The Farmington Won Today

Well, the Farmington won today.

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.

12/4 edit
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.


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4 thoughts on “The Farmington Won Today

  1. Props for fishing today under not exactly ideal conditions. I was working on my leaves today, and would have much rather been on the stream. Getting the tarp down to haul said leaves was a bear. I'm glad to hear the flow is up on the Farmington and hope this dry pattern we've been in has changed. Hopefully there will be some mild days ahead when I can get out again tossing flies.

    1. Thank you for the kind words! Hope you get a chance to get out.

      The water was high(-ish) and was stained. I've never had luck with any river when a flow has gone up suddenly. I wonder if it takes a few days for fish to acclimate?

      Same with water temp. If there's a sudden cold snap, the fishing the next day slows down dramatically.

  2. Hi. I live in Florida but plan to attend the Fly Fishing Convention in January 20-23. I want to fish the Squannacook River in Townsend. Will it be fishable at that time. I enjoy winter flyfisging very much.

    thanks – frank

    1. Hi Frank, that is a catch-and-keep river that gets pounded right after the spring stocking and thereafter. Also, the river wasn't stocked this autumn, due to low flows, unfortunately. I haven't fished it since last 2015, but my best guess is that it would be very iffy.

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