Just think 2 weeks ago we were fishing in 70 degree sunshine to rising trout and hatching little black stones. now it has not really broken the 65 degree mark in 10 days, has been dry as a bone and I am hearing that the Hendricksons hatch is starting to slow on the western Connecticut tail waters. I have not seen or heard of anyone seeing any on the willimantic , but they may have snuck out in 2 or 3 days when no one was looking. There have been some Blue winged Olives and small grey caddis hatching with the odd trout actually rising to it. These are the years when the hatches will be hard to judge, But we will have to see. I was on the DEEP web site today and found that they have updated their trout stocking maps to include most all of the major and some of the minor streams that they stock. While i don’t really care were they actually stock it is a great reference for access point on those rivers. I have printed them out and have them in a folder in my guide box. I have also saved them to the computer so I can send them to my I phone the day of a trip to have it even more handy. Speaking of handy things Passin thru ( Jim E) our shop IT wizard has set up some real nice report portals on the shops main web page. Shop happenings:
this weekend is the 5th annual spring fling and tag sale. this is one of my favorite weekends at the shop, customer old and new stop buy and we are able to chat about the upcoming season and what went down over late fall winter. we will have many of our tackle vendor there and lots of stuff to try. MAY 5th is the first new England spey clave up on the farmington. I will be there with stuff from the shop and will also be tying some salmon and steel-head spey flies. Next Saturday is the opening day for the Connecticut regular trout season to may this is a traditional day of gathering with family and friends for some fishing and good times. we will be open extra hours so stop by and say hey to Jt and all of the shop rats.
Went to the Willimantic again sunday for a few hours. Got there about 1 put on waders and rigged up my 10′ 4wt. and found scotty and Matt were already hitting the water hard. I dropped in just below them and started to nymph while watching the water for signs of active fish. wind stopped air fills up with stoneflies, wind blows again they all end up on the surface, instantly trout start to rise. You don’t have to hit me hard to get me to change when there is action like that. I put on a size 16 stimulator with a dark body greay wing and sparse dun hackle. second cast a nice brown come up and follows if for about a foot or so just when I think o’h boy he is refusing it he jolts forward and hooks himself. the rest of the afternoon was a repeat of that. Nice mix of rianbows and browns. largest a nice hard bodied 14″ brown that put up a real nice fight. the final fish came about
5:15 and was a spastic 13″ rainbow that thought it was a steelhead it jump several times and twice ran line off the reel. That bring to mind something I always tell my beginning classes and guide clients. Don’t play the fish with you hand, get them on the reel. unless you can see it is a small one. I made the mistake back in the late 80′s fishing out west, I hooked what at first I thought was a small fish but relised it was a large brown too late save it from breaking be off due to so much line at my feet. ever since I put every fish, unless I know it is small, on the reel, let the reel do it’s thing. all in all another nice day. still can not believe we are getting fry fly fishing in March on the Willi. Just remember alway be flexible and don’t try to force feed fish.
My son is home on spring break and didn’t have to work so we took the day off Thursday and headed out to the Farmington River for a day of fishing. Got a late start and there were plenty of folks out already when we got there. Stopped at upcountry for some up to date info – which was fishing was slow inside the original TMA – while lots more stockers farther up river. With the Farmington River TMA expansion this past year, there is now almost 21 miles of open river to fish right now as Catch and release waters which is incredible.
Talked to a young man coming out of where we were going in and he had caught a few but it was slow for him. This young man was a former member of USA Youth Fly fishing Team which in turn dashed my hopes of tight lines, but I refused to be deterred from trying. We spent the morning nymphing and it took me a while before I finally hooked up on a nice brown only to have him come unbuttoned. He put on a show and had the body for the fight and he won. It was worth the price of admission. Continued to nymph just up from that brown and hooked another nice fish only to loose this one as well. Then another and yup you guessed it, but this time I lost the entire rig on a nice rainbow – both flies -my knot came undone. I rolled another but never had him for more then a few seconds. Not much catching going on from others folks fishing around us. The sun came out and we thought things would heat up but it didn’t. We fished up river from the 181 bridge stopping often and trying out different spots and ended in Riverton. The river was almost void of fisherman which made me recheck the regulations just to make sure I read them correctly. My son managed a few stockies and I lost a 4th fish on the retrieve and one more rig due to a knot. I really, really stunk the joint up – just made sick!! My son caught fish on wooly buggers and most of the day we nymphed stone flies as anchors and some form of Phesant Tails and caddis nymphs sizes 16 -20 as droppers. I can’t tell you what the fish I hooked took, but if it was the stone flies they should have stayed on.
