Friday, May 13, 2011

Dozen+ X 2

Midges blanket the Farmington
Taking advantage of an open schedule at work, I took two afternoons off to fish the Farmington River in northeastern Connecticut. This time of year the Hendrickson hatch is in full swing and is the first good opportunity for taking fish on dry flies.

Wednesday afternoon was overcast and cool and the hatch lasted for most of the afternoon.  I had arrived and found a gentleman with whom I’ve shared this spot in years past. It was nice to catch up and meet his son who was visiting from the west coast. We gave each other plenty of room and began to fish, it had all the makings of a great day until a rather rude older man managed to crowd himself in between us. Since I was not able to fish the area I had worked into with him so close, I left to find some breathing room. Further upstream, I found what turned out to be another father/son pair and asked if they minded me fishing upstream from them a bit. The Farmington gets a lot of angler traffic and I think they were a bit surprised someone actually asked! I started out using a tandem rig with a comparadun and a trailing wet fly. This combination worked very well last year and this year was no different. Before the hatch got going in earnest, the fish were taking the wet and as the hatch started to kick in interest turned to the dry.  I was quickly into a handful of fish with the wet. I eased down toward the son who had not hooked into any fish while I was there, gave him a wet fly, and showed him how to rig it and fish it. I was all smiles  when I saw him quickly hooked up and yell back a thank you. We enjoyed the spot while the hatch lasted and caught a nice bunch of browns and rainbows in the 12-15” range.

What was left of the flies
As early evening approached I worked back downstream to where I had started and rested and chatted with the first father/son pair I had met as we waited to see if there would be a spinner fall. At the appointed time, clouds of spinners were visible overhead and the females began depositing there eggs in the water. The three of us eased into the water and enjoyed some great action as the fish greedily took the spinners.  I was in a prime spot and was taking lots of fish including an 18+ inch brute of a brown. Unfortunately, my attempts to take a decent picture failed. I asked the son if he would like to come down to where I was and showed him where the fish were rising. As I looked down he seemed to be regularly into fish and having a great time and Dad got some good pictures of his son’s catch. I always enjoyed seeing others having a great experience. In addition to catching a dozen+ quality browns and rainbows, to see two young men enjoying themselves with their older fathers was especially rewarding.

A 16" Farmington Brown
Thursday afternoon, was a clearer, warmer day with air temps in the low 70’s and the water a nice 58. The hatch was lighter and shorter than the previous day. Thursday, the fish were only interested in the dry. By late afternoon, about a dozen fish had been caught including a couple browns that slammed the dry in faster water well after the hatch had ended. The spinner fall was lighter than the previous night and occurred much later. I did find a few fish that apparently were anticipating the spinner fall a bit, including a solid 16” brown.  It wasn’t until almost dark when, high above the water, a large number of spinners, many paired up, could be seen. There is something about a spinner fall that I find inspiring to watch. Again some decent fish started rising to the spinners. Probably because of the better weather several people moved into where I was fishing, including one spin fisherman who thought that trying to hit me in the head with this lure from across the river was part of the sport. After he crossed my line several times, I just moved up into a more open section and saw a good size fish rise several times. After a few drifts I was into a very solid brown but could not determine how big it was since it stayed deep. As it tired, I could tell it was another red/copper brown of decent size that didn’t like the look of my net and ran hard whenever I got it close. Eventually it was brought to the net and a picture was taken. In the fading daylight the vibrant dark red/coppery color of the fish was not captured in the photo. It measured just over 18”. After few final casts as the darkness grew, I hooked into what seemed like another sizeable fish which broke off so I called it a night. In addition to the fishing, I also saw a mink scurrying along the river bank and two large blue herons fishing but not close enough to get a picture of either. As I drove home the words of an old song from my childhood came to mind …

An 18" copper brown
This is my Father’s world and to my listening ears
all nature sings and round me rings
the music of the spheres

This is my Father’s world I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees of skies and seas
His hand the wonders wrought

This is my Father’s world the birds their carols raise
the morning light, the lily white
declare their makers praise

This is my Father’s world He shines in all that’s fair
In the rustling grass I hear him pass
He speaks to me everywhere


  1. Great story and nice pics. That 18 incher is awesome. Nice Job.

  2. Thanks TM. BTW, been enjoying reading your blog as well keep up the good work

  3. Sounds like two very nice days, congrats to you.

  4. Great post, and that hymn from my childhood also comes to my mind very often...

    Glad I found your blog...cheers!

  5. Kiwi - Hopefully won't be long before the adirondack brooks are fishable. Water was very high this spring with rains and all the snow melt.

    e.m.b. - glad to hear others are enjoying the posts