Thursday, May 10, 2012

Farmington River

I recently took trip to Connecticut's famed Farmington River with a group of friends.  We headed up to the river on the tail end of a nor'easter, so we had some adverse weather and water conditions to deal with.  Despite less than ideal conditions it turned out to be a great trip.

There were plenty of chunky little rainbows to be had.  They were everywhere and eagerly took our nymphs and streamers in the morning and rose to Hendricksons and caddis in the warmer afternoons.  The rainbows averaged 12 to 14 inches with the largest nosing up to about 16 inches.  They fought surprising hard for their size.

 The brown trout averaged a inch or two less and were just as abundant.   I managed to hook a few larger browns in the 20" class, while fishing streamers in some of the deep runs and pools, but they got the best of me and never made it to the net.

The fishery folks on the Farmington have an interesting way of tagging fish to identify when they were stocked.  The small recently stocked brown trout all had this green laser etch behind their right eye.  I have never seen this method of tagging before.

We managed to have one phenomenal afternoon when my buddy Rick and I got into a riffle that was just teeming with fish.  There were actually more fish in this one spot than I have ever encountered on a river before.  We discovered that they were staged in that riffle taking emerging Hendricksons.  Fishing soft hackles we took fish on almost every casts for hours right up until dark.  The numbers of fish caught was astounding, between the two of us it was one of those rare "100 fish days".

Fishing two fly rigs and catching two fish at a time was just as common as catching one!  More often than not, everyones rod was bent over at the same time.  Since we left fish biting the night before, we returned the next morning morning with another friend and found the fish there again.  This time they appeared to be taking spent little yellow crane flies.  A partridge and yellow soft hackle did the trick and we did it all over again.   This had been my first trip to the Farmington, I can't wait to head back!


  1. The Farmington is truly the crown jewel of our freshwater trout fishery which now contains 21 miles of TMA (trout Management Area) open all year with a C&R section. The colored elastomer behind the eye tells us the year they were tagged and put back in the river. They use this for yearlings and for adults. Don't know what the 2012 colors are yet, but here is a link to an article on the colored elastomer and their years. Glad you enjoyed your visit.

  2. Thanks for the info. It was a great fishery. I'm in the process of planning a trip back!