We’ve had quite a few snow squalls over the past few days but none of the snow stuck around for long. This is classic November: snow, sleet, sun. Repeat. An hour on the water feels like three hours of weather. I had to dig thru a pile of t-shirts and sandals to get out the wool. It’s nice to be cold when you have the clothes to be warm.
The river has dropped considerably over the past week and, depending on how much it rains tomorrow, some areas should be in decent wading shape for this weekend. This includes the Main and the North Branch. The South Branch is falling about 25-50 cfs per day and it may make it into the wadeable range – for experienced wading anglers – by this weekend.
It has been a good week. Most anglers have done well floating the river with streamers. The brown trout are starting to spawn – a bit later this year – but there are many aggressive males and already I’m certain some post-spawn fish as well. It’s rare that you catch a female trout this time of year unless she has already spawned. This is a great time of year to hire a guide and float the river. A full day is great, but a half day is plenty. We will fish right through November and December. If you like to strip streamers, this is a great time to be here.
When the water was high we moved fish on everything: chartreuse, white, orange. But as the water clears traditional November colors will reign: black, dark olive, brown, copper, tan. For the next week or so I still prefer flies between 3-5” long at the most. As more and more trout enter post spawn, it seems bigger flies will do better.
One of the more underrated methods this time of year is the nymph rig. A shallow indicator rig fished at the initial drop-off of a pool can be amazing. A few years ago I hooked a trout in such a spot that was enormous, that ran me downriver over 100 yards, and that I simply could not land without a net. I could not beach it. I could not reach it. I won’t tell you how big I think it was.
The river valley is in its final color phase: the golden tamaracks are glowing beautifully up and down the banks. The woods are quieter. Many of the birds have left for the season and when the wind blows there are no leaves left to rustle. There is much to pursue this time of year, from trout to steelhead, grouse to deer.
We’re putting together our winter calendar of events. Still working out the kinks, but it’ll be a pretty full calendar! Get your holiday pies from Emily (below) – they’re delicious – and sneak in one last fishing trip…you never know when winter will get here.
Order Your Holiday Pies
Caramel Apple Pie, Pumpkin Roll, Blueberry Pie, Pumpkin Cheesecake
Fresh and Made-From-Scratch
$28 per pie
Email orders to [email protected] by November 10th, pick up at the lodge either November 20 or November 21st
Sign up for our Fall Catalog (soon to be released):
This will be our third fall catalog…and we love to put it together! Sign up to get gear reviews, stories, a calendar of events. There are a ton of new products out there and we’ll give you our honest take on where they succeed and fail. This is a print catalog, so please email your shipping address to [email protected] Once you’re on the list, you’ll get the spring catalog as well!