Fall Colors and Wild Trout
I got out a fair amount last week and through the weekend with clients and by myself. Fishing was great from around 11 AM through the middle of the afternoon, and very slow early. I saw the same pattern 4 times last week. There was not a lot hatching, when I was on the water, but the fish were keying into PT and Hares Ear variations in size 14-16 mostly and size 20 red copper johns to a lesser extent.
I fished with Steve from VT Thursday hitting the water just after daylight. Water temp was 66 to start. We saw a few sporadic rises early and missed one fish on a caddis emerger pattern. We then moved in to some pocket water and picked up a stocked brown that was on the verge of death. It was the sorriest looking fish I have ever seen. Its head was by far the thickest part of its body and it narrowed down from there almost as skinny as a smelt. The fish literally didn't even pull or flop. Summer really took a toll on the stocked fish. The wild fish were in great shape as you can see from the pics above. The water was warming rapidly in the sun and hit 68 by about 10. Around that same time a cloud moved over and Steve landed two really nice rainbows pictured above. The half day trip was supposed to go until around 11, but the water hit 69 and I called it at 10:30. As we were leaving we met another guide from a local fly shop with his client walking to the river where we were fishing. I watched them walk to the river but didn't see them take a river temp, and they clearly fished for a while as Steve and I hung out at my truck for a bit, by which they had parked. It was a little disappointing as I hear this particular outfit talk about river temps, but it didn't seem as though they were practicing what they preach.
Friday some rain came though and the air and water temps cooled off. We should be through having to deal with water temps at this point I hope. On the weekend I got out with Tom and his 11 year old son Tommy from MA. We were originally scheduled to float, but the rain had not bumped up river flows and things were far too low to float. We were wading on the river by 8:30 but again things were dead until around 10:30 when Tommy had his first take on a nymph. Tommy quickly learned exactly how to properly mend and present the nymph. Things picked up from there and Tommy hooked and fought around 10 fish though we struggled keeping the pressure on the fish and many came unbuttoned, while the elder Tom landed one Rainbow. The difference was the mending and presentation ability,
I got out on sunday for about and hour and 15 minutes at about 11 and went 9/12 on wild bows landing a fish of around 17" and another around 15" as well as losing a good fish in a side channel. I landed smaller fish in the tail outs and fast shallow riffles while the bigger fish were in the prime areas at the head of the pools and in pools themselves. All fish ate the same flies I listed above.
The week ahead looks great and there is so much to fish for. Trout will be good and the bigger fish have started to come out of hibernation. LL salmon are thinking about spawning, and though they are not here in earnest, will be soon. Bass and pike have been good as well on lakes and ponds.
We have some unsettled weather ahead and I am hoping that we get some measurable rain. If that happens it should push Salmon into the rivers, but I'm not optimistic we will get enough. Archery deer season also starts Saturday and I will surely be out. I have a few good bucks that I will be after. Have fun out there and I hope you have success on either trout or deer.
Back from Jackson Hole
My family and I are back from Wyoming. As you can see from some of the pics, we caught some nice fish. The first pics are from a trip I did with two beginning fly anglers right before we left. As you can see they caught some fish and were pretty excited as was I. While I was away, Evan, my second guide also ran a successful float for Pike with a guest from the UK who had wanted to trout fish, but conditions were just too warm. They landed a handful of nice fish and I am hoping to get a pic soon!
I am pretty disappointed to find out that the weather just won't turn to fall. September is typically my favorite month to trout fish but it continues to be too warm and dry. It looks like it will be changing at the end of the week, but I have said that before ( read a few reports back). Thing will surely change soon as fall can't help but begin. I anticipate fishing to be good. October caddis, some left over ISO's and BWO's will be the main ticket. I have a lot of success nymphing small #20 red copper johns and PT's this time of year. Salmon are going to begin moving toward the rivers. If we get any rain, we may see some push up. Last year the salmon fishing was good from around the first week of October.
Ill have more info about local conditions toward the end of the week when it cools off as I have a couple of trips lined up and will get out on my own as well.
I am beginning to get lots of dates booked, but can fit some more trips before the end of October!
As far as Jackson Hole, Wyoming goes I'll keep it brief, but as always my wife lands the biggest trout. Her toad of a wild Snake River Fine Spotted CutThroat Trout was landed on a small spring creek just outside of town called Flat Creek. It is well known for its large, but difficult to catch trout. These fish are smart, and very spooky. Catching them requires stealthily stalking the banks and spotting the fish. Most casts are taken kneeling down to prevent spooking the fish. I would recommend this to any experienced angler, but don't get upset if you get skunked. I talked with a guy from the Fish and Wildlife service over there and he said probably 90% of people don't land a fish on the creek. We also had three nice floats with our friends we were staying with on the Snake River. This is a big river with lots of fish. The cool thing about the river is the fish prefer dries. I nymphed multiple times, and only caught a handful of trout, but tie on dries and the same runs will yield a bunch of fish. Its an amazingly beautiful float. Most fish are small, but there are some good ones. We found some nice fish in small braids in the river that don't often get fished. The snake is the most heavily fished river I have ever seen, so I just think the bigger fish have seen it all, but every once in a while a big fish will look at your fly and sometimes eat it. I do have to admit, that while I caught a lot of fish, my dry fly game was rusty and I missed a lot of fish that should have been hooked.
Ben Wilcox Owner/Guide Maple Country Anglers