I hope that you have been enjoying this unbelievable weather we have had in October. We've only got one week left in this incredible season so get out there! I've concluded my guiding season a week ago and would like to thank everyone who has fished with me as well as the many people I was not able to get out on the water with. This has been my most successful season yet, even with a slow June thanks to the cool weather. I probably had as many people want to book as I actually took out. Ill likely add a second guide next year. Ive got someone in mind who is a really good guide but won't announce it until next year and its set in stone, but I'm really excited for him to help out.
The warm weather has kept the trout fishing good and steady, while the low water has kept the salmon fishing slower. I've been on the big rivers, mid sized tribs, and on the salmon stream looking for Land Locked Salmon both with clients and on my own.
As far as trout fishing, I've had some great trips recently with some really good dry fly fishing at times. I hit a small rain shower with a couple clients on the drift boat and BWO's instantly began hatching in good numbers. It was only a matter of minutes and we had about 8 -10 trout eating off the surface. A # 20 BWO emerger fooled a good number of them. I've also had good success on nymphs and have gotten some very impressive rainbows. One trip 8 out of 12 trout were 13-16" and fought like crazy. Ive found the trout on the big rivers to be more picky and mostly taking smaller nymphs 16-20. On the tribs I've noticed that the fish seemed to feed more opportunistically and were eating what ever drifted through their feeding lane. I fished the lower part of a gorge area one day with my brother in law and the upper part of it the next with a client and we found that in the head of every deep pool 1-2 nice rainbows were holding and ready to eat. It was pretty fun fishing in there. I've been carrying a streamer rod with clients but the fish have not shown much interest. We are getting a good amount of rain tonight and this weekend so the streamer rod may produce better. I would not hesitate to hit the tribs if the water is up and dirty.
On the Lake run Salmon front, as I said before, it has been ok. The low water and lack of rain is the reason. There are fish, but just not in great numbers, and with low water and high pressure you need to present your fly perfect to get eats. I fished with my wife sunday AM and we did well. She got a nice lake run Brown of about 19", and I got a steelhead and landlocked pictured above. I didn't get a pic of her beauty brown as it slipped out of her hands. Its not a common thing to get all three species in an hour and a half, let alone one season. All of the fish ate a #16 PT nymph. I anticipate the fishing will be really good for the remainder of the season. We had the same conditions last season and when the rain finally came the second to last day of the season the fishing was really really good. I'd like to guide or fish myself but it doesn't look like that will happen as I'm headed hunting in Ohio.
Ill try to get a season wrap up report sometime in November so be on the lookout for that. Have fun out there and remember to always practice good etiquette on the water and more importantly, respect the fish we all love and the environment that allows these fish to live.
Ben Wilcox Owner/Guide Maple Country Anglers