Sunday, December 4, 2016

Here Live Big Browns

When Joe Apanowitch invited me up to the Farmington for a Saterday trip, I couldn't say no because I knew the flows were up and that fish would eat. And it has also been so long since I've caught some larger trout in a big river, which is something I love to do. So I was up early and were headed north to CT's best trout river.

The day started out with a near disaster. I was nymphing with big gloves on and somehow knocked the spool off my reel and into the run. It took me bout five minutes to figure out what happened and ten minutes to fix the situation... I had to get the spool on top of my feet and shuffle backwards to a rock, sit down on the rock, and lift the spool on my feet, out of the water. All to avoid sticking my arm in the river on a cold windy morning.

We opted to move after a little while. I suspected we should go upstream and find a spot where the sun was on the water. Right when we got to said spot a fat holdover rainbow munched the top fly on my rig, a black and pink perdigon. Two casts later that fish's identical twin ate the bottom fly, the ever productive Ausable Ugly. Then to top it off, I caught a stunning little wild brown, also on the Ugly.

Shortly after that, we saw an opening at the Church pool and took it. Joe nailed into his first of the day, a solid holdover brown.

That was a start to a little burst of action for Joe. He started getting some solid browns on jerk baits, getting his total up to four. That convinced me to change to my favorite thing in the world: working big streamers in shallow water.

I got a few good hits in a couple spots before I decided we should move to my favorite fall time stretch. I wandered up to some good holding water and hooked and lost about a 14 inch brown. Knowing that meant there were going to be more fish in the area I slowed down and plied the seems and pockets with my big olive and orange bugger. In front of a log, in a pillow of soft water, I watched a brown of 23 inches or greater boil for the fly the moment it hit the water. Knowing it had been "a kill hit" I let the fly dead drift two feet and began jigging it erratically. Sure enough the big fish came back, but she was not hooked. A few yards down stream I got the kind of response I prefer, a good sized wild brown came out and hammered the fly without asking questions. This was perhaps the best wild brown of the year for me. There is still a few weeks to get that 20+ though.

We ended the day in a different stretch that gave us the cold shoulder. Perhaps the summer took a toll on its fish. Till another day, Farmington.


  1. Beautiful trout to hand. Sure glad you got the spool back.
    Tie, fish, write and photo on...

    1. Thanks.
      It would have been impossible not to get it back, though it could have been a bit more difficult.

  2. Congrats! I struggled to get three small ones on Sat. from dawn to about lunch time. Next time, I'll consider using larger flies that push water and going later in the day. Any other advice?

    1. Come fishing with me and learn how to stream fish PROPERLY! ;)

    2. That was meant to be 'streamer fish'... hope you didn't take that the wrong way!

    3. Not at all!

      FWIW, I don't enjoy streamer fishing. I'm more of a tightline and dry fly guy.

      I do tie some larger nymphs with marabou (mini-streamers?) for tightlining, and they've worked really well in the past. Big stoneflies, too. Forgot to take them out of the box last time out. Lesson learned!

    4. I know a lot of guys that used to say that, heck, I used to say that, but your life changes the first time you have a 26 inch brown demolish a streamer 15 feet in front of you.