Friday, May 1, 2009
Contoocook Hordes and Farmington Hatches
The Farmington River in the upper TMA didn't offer a lot of solitude. The Hendrickson hatch is now out all the way up to Riverton and I think all the people laid off from the insurance companies in Hartford and the Wall Street financial guys were all there. In another week the hatch should be almost up to the dam. At least that will add some additional water for everybody to spread out a bit. Stan, Ron and I made the pilgrimage yesterday. We started below the TMA and caught a few fish on softhackle droppers, as well as on my favorite rootbeer woolly-bugger. Then we moved around the TMA looking for fish in relative solitude. We found both. I won't name the pools, but we caught fish on soft hackles and dries from about 11:00AM until about 6:00PM. There were plenty of small caddis, BWO and Hendricksons. We caught not only a lot of fish, but "quality" fish to about 20". Almost every fish was specifically targeted and was visible on the take. It was the best day of fishing I can remember. Here is a picture of Ron with one of the many fish he landed. Even though it got pretty windy as the day went on, we still caught loads of fish on top. We finished up using spinner patterns, although the wind was probably blowing all the spinners over to the Housatonic.
My buddy Jim reports that the flows and water temps on the Contoocook are real good, but the crowds are incredible there, too. Mid-week he said every pull-off access point had at least a couple cars and some pools had 6 or 8 people in them. He also reports not seeing anybody catch a fish. This level of pressure can't be good for the fish. Those that haven't been hooked and cooked are probably shell-shocked from everybody flogging the water every day of the week. The water levels are going down on the Smith, Bakers, Bearcamp, Saco and Ellis, among others, so hopefully the crowds will spread out and give the fish a break. Ponds are also a good bet right now.
Footnote: It has been brought to my attention that the hordes that descended on the Contoocook River were probably brought about by everybody seeing the video of Richard catching a fish there. H-mm-m-m-m, an interesting hypothesis!