket plunge.

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Save Satan’s Kingdom: Sign this petition!

It ain’t over yet. Earlier this year, New Hartford spit the bit and approved the industrial park. Now it’s Canton’s turn to show it’s colors (Green — as in greed? Or green, as in we don’t need no stinking industrial park on the banks of our beautiful river). Here’s a link to the story in this morning’s Couranthttp://www.courant.com/community/can…,1134432.story

In the meantime, please sign this petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/393/537/523/save-satans-kingdom/

If you’re on Facebook, please like this page: https://www.facebook.com/savesatanskingdom

I thank you. The dog walkers and hikers and tubers and kayakers and canoeists thank you. And of course, the fish thank you.

You know what’s missing from this picture? Leaked motor oil, transmission fluid, and other petroleum-based products. Maybe a little antifreeze? The roar of heavy truck engines. And acres of impervious surface runoff. Yeah. Just what the river needs.

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Public Hearing on Striped Bass Management, August 26, 2014, Old Lyme, CT

This information comes from Charlie Kreitler, a fellow striper and fly aficionado:

Please take a moment to read up on the proposed management plans for striped bass in 2015 and beyond. There is only one public hearing on this in Connecticut, which will be August 26 in Old Lyme.

http://www.asmfc.org/calendar/08/201…ddendum-IV/563

The Draft Addendum can be read here:
http://www.asmfc.org/files/PublicInp…licComment.pdf

Options that are being considered are:
* What level of harvest reduction should be made?
* Should the reduction in harvest take place over 1, 2, or 3 years?
* Should bag limits and minimum size change, and should a slot be imposed?
Specific options under consideration are in the proposal. I suspect that supporting one of them is much more effective than proposing your own solution, but that’s just me.

Public comment is being accepted in writing or in person at the hearings. 

To me, the most important thing here is that fishery managers are FINALLY acknowledging that the species is not healthy and that action should be taken. Let’s encourage them to be responsible and protect the health of the species.

~

Thanks to Charlie for the alert. Grass-roots activism, baby. Grass-roots activism. If you can’t attend, make your voice heard and send Mike Waine your thoughts at mwaine@asmfc.org.

How can you refuse a beautiful face like that?

FridayBIBass