State of the River Address: 9/15/11

Well, it’s early fall and conditions are what we often experience this time of year: slightly off-color water, aquatic grass in the slower holes, and rising fish. The river is in better shape for mid-September than it has been the last two years. Overall, the fishing is good. The nymph fishing has been quite productive in the faster water. Size 18 and 20 black Tung Teasers (see pic) have been our best pattern. The trout are probably taking it for a drowned trico spinner. Grey Ray Charles sowbug patterns have also been effective; as have green midge pupa and San Juan worms. You’ll need to fish the riffle water in order to avoid areas that have been choked off by the aquatic grass.

The trico hatch keeps marching along. This is the best trico hatch we’ve had in a long time. Our tricos all but disappeared during the drought years, but they’ve returned in abundance the last two years. Huge columns of insects can be seen once again in selected areas. The upper river (Afterbay to Bighorn) has the most insects Spinners have been falling from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Tiny trico patterns are difficult to see, and we’ve been fishing a larger fly as a visual aid above the trico imitation. I keep the trico 20” from the larger fly. If you use a black caddis as the attractor, you’ll be surprised how many fish will eat the bigger fly.

Streamer fishing has been good also, and will only get better as we get later into fall. Our brown trout spawn in late November and December, but the fish start to get more aggressive as the water cools off. Refer to the streamer fishing article a few blogs back for additional information.