Farmington River Report 9/30/21: Nature finds a way

Yesterday was supposed to be a shooting day for a film and some personal projects, but the wind was most uncooperative, so we bailed. Already on the river and two hours to kill…what’s an angler to do? If you said, “fish,” you are correct! I decided that absent any consistent rises, and with the gusty wind, indicator nymphing would be my best bet for hooking up. I fished three marks and found players in two of them. I was asleep at the switch for one of the hits, and dropped the fish as I fumbled and bumbled the late hook set. But I did connect with evidence that even in harsh, trout-stressy warm water, nature finds a way. Believe it or not, this was my first outing on the Farmington since June.

This YOY wild brown fought like a tiger and almost refused to sit still for a portrait. Taken on a size 18 soft-hackled pheasant tail. It’s always gratifying to discover that even seemingly fragile creatures have the genetic programming to make it through the most challenging conditions. See you in a few years, OK?

Wet flies, weather, and other random Sunday musings

Just a simple Sunday “Dear Readers — how’s it going? Here’s what’s happening here” post. No pressure for me to make it perfect (although I’ve now rewritten the opening three times, dammit). So. I’m fed, caffeinated, and off we go.

I’m pleased to announce that my Saturday, March 14 Wet Flies & Soft Hackles tying and teaching event at Legends on the Farmington is sold out! Many thanks if you’re one of those who are attending. See ya there.

Snipe and Purple. Because you can never have too many soft hackles…

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Speaking of wet flies, I hope you enjoyed my recent series on W.C. Stewart’s spiders, and are currently enjoying my series on Leisenring’s favorite soft-hackled nymphs. There are four more to go.

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This infernal disaster cold I’ve had for the last month — that’s not a misprint — seems to be on its way out. I have not fished since early January and I have not had a cigar since Christmas. We’ll try to remedy one of those this week. Warm weather approaches, so I expect the rivers to be crowded.

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There has been some discussion about an early spring striper run. Every year is different, and the contributing factors are many. Some years I’ve bailed fish in late March. Other years I’ve blanked until mid-to late April. I’m sure when it happens, social media will light up. But you probably won’t hear it from me. Also, stay tuned for a new conservation-minded catch-and-release striper policy that I plan on putting into practice this spring.

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800 followers is so close, yet so far. Usually I add a hundred followers a year, but that has slowed. So if you want the chance to get your hands on some Steve Culton flies, get a friend to subscribe to currentseams. When we reach 800, the games begin.

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Last but not least, I have not been writing for magazines for the past 10 months. That is changing as I have one confirmed assignment for Eastern Fly Fishing and a few more irons in the fire. Till next time, good reader — and if you see me out on the river, please come say hello.