Upper Connecticut River Fishing Report: 7/20
It’s been a long time … sorry about that. Between not having much time to fish and a serious case of C.R.S. (Can’t Remember S%^!), I have been woefully neglectful of my reporting of what’s happening on the water, and for that I am truly repentant …
It seems as though summer is finally here in the north country, as we’ve had some sunny days and warm weather lately. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem to be affecting the fishing, as the Upper Connecticut River is still producing some good trout and salmon for our guests.
Flows remain constant, but the water temps have been climbing a bit in a couple of the stretches.
The No Kill Stretch between Second Connecticut Lake and First Connecticut Lake continues at 91 CFS, but the temperature was in the mid to upper sixties last week. Not great conditions for trout or salmon, so fish the most oxygenated water if you’re heading in to this area.
The Trophy Stretch between First Connecticut Lake and Lake Francis likewise has remained constant at 153 CFS. This is a good wading flow and Chuck Degray of North Country Fly Shop & Guide Service reported a water temp of 65 there yesterday.
Meanwhile, the coldest stretch of water is flowing out of Murphy Dam below Lake Francis (as always). In this section, the water temp is in the mid 50’s, which is a refreshing change from the other sections.
I’ve been there a couple of times in the last week, and on the day when it was quite cloudy the insect hatching activity was impressive. Lots of caddis, augmented with a few mayflies and stones here and there. Not too much was happening on top on the sunny day that I was there, but the fish were still present as John Saia and I landed and released four brown trout in a couple hours of angling.
Running a nymph rig is still your best way to go, with a heavily weighted beadhead nymph up front and an unweighted fly trailing behind. The combinations are endless if you go this route, so keep trying different partnerships until something clicks.
BH Pheasant Tail, Weight Fly, Hot Belly PT, BH Prince, BH Yellow Stone, BH Black Stone, Little Green Machine, TB UV Zebra, Micro Stone Beadhead, BH Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear, Copper John, Hatching Pupa, Sparkle Caddis Pupa, Barr’s Emerger, San Juan Worm, Goomie Worm, Mini Globug Oregon Cheese, UV2 Glitter Soft Hackle Olive, Pat’s Rubber Legs
If you’re staying on top, dries are working for some anglers in some places. Stonefly and caddis patterns would probably be your best bet right now, but don’t forget about an Adams, Sulphur, or even a Purple Haze for the mayflies. Terrestrials should be in your box too, so have some hopper and ant patterns at the ready.
Purple Haze, Sulphur Emerger, BWO Snowshoe Emerger, Elk Hair Caddis, CDC Gray Caddis, Double Duck Caddis, Ninch’s UV Tan Iceberg Caddis, CDC Sally, Yellow Stimulator, Yellow Crystal Stimulator
Most dries will be in the sz. 16 and up (as in smaller – especially for the caddis), with the exception of the Stimulators.
Keep trying and changing, if you need to. And bring plenty of tippet.