Fish are now in what I like to call "Late Fall Mode" Water temps are now in the 40's and fish are moving to softer water. Nymphing the inside bends of riffles and long slow runs has been productive later in the day. Early mornings this time of the year can be slow unless we have warm weather overnight and into the next morning.
Brown trout are spawning or getting ready to spawn and the rainbows are taking their eggs. Small orange, yellow, and chartreuse eggs have been working best, but other colors will take fish on certain days. We've been doing well pairing eggs with size 12 attractor nymphs like flashy pheasant tails and prince nymphs. I've come up with a new pattern that I've dubbed the "Jumping Jack Flash" This fly has rubber legs, white goose biots, and a white ice dubbed abdomen. With a lot of debris in the drift and fish metabolisms slow, bright and animated flies motivate fish to eat more than drab realistic flies.
With this in mind streamers have also been effective as of late. When fishing streamers in late fall it is important to remember two things. First fish are not always in the deep outside bend banks in late fall. Both browns and rainbows will push into calm and sometimes surprisingly shallow water. In this case fishing a lighter streamer on a floating or sink tip line will be more efficient than dredging the depths with a full sink line. I often find myself starting with a 250 grain when we start below a dam and then switch to a sink tip or even floating line as we move down the river to target shallower runs. Second fish metabolisms are slow but brown trout can be aggressive this time of the year so varying your retrieve between slow and fast to figure out what fish want most is key.
If you plan to wade fish this time of the year it is a good idea to watch out for fish redds. I was out exploring a few days ago and came upon a few redds. I was careful not to step on them but if I hadn't been looking down I easily could have walked right through them stomping out the next generation of trout. It was good to see these redds while the Andro has a good population of rainbows that spawn in the spring this is the first evidence I've seen of successful brown trout spawning in the fall. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come.
While most people think streamers and nymphs are the only ticket late in the season. Dry fly opportunities will continue to present themselves on calm and warm days. Most of this activity will be in the slow eddies and impoundments above dams this time of the year. It is always a good idea to watch for subtle rises in these locations especially when the wind is down. I've done well fishing small emerger BWO patterns as well as black midges on warm November days. Hitting a good dry fly hatch on a warm day in November feels like you are stealing a day of spring to hold you through the coming winter.
If you'd like to steal a day before the snow flies shoot us an email or give us a call. We have midweek dates available over the next two weeks. We are also offering a November special. Mention this blog post and we'll give you a full day float for the price of a full day wade ($350) and a half day float for the price of a half day wade ($275).
We appreciate all who have booked with us this season making for another record year! We'd like to get you out one more time!