Looking outside, I’m not really sure if it’s late September or late December. The boat ramps here are unsurprisingly empty, and it seems like Craig is taking a two-day nap during the snow storm. Boat traffic has been on the lighter side this week with heavy winds giving way to the snowfall. We’re expecting a few inches of accumulation here, which will take some boat ramps out of play for a few days. Most roads have not yet been plowed, so make sure you’re driving safe and smart out there during the first fall snowfall. The weather should get (a bit) warmer as we go into the week, but make sure you’re ready for some cold days ahead.
On the bright side, the water temperature here as of this writing is 57 degrees. With a few cold nights ahead, that should hopefully nudge down a few more ticks. As we cool off, the Baetis hatch should heat up. We’ve had some righteous Pseudo falls lately, but as we get into October, the Baetis should take over the reins. October caddis are around in varying (small) numbers. The October caddis is a great excuse to blind fish an orange Stimulator in #10-14. Watching a big brown smash a big dry fly is one of my favorite parts of fall. I do believe the hoppers are all frozen at this point, but man, what a hopper season we had.
Nymphing has been solid as the weeds diminish. With the water still relatively warm, fish are still hanging out in the current looking for bugs. Midges, Frenchies, Two Bit Hookers, Green Machines, and Pheasant Tails will get you started. I’ve been rocking a lot of shallow set ups under a stick-on indicator with about 1.5 feet to my first bug. The ol’ Zirdle remains a viable option, provided you throw it in heavy current/ hard seams. Heck, I’ve even gotten fish on a Thin Mint under an indicator recently.
Talking about the Thin Mint provides a handy segue into a discussion of the streamer bite. It has been…ok. Much like Baetis hatches, it’s a weather-dependent deal. With temps dropping and the browns going on the move, it will pick up here to another gear. Sparkle Minnows and Doc’s Articulators are my top 2 right now. Like hopper fishing, the key to streamer fishing is to throw the streamer.
In short, the fishing has been solid, the boat ramps are slippery, and it should all only get better. We’re open 8-5:30 with free coffee (no pumpkin spice lattes though), the odd shop dog, and some high quality shop talk.