After this weekend, the Farmington might just be my favorite stream in the North East. I drove up early Saturday morning with Eric and we put in almost 14 straight hours of fishing- a long day if I've ever had one. We'd initially thought that with the heat and all, maybe we'd leave for a lunch break and return for dusk, but we just couldn't seem to tear ourselves away from what was probably the best day of fishing either of us has ever had. The action was almost non-stop and the weather was totally comfortable, aside from a couple short downpours. And I'll get this out of the way first: I did not take any photos. You'll just have to take my word for it. My barely functioning iPhone quit for good after my pack took a dip in the water- so the photo above is the only evidence I have that I was even there.
My first fish of the day was a powerful brown, maybe about 15 inches or so. I was pretty pleased with what I thought could be the best I'd do all day. Well, this fish turned out to be pretty unexceptional for this river. They stock them bigger up there, apparently, and both of us caught fish like this all day long. And we lost some much, much bigger ones. I won't tell too many sob stories- but one fish in particular was a heartbreaker. It was one of those stubborn, large trout that immediately let you know they aren't going to cooperate. And with the powerful current that surrounded us both I don't think I had a chance of landing this fish. I could barely even move it until it made a slow, unyielding run into faster water and snapped the tippet. There were other encounters like this, but that one stung the most.
We stayed until dusk and that's when things really got interesting. There was a bit of a sulphur hatch that ramped up the action and revealed just how many fish inhabit this stretch of the river. I made the mistake of moving on from a run that was producing fish in search of new water, but still did pretty well. Eric, on the other hand, wisely stayed put and had an epic session of dry fly fishing. I think there's a lesson there somewhere. But I really can't complain, this was a fantastic day. When it was finally too dark to tie on a new fly, we called it a day and lurched back to the truck. I don't think I've ever been that sore, tired, or satisfied from a day of fishing. I can't wait to go back.