Sunday, June 26, 2016

Boulders, fast water, and big browns

A bright June afternoon on the Farmington
I've had the pleasure of meeting some great people fishing.  Some I've known for a few years and others I've met recently. This past friday afternoon, I met up with Mike and his son Dan. Our friendship began through email and this past spring we were able to meet face to face and enjoy some time on the river together.  After that spring afternoon, we promised to fish again together soon. Two months have flown by and we finally managed to both have an afternoon free, so  plans were made to fish the same section of river that we fished in the spring.  I was curious how it would fish a couple months later.  Before Mike and Dan arrived I nymphed some heavier pocket water and did pretty well finding browns and rainbows behind the big boulders and in the deeper slots between them.  I even managed to find a good sized brook trout.  The wear on the front fins and a gill plate that didn't full cover the gills indicated it was a stocked fish.


A nicely colored pocket water brown

Photo courtesy of MA Stephens

As the afternoon progressed there was a nice hatch of isonychia coming off.  We could occasionally here a splash as a fish would take one in the fast, boulder filled runs.  The birds on the other hand were making the most of the table spread before them.  I took a break to enjoy the aerial circus, as  the cedar waxwings dove and turned to intercept a recently hatched bug.  The number and speed of the birds made me wonder how they avoided flying into one another.




With a good number of isos hatching, I thought that I could tempt a brown to take a large comparadun in the boulder runs if I could get a decent drift and sure enough, a nice fish took it.  I had a battle on my hands to stay connected, as the hefty fish headed through the boulders.  I managed to hang on for a little but eventually the fly popped out.  I never really got a look at the fish.  I had another take or two but again, nothing brought to net. Even though the fish have a edge in this type of water, I love fishing big flies in heavy current.

Photo courtesey of S Guilmartin
Late in the afternoon, I said goodbye to Mike and Dan and headed to another area to meet Scott.  It was a beautiful evening on the river with the sunlight filtering through the trees, giving the entire landscape a soft, dreamy glow.  Again we were fishing faster water and noticed some large cahills coming off.  Scott tied into a bomber of a brown and had his hands full.  I headed up to see if I could assist but before I was able to get into position to net the fish, out popped the fly.  The highlight of the evening for me was spotting
a nice fish occasionally rising underneath some low hanging trees and just in front of a large rock along the opposite shore.  The current between me and the rising fish was strong and the only way to get a good drift into that tight corner was to get above it and cast down and across and feed line to get a decent drift.  When the fish moved upstream slightly, I was able to put the fly over it and it was game on!  After a handful of strong runs, I managed to guide it out of the strong current and behind some boulders where I could chase it down and get the net underneath it.


One of my larger Farmington brown this season

After a little bit another fish was working in the same spot but closer to the large rock tucked back under the trees.  I manged to get back into a good position and drift the fly further into the corner.  As the fly passed along the side of the rock, the brother or sister of the first fish crushed the cahill and another strong fish was on the end of the line.  This one managed to tie itself around a dead branch that was wedged in the rocks on the bottom.  I tried to wade to the branch to see if I could free the fish but as I tried to work the line around the branch, the tippet snapped just below surgeons knot.  I could see that the tippet had taken a beating from the day's battles among the boulders.

As darkness fell, our large flies were being ignored.  From the gentle rises I was observing, it looked like the fish were taking spinners, so I traded the large fly for the small and the last fish of the day fell to a #18 sulfur spinner.

12 comments:

  1. A good day-evening on the river mark!!! Nice photos of the fish especially that brown!!

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  2. Mark
    Time well spent, landing some awesome looking trout---I hope I get to fish the Farmington one day---thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill - thanks, if you ever travel up this way we can give you a taste of fishing in the northeast!

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  3. Enjoyed reading of your latest adventures on the Farmington. Fishing the big flies in the heavy current is a lot of fun, and the touch of waxwing activity, along with the sight of wildflowers and all, just adds to the appeal.

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    1. Thanks Walt! I love fishing that way too but to tell the truth, I enjoyed watching the birds just as much. It was quite a show that isn't captured well on camera.

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  4. Very nice! Once my post-salmon fishing moratorium has been lifted, let's get out there!

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    1. Ben - Let's do that! That spot I've been telling you about for years is calling!

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  5. Oh what I wouldn't give to be out there once to try my luck at some of those Farmington Browns.

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    1. Howard - same goes for you as for Bill - If you are ever out this way, I would love to meet you and see you tie into one of those browns!

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  6. Great story about your outing, Mark. I'm glad to hear you connected with some beauties. Those birds indeed made the most out of that bug hatch. Regards, Sam

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    1. Sam - whenever I see a hatch going there are usually some waxwings around but this was something else to watch. So many big bugs and the birds in the air at the same time! Too bad the video quality was so poor. I will have to try filming one again with my good camera.

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