Water was clear and running about 210cfs and not as cold as I expected – forgot to take a reading. Lots of small stones about and very few fish rising that I could see. There was plenty of small stuff flying but I couldn’t catch any to see what they were. Tiny little buggers and I know I have nothing that tiny in my box.
So my son landed the only fish on the trip and I lost more gear then him – the tides turned on me. He was frustrated in the AM as I was hooking them, but he had the last laugh – that is until he took a quick swim at the end of the day.
The Farmington is an incredible river and fishery and the scenery is just plain amazing. I wish I lived closer, especially with gas prices reaching $4 a gallon.
Get out and fish and I hope you have better luck that I did.
I got out for a few hours Sunday 3/11/12 with one of the shop rats Carl, We fished the Willimantic river TMA and just hammered the trout. We fished from 1-until about 5 we lost count of the number of fish we got. Just one of those magical ealry season days. the fish came on a mix of nymphs wets and dries. I fished a czech nymph with a pheasant tail dropper about 18-20 up from the point fly. Carl was fishing a stimulator with a dropper. he got quite a few to take the dry. there were a lot of small brown stone flies laying eggs and some of the trout were keying on them. remember that those little stones like their larger relatives crawl out of the water to hatch and come back a day or so later to lay their eggs. those fluttering stones are dropping egg clusters. There was also a good blue winged olive hatch going on, size 22. that is why the pheasant tail was working so good at that mid depth. the water was very clear and flows were at 185 CFS, water temp was 42 degrees. the trout were a mix of stockers, hold over, and the usual wild browns that seem to be gaining numbers. All in all a good start to the season.
Got a chance to get out and fish for a couple hours Sunday after noon so I hit the FFO section of the Willimantic River TMA for a couple of hours and managed 4 trout, 1 miss and one dace all while euro nymphing. Took 2 on a brown rubber leg stone and 2 on small frenchie nymph and the dace on a walts worm. Water temp was 42 degrees and was cold. River is low and clear. Spooked a few fish walking along the river to warm up. Caught 3 above the abutment pool including a solid 14″ rainbow and a nice tiger trout. The rainbow took the frenchie and the tiger took the stone. Saw some random stonefies hatching, no rises and bug activity was minimal. Off the water by 4:45pm. A few other guys out but nothing what I expected with the nice weather. There have been lots of folks fishing this stretch during the week so wasn’t’ sure what to expect. saw a few other caught as well. Nice to get out on the water and have a bent rod for a change. Talked to one guy who fished from the abutment up to the Roaring brook nymphing during the week and not a single fish. Not sure if the fish put in were spread out or not, but there seems to be plenty of fish from the abutment down to Rt 84 as well as lots of fisherman.
Now get out and wet a line.
A few images from the day
another Willi Rainbow - took the rubber leg stonefly
Willi Tiger Trout - barely hooked with a rubber leg stonefly
14" Rainbowe caught on a Frenchie style nymph - orange Bead
Jim, Jim, and myself went to the willi for a sun filled day of fishing. The day started off slow with a hit here and a hit there until one of the jim’s had to go back to work , sorry to hear that. One of the Jims and myself went to the bridge pool below 84 and thats when things started happen. We got into a couple nice fish I worked my way down to the bend and started to use a stimulator with a spilt shot to get it wet and then banggg a really hard hit and a big brown which I played for some time until he took me into the brush down stream and said goodbye. I was using 4x tippet he was just to big and to many trees down stream. But the best part was jim and myself didn’t have to work .
State Department of Environmental officials said they took advantage of the mild winter conditions and began the 2012 spring stocking season early by releasing more than 12,300 brook, brown and rainbow trout into a number of rivers.
Officials said this month thousands of fish were stocked in the Salmon, Yantic, Moosup, Hockanum, Willimantic, Hammonasset, Naugatuck, Sleeping Giant and Mianus rivers.
This year we are having are spring fling for 2 days so mark these days on your calendar April 14 – 15 . Also there will be reps from Hardy and Tfo rods so you can see and cast some of the newest model of fly rods around. We are looking forward to seeing you there, we also will be having a raffle along with casting clinics, Food.