Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB
Fly Fishing The Millers - With over 30 years of fly fishing this river I will claim more knowledge and fish caught than anyone. There are over 40 miles of river and I will take you to the best sections and if you want to sections that never see another angler. Don't be fooled by those who say the Millers is a Spring and Fall river. I'll show you how to have great Summer action. The "EB of the Westfield" - Wild and beautiful is the only way to describe this river. There's a lot of water here but I know where to go to catch trout. After a trip you will too!! Solitude and trout IS the EB. The Swift - 20 trout days are not uncommon on this river if you know what to do and use. I'll show the way and you catch the trout. RATES - Full Day (6 hours) = $150.00 for one, $225 for two (lunch included). Half Day (three hours) $90.00 for one, $155.00 for two. Beginners Class - 3 hours ffor $90.00, all use of rods lines, reels included.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Farmington - How To Get Started

"There's always a hot new fly. Precious few of them are genuine breakthroughs destined to last for a hundred years, but more often they're idle comments on existing traditions, explorations of half baked theories, attempts to use new and interesting materials, to impress other tiers, or excuses to rename old patterns.  The results are often pointless fads like the craze in some pretentious restaurants of plopping fried quail eggs on everything or calling sandwiches panninis". - John Gierach

Whenever I guide someone I will always express the opinion that the Farmington River in Connecticut is the best trout stream in New England. Many that I guide, through their own personal experience, will wholeheartedly agree while others have heard the rumors but haven't been there. This post is for the latter crowd.

Ok, where do you start? You start a few weeks before your planned trip by doing two things:

1. Visit the website for UPCOUNTRY FLY SHOP. They have made it a habit to give river updates twice a week for years now! They will not only tell you what flies to use but will tell you where to us them. A great example of this was back in the brutal winter of 2014 - 2015. They gave locations for the best opportunity for surface action. You can't beat that!

2. Get a copy of "A Guide To Fishing the Farmington River" - This Guide, written by the Farmington River Anglers Association, may be the BEST river guide ever written about a New England River. This group certainly cannot be considered tight lipped and secretive like some other "friends of the river" are. Run by run, pool by pool, it's all laid out for you and can save you years of leg work. Want to fish Whittemore, the Wood Shop or Ovation? Now you know where to go and how to do it.

Pick up a copy at Upcountry in person or online.

We owe this group a big "THANK YOU"!

Ok, when do I fish the Farmington? The truth is I used to fish it more often 10 to 15 years ago before my guiding business took off. Now it's my Winter and very early Spring river. By the time the hendricksons begin to pop up I'm back in Ma guiding.

Where are my favorite spots?

Campground Pool - great dry fly pool especially up at the head of the pool. I used to camp there and hit the top of the pool at dawn. Size 24 BWO's in the mist!!!!

Wood Shop Pool - a good spot

Spare Tire Pool - Love this spot because I usually have it all to myself and I've done well there.

Ovation Pool - Caught my first brown on the Farmie right here

Church Pool - Usually packed but if you get lucky and have few other anglers you can have some great fishing here.

Whittemore Pool - some like it a lot.  I'm so-so on it. Not my Farmington experience.

Greenwooods - Great water but becoming a very-trendy-to-be-seen location.  That's why I opt for Spare Tire right below it.

I should make the time to fish the Farmington this Summer. Hell, I'm less than an hour away!!!!

BTW, I receive no consideration for endorsing the above entities. They deserve it!!



Anonymous said...


Nice blog post on the Farmington R. I'd like you to guide me there over the winter. Shoot me an email with some open dates and I'll confirm on my calendar.

Gary Kolanda

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Thanks for the offer but I'm not legal (licensed) in Connecticut and really don't plan to be. You can use one of the many guides listed at Upcountry OR maybe we can hook up and fish together (no guide/NC). Shoot me an email on dates and we will see if it happens.


BobT said...


Millers River Flyfisher said...

Yup, the Boneyard is another place!!!


Anonymous said...

Ken: I usually try to fish the Farmington once a week in the spring and early summer at "non-famous" pools and runs due to the crowds. Fishing can be really good if you explore a little.
My question relates to use of wet fly patterns on this river. Are there any patterns which you have found that are consistently productive on this river and which should be focused on during the winter tying season?

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I would tie subsurface patterns that would suggest the prevalent insects for that season and probably going a size smaller when tying them. Stockpile imitations that represent the bottom dwelling nymph and the emerging nymph for each pattern. That should keep you busy.


Gary Cranson said...

Wow just today I gave the Connecticut DEEP $55 so I could fish the Farmington River which is ONE of the better trout streams in the Northeast, but Torrey, and his Upcountry store is the best shop by far.

BobT said...

To pattern that I found at the now closed Classic and Custom fly shop was that winter caddis pupa invented by a group of FRAA guys. That works well most of the year add in whatever you'd carry for any "normal" New England stream and you should be good to go. I live to darn far from the Farmington to get on it more than one or two times per year now but I have around 15 years X 25-50 days per year on it and would say the river fishes well from the Dam all the way to Avon and beyond. Like Anonymous said...find water in between the named pools and you will be pleasantly rewarded.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


Dave Goulet owned that fly shop that you mentioned. A great tier and certainly ran an old school establishment.


Brk Trt said...

Dave was a bug part of my early fly fishing-tying.
He was so very helpful.
"The Brown Olive Ghost" was a streamer pattern of his, as well as the Moby Dick.

BobT said...

I knew Dave pretty well...I'd been a customer of his from about the age of 18-40..he closed the year after I moved to Colorado. Good guy and knew his stuff from the Farmington-to salmon to fly tying-still sells some stuff on Ebay. I wasn't sure of his involvement with the winter caddis pupa so did not mention him. The Farmington is awesome if you are willing to go outside of the C&R boundaries. Its awesome inside the boundaries but crowded.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Brk Trt And BobT,

Ran into Dave last March at the Western Ma. Fly Fishermen's Expo. We started talking soft hackles and it went on and on. No too many more like him.


Anonymous said...

I have been looking for a place that is not terribly far from Boston that I can camp at night and hit the water early in the morning. I will definitely do that next spring. Thanks for the info.

james douglas said...

Nice write up though I would take a different tact .... stay away from the "name" pools. The Farmington gets very heavily stocked and there are fish throughout. Just because a piece of water doesn't have a name attached to it doesn't make it non productive.

I don't fish the Farmington much but have seen the phenomenon here as well as elsewhere - on my favorite water there is a heavily fished spot that offers good fishing all summer long and gets hit by anglers with and without guides heavily. That the fish become fussy would be an understatement. I fish a spot maybe 50 yards upstream from where this spot is located and have the water all to myself quite literally whenever I want. You can't see me from the nearby road and you can't see what is going on down on the river as passers by get just a glimpse of water.

Even on heavily fished waters there are roads less travelled. Take it!

Millers River Flyfisher said...

James Douglas,

First, I never said that ANY water on the Farmington was nonproductive.

Second, the blog post is titled "the Farmington River - How to get started". It's for people who are unfamiliar with the river.


David Powelstock said...

Thanks for the great post, Ken! I ordered myself a copy of the Farmington guide, and it really is terrific. As a beginning fly fisherman, I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the generosity of folks like you and the authors of that guide who put their love of the sport and eagerness to share it ahead of their egos.