Final Month of the Season
Fishing the past week and a half has been excellent. Looking at the short and long term weather forecast, I expect that trend to continue as the water temps should hold in the 50's to low 60's.
While the fishing has been great, you will probably only experience that if you are fishing the correct water type. Fish have been concentrated in fast, shallow riffles. The heavier the better. Ankle to knee deep water has been the best for me. If you have been concentrating on deeper water and some of your go to pools you may have found that you are not catching many fish. There have been a few outings recently where we couldn't get a single fish in anything but shallow water. Remember however that each day is different, and the large wild brown pictured above was hooked by me in a slow flat pocket, but you will definitely want to be in proximity to fast water until the water temps cool off.
Clients and I have been targeting fast water with a combination of dry flies, dry dropper and tight line nymphing. Most days fish have been eating nymphs, from size 14-20 but if there has been a hatch than dry flies have out produced on a couple of occasions. I find this type of fishing to be extremely fun, and a real key for success is when nymphing is keeping your nymphs off of the bottom. Fish in riffles are actively feeding and are looking up for their food. Even in less than a foot of water, your nymphs can drop too quickly, and drift below the trout. The key is to use nymphs that are not too heavy, and if you are tight line nymphing, using a very horizontal sighter angle and leading your flies through the drift. This will keep your flies off of the bottom and in the strike zone. Generally you do not want to be touching bottom when fishing riffles. Small streamers have taken a few fish here and there for me in both black and olive.
landlocked Atlantic Salmon are in the rivers but I have not targeted them as of yet.
Unfortunately my family and I have come down with COVID despite the adults being vaccinated. I have had to cancel or pass on to fellow guides, this weeks trips and I probably won't schedule any for most of next week. The beautiful thing about fishing is you can quarantine alone on the river, I just don't have the energy to get out there yet!
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Ben Wilcox Owner/Guide Maple Country Anglers