Farmington River Report 12/2/20: The high water streamer tease

One question I get a lot is, “How do you determine how you’re going to fish the Farmington?” The answers can be complicated, but sometimes it’s simply dictated by conditions and, especially yesterday, what I feel like doing.

First, conditions. We had a high water event Monday night, the river spiked, and now it was coming down. 875cfs in the Permanent TMA is not for novice or foolish waders, especially in very late fall. That water is moving and it’s cold. You need studded boots and a wading staff, and especially you need to stick to wading slower, shallower stretches (that’s often where you’ll find the fish).

I liked yesterday’s overcast, and we even had a few snow showers to boot. Or is that to glove?

Next, method. I felt like swinging streamers. I fish for my own pleasure, and even though winter streamers on the Farmy can be dicey — the trout are either biting or they’re not — when it’s on, it’s good. And fun. I was using an integrated full-sink tip line with a short (3 feet) leader and a mix of weighted and neutrally buoyant streamers. I also played a bit with different colors.

So, how was the fishing? It started off great, with a bump on my first cast. I made the same cast and the fish hit it again. But no real grab. Sadly, this was to be the pattern of the two-hour session: lots of bumps, but no real takes. I fished two marks hard, then packed it in around 4:30pm.

Farmington River Report 12/10/15: BWOs, anglers, and trout

The permanent TMA was crowded! Smoke ’em if you got ’em, I guess — it’s hard for the mall to compete with near-60 degree weather in December. Andy Lyons moseyed on over to say hi. (Please do likewise if you see me on the water — the internet is a great way to reach out to people, but it can’t replace a handshake. And Andy, if you’re reading this, I want that nymph recipe). (See comments below for Andy’s generous response.) Water was on the low side of medium at 225cfs. Didn’t get a water temp, but I think it’s fair to assume that it’s a wee bit higher than normal. Witnessed: a very strong BWO hatch around 1pm.

To the outing: Mark is an experienced fly angler who is making the transition to trout. He’s all in on the immersion process, and this was our second trip in as many weeks. Like our first time out, we focused on traditional late fall/early winter holding water, with an emphasis on indicator nymphing and streamers. We hit five spots, and found players in two of them.

Mark’s first fish of the day came on a simple egg fly (donated to me the previous night by Gary S of the CFFA). What a lovely early winter brown.

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After our session ended, Mark wanted to keep fishing. I pointed out a likely spot for him to toss some streamers. Look what he found on the second cast. Check out the transparency of that tail. Nice job, Mark!

MarkABrown12-10-15

Trout streamer: the Deep Threat

When it comes to fly design, I always ask, “What do I want the fly to do?” With the Deep Threat, the answers came easy. I wanted a fly that would sink quickly. I wanted a fly that was highly impressionistic (Sculpin? Salamander? Frog?). I wanted a fly that would create the illusion of life, even if it were at rest. A fly rendered in natural earth tones. Most of all, I wanted a fly I could fish along the bottom, hook point up, in the cold winter waters of the Farmington River.

And here it is. The Deep Threat draws from many patterns. You can see little bits of Woolly Bugger, Zonker, Peanut Envy, and Alaskabou in its lineage. Its core of natural materials will whisper to the trout, “I’m alive.” There’s a calculated minimal use of flash and sparkle; enough to get a brown’s attention without overwhelming the pattern. I’ve been testing the Deep Threat for months, and I’ve been able to get to the bottom of some very deep pools on the Farmington using a full sink tip line and some mends. The fly is officially trout-approved. Fish it, like I do, with confidence.

The Deep Threat

Deep Threat