This week is the beginning of 4th hunting season, and looking at the weather on Sunday morning, I am sure a lot of hunters would have preferred to have been about on the 3rd season. On Saturday it blew a gale during the afternoon and on Sunday, we woke to about 4" of snow on the deck. It was cloudy, cold and windy with the promise of snow through the day. The promise was kept until about lunchtime. It was actually a little warmer than it had been on Saturday without the clouds as the ponds had frozen over a little on Friday night with a thin film of ice. There was still some ice about on Sunday but it had melted just a little.
Earlier in the week the weather had been beautiful with just a little cloud from time to time provided some cover for BWO hatches. There were a few October caddis about and the midges were coming off quite well.
The next couple of days promises more of the same weather with it clearing from Wednesday and moving back to higher temperatures. The wetter weather next week will bring more good BWO hatches. We are getting closer to ski season, and with a current base of 18" it promises to be a good opening. There have a been a few visitors about but generally there are plenty of places to fish now with no other fishermen present.
Current Flow: below the Dam - 85cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
There was some good BWO dry fly fishing again this week particularly when the clouds blew in. It was very windy on Saturday which made the fishing a little more testing on the Pan as the narrow valley funneled the wind right along the river. The wind had settled down by Sunday when the snow arrived. The hatches have slowed down a little. With the changing weather coming through at the end of the week the pressure change put the fish down a little as well. When the fish were not rising they were taking small baetis nymph patterns such as pheasant tails as well as midge patterns such as the chironocone. When they were on the surface the fish took a range of BWO patterns, but as the BWO's are getting smaller the best flies were small and dark olive bodies - #20 and #22. For dries the #20 and #22 matthews sparkle baetis olive was excellent as was the #20 snowshoe dun. However the fish did respond to other BWO dries as well such as the extended body parachute BWO and the beadtail emerger.
Recommended Flies: With the promise of cloudy weather and possible snow or rain, the BWO fishing in the coming week should be excellent provided it is not too cold. There will not be any hurry to get onto the water early in the morning as the cold will limit the bug activity early on. So the day will start out nymphing with both baetis and midges in anticipation of the rise. Try a combination of sparkle baetis nymphs, pheasant tails, and midge pupa patterns such as WD-40's, WD-50's and chironocones. Then wait for the BWO's to start coming off. The fish remain particular as they feed and the lower water will concentrate them more in the feeding lanes where it is deeper. They will be more easily spooked as well. So if one pattern is not working don't waste too much time. Instead change and try something else and keep changing until you can discern what they are taking. Of course if your presentation is suspect, it doesn't matter what you are using. In addition with the browns moving onto the redds to spawn take care not to disturb them. But fish downstream with egg patterns where other fish will gather to feed on them.
If you are fishing to rising fish, don't fish too shallow too quickly. Even if you think the fish are feeding just under or on the surface, persist with keeping the fly lower until there is no question that they are on dries. Watch carefully and discern whether the fish are taking mergers or dries. If you don't take care and switch to a dry pattern too early can cause you to miss good opportunities. If it starts to rain or snow, keep fishing.
The Fork is back to more traditional end of season flows and as a consequence the floating is now confined comfortably below Carbonadale. It is deserted now in most places. The browns are getting ready to spawn. So if you take the time to walk into some of the less trafficked areas there will be some great fishing. But do take care to avoid the redds. Start out with streamers, worms, eggs and attractor patterns such as princes. As the day progresses try midges and baetis nymphs as well. Small BWO nymphs and emergers continue to work well. The smaller the better.
There continues to be good fishing with similar patterns to the Fork only a little larger.
Recommended Flies: PMD's #16, #18, baetis #18,20 and midges, both dries and emergers; 20 inchers size #10 - #14; streamers #6 and #8 and smaller and try egg patterns.