The Karma Fish

I wish I had some fly-fishing insights for this post. But, I don’t think I do.

I fished the Farmington this morning and actually looked forward to the cold and the rain, thinking they would ward off the crowds. Thomas & Thomas also repaired my broken Contact and amazingly had it back to me in 12 days. So, I was looking forward to fishing with it.

I had some stretches to myself in the permanent TMA and found some new water that was productive. The flows were much lower than they’ve been in a while.

It ended up being a double-digit morning. I saw some rainbows, 2018 Survivor Strain yearlings (green elastomer behind left eye) and two year-old fish (green behind right), a brookie, a 2017 Survivor Strain brown (orange behind right), and a few clean-looking ones.

The trout were open to soft hackles, sizes 20 or smaller. Takes were usually when the fly was on a rise, but not on a swing. Many midges were popping.

The fish I landed were in shallow water or waist-deep and slow-ish bubbly water, and small #16 anchors were needed at some spots: some weight, but not too much of a splash to spook the fish.

Interestingly, fishing with an indicator at the slow-ish bubbly water didn’t work at all for me. Don’t know why. The river giveth and taketh away. But, tightlining that water did work.

When people think of Euronymphing, they often think of Czech nymphing: short lining with very heavy nymphs at the head of a fast run or at pocket water.

But, the Euro set-up lets you do so much more than that. And, the winning technique this time was very different from the Czech style: light nymphs, long lining, soft water with slow current.

I also targeted some “B” water, areas that looked way too shallow. I found fish there, too, at small indentations along the bottom and the occasional dark pieces of water. I’ve heard that fish are everywhere at the Farmington. They really are.

Best fish of the day was this clean-looking brown.

It must have been the river’s reward to me. A known angler front-ended me. I was tightlining a run and working my way upstream. I was saving the head of the run, the fishiest-looking spot, for a few minutes later. The new angler showed up, plopped in above me and started fishing.

I decided not to say anything. So, I crossed the river and fished opposite of him. Within a few casts, I found that brown trout.

Once on, the fish surged powerfully to the other bank. I could feel some very strong pulses. I thought I was foul hooked. I reeled in fast, but the fish surged to the other side two more times.

I was pretty shocked to see that the fish was cleanly hooked. It taped at 16″ but felt a lot stronger. I smiled as I admired the fish. Was it karma? The other angler landed a few small fish, and that was it.

A warm Reuben from Better Half Bistro, wolfed down while driving, was a great coda. To maximize my fishing time, I called in the order while standing in the river. They kindly had it in a warming oven when I was late (more fish in the net). Thank you, Liz!

Best view of the day? The one at dawn, as I made a quick pit stop and saw a temporal view.

Hope everyone is well!


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11 thoughts on “The Karma Fish

  1. You are like me, Jo, the worse the weather is the more inclined I am to fish to avoid the crowds, although I wasn’t able to today. Glad you connected plenty along with that big brown.
    Best, Sam

  2. Nice day fishing and always sweet to best a hole-jumper! So were you fishing your tandem like a wet-fly presentation or tight lining and letting them swing up at the end of the drift? Flyline or just your euroleader? I’m curious as i do want to try the T&T, but I do swing soft hackles when the fish are active. Did T&T just replace the broken butt?
    Closest I came to flyfishing this weekend was visiting Stone River Fly Shop on the way to college graduation!

    1. Both. Just used my Euro set-up. If I need floating line, I just grease up the Euro leader. Maybe I’m missing something, as I don’t wet-fly fish as often as you?

      They repaired it. Looks good as new. Cannot tell where the break was. They refinished the whole section.

  3. Surprisingly, we never crossed paths. I covered a lot of water Saturday, lost count of how many fish.
    Size 16 PT jig tied slim with some flashy dubbing did the most damage.

    1. Congrats on another good day. I intentionally fished a lot of “B” water on Sat., and that may have been the reason.

  4. The Hendrickson hatch was wonderful yesterday. Taking a break sitting on the bank, an emerger drifted my way with the wings trying to pop out while the nymph shuck was clearly seen below water surface. I will try to imitate what I saw with a fly. The wings were clearly above the water, but the shuck it was trying to escape from stayed below the film. Easy pickings for trout as those float down the river. Can I imitate that fly, I don’t know.

    Later on the spent Hendricksons were on the stream and the dry fly action was what you dream about in the winter. Catskill type dry flies got interest and connected, but got refused at times. Comparaduns with deer hair wings got hit with abandon. No hackles on them, they floated right in the film. Just what you dream about when you tie them during the winter.

  5. Joined the club and picked up a T&T Contact after hearing so much about it on the blog and having previously used Zach St. Amands. I’m glad to hear you had it back in your hands so quickly Jo, three weeks into using it the tip section on mine snapped while fighting & landing a fish so mine is currently awaiting repair. I’ve never had that happen before, the ‘pop’ noise made my heart sink.

    I’ve been really impressed with the rod, it has definitely been living up to the hype.

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