I hit the river at 7 a.m. and left at 1 p.m., almost too cold to move. I landed only three small ones: a 9″ brown, a baby brown, and a salmon parr. No photos, since I was losing the feeling in my fingers, and I didn’t think the fish were worth the humble-brag rights.
Still, I am very glad that I went. It is always nice to be outside, and tough conditions can make for an interesting outing.
Even though the forecast was for cold, cloudy and windy conditions, the river’s flows were up, and I wanted to see it. It has been a long drought, and I was curious if higher water would make the fish less gun-shy.
Plus, I wanted to try a new dry-dropper tightline rig about which I had read online. I will write more about it in the future, but it worked pretty well, but sudden gusts meant that I often had to unclip my flies to untangle rat’s nests.
I saw a few tiny olives hatch around noon. I saw two rises and stubbornly switched to my dry fly rod to try to beat the odds. I didn’t. Earlier, I resorted to floating an indicator on some long bubbly runs with all sorts of nymphs. That didn’t work either. The water was quite stained.
Thankfully, tightlining worked. One of my trusty Perdigón flies delivered. In fact, all three fish landed were on the same fly.
Sometimes, I’m not sure how many more times I’ll go to the Farmington during winter. It’s a lot of driving. But, I suspect, soon enough, that anxious and hungry feeling will well up inside of me. I’ll commit to another day of much driving.
I’ll be back, Ms. Farmington. I love you.
Feeling a bit frustrated, I reached out to some “fish hawks” of the Farmington, including the good folks at UpCountry. Here is a note from them:
The Farmington is a relatively stable/predictable fishery, so sometimes sudden changes throw the fish off for a day or two. We are also making the transition from fall conditions with water temps 40s-50s to winter temps now in the 30s to low 40s. And after 4 straight months of low water & the fall spawn, I’m sure the fish were moving around with the flow bump.
I think the wind & temp drop were big factors Saturday. Reports were much better Friday, a milder and not as windy day. I did get a couple good reports from Sat, but most peeps struggled.