Sunday, July 17, 2016

Hot days and isos

Summer and roadside tiger lilies
Hot days are the norm now that midsummer is here. This past week, the occasional thundershower brought some needed rain, but it's probably a good idea to take a break from fishing the local small streams.  However, the Farmington River, which is fed by water released from the bottom of a large dam, continues to have a good flow of cool water.

One evening this past week, I took a co-worker fishing after work.  He fishes mostly in the saltwater and we've talked many times over the last couple years about getting out on the Farmington.  He has had some experience fishing in freshwater and even casting a fly rod, so it wasn't long before he got his casting stroke down and put the fly over fish.  It took him a few fish before he got the feel of hooking and landing fish on a light tippet, but eventually he was able to land a few rainbows.  It's always fun helping someone catch their first fish on a dry fly.  Between the two of us, we managed a good number of fish using an iso comparadun in slower riffles and pocket water.

Mike's first rainbow taken on a dry fly!

A powerful rainbow taken on an iso in the pocket water

Soapwort
Later in the week, my buddy Ben from the Atlantic Salmon Flies blog and I were able to spend an afternoon and evening together after trying all spring to get together.

 I started a few hours before Ben, so I chose to explore a new stretch of river.  As I walked along the river, I spotted a dead tree along the bank with a little depression running next to it that looked promising.  I sent the double nymph rig along the brush and found two gorgeous wild browns.  I love finding wild trout in the Farmington; not only are they beautiful fish but they fight hard despite their smaller size.  Both fish took the smaller #18 olive-type nymph.


the first of a brace of wild browns

After Ben and I met, we fished another out-of-the-way run, and I caught another wild brown on the nymph rig and missed a pair on an iso in a shallow run.  All the wild browns caught on a nymph took a small #18 olive nymph, while the fish taken on a dry preferred the large iso, which is pretty typical for this time of year.

We decided to move locations late afternoon and ended up in a run where fish were sipping a tiny emerger or midge.  Ben was able to fool one on a #24 something.  I ended up fishing a #22 griffth's gnat and had lots of fish look at the fly and refuse it.  It was probably too big but hey, I have my limits!  If the fish aren't interested in anything bigger than a #22, it's time to move on.  After about an hour of trying multiple tiny flies, I looked at Ben and asked, "Do you want to try plan B?"  I heard him laugh and indicate that he was thinking it was time to move on as well.


We ended up finishing the evening with a handful of fish each.  He was able to coax some fish to take
a Catskill style light Cahill and I fished the pocket water with an iso comparadun.  As darkness engulfed the river, the water was covered with light Cahill spinners, but the trout were not all that interested, so we didn't hang around too late.  Ben and I finished the evening off at a local burger joint catching up with each other.

10 comments:

  1. Mark, sounds like a great outing. Like you I love trying to find out of the way runs that may get ignored by others. I am glad to hear those areas produced, most especially with the wild browns. Regards, Sam

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    1. Sam - there's a lot of the Farmington that doesn't get fished that much or stocked and I would be willing to bet there are wild fish in those areas. I really should do more of this especially since I don't enjoy fishing close to others (unless we are together)

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  2. Mark, sounds like you had a good couple of outings. Those wild Browns were nice treats...always great to catch wild trout amongst the stockers. Rowan and I got sucked in by picky rising fish on our outing as well. I got a few to rise to an ant and a small midge, but for some reason it's like they would eat it, yet not take it. It was weird. They were definitely skeptical. Spent a little too much time on those fish...wish I kept it to only an hour like you. You live and you learn I guess.

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    1. RI brook trout - I've done this numerous times, thinking one more cast! The fish were on something small and would nip at the griffth's but not really take it. After I tried the smallest thing in my box including flying ants, it was time to move on!

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  3. Mark, looks like you had a couple of enjoyable days-evenings on the Farmy. Nice JOb!

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    1. Pete - Yes we did! We need to get together and fish some evening!

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  4. Hard to beat a trip or two with friends when the fish are biting. Good for you and your friend, Mike, on getting into a fish on a dry fly. Always a kick!

    Those wild Browns would make my day, too...............

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    1. Mel - thanks, yes it is fun to watch someone land their first fish on a fly! I will take spunky little wild browns over hatchery trout any day!

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  5. What I wouldn't give to have a Farmington close to home. Great fish guys!

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    1. Howard - sounds like you need to start saving some money for airfare!

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