It sure did rain a lot this morning.  The South Branch has come up and when I waded it today it was dark in the middle but already it has begun to drop.  The Holy Waters was clear at dusk today and the trout rose through most of the afternoon.  Things don’t look too bad for this weekend, especially if the rain gives way to flights of ants, which could make tomorrow an especially good afternoon/evening of fishing.

The trout fishing has been pretty solid.  The whole family did a short float yesterday in the early evening and it was great.  The ants didn’t really happen, but the trout were on the look for food.  Blind-fishing simple attractors — Purple Daze, Skunks, etc — toward the shallow bubble lines was productive from the start of the float to the end.  For the first time in several weeks we hardly saw a person.  The population distribution was pretty even between trout species, as evidenced by Katy landing three “grand slams” and a few extra rainbows to boot in just over two hours of fishing.  The kids rotated who was in charge of netting the fish, though none of the fish truly required a net.

This morning we woke up to rain.  It rained all morning, thundered some, and then quit about noon.  As soon as it quit the trout began rising.  I made it out for a quick hour wade on the South Branch but by then the sun was blazing.  I caught some nice brook trout on streamers and turned two decent browns.  The trout showed a decided preference toward white.  But brook trout always seem to have a thing for white streamers this time of year.

A big hopper-eating brook trout my friend Kevin caught a few days ago

The first good cool down of the season is coming this weekend.  This, plus the rain, will get the trout on the move.  Mix in some small streamers to your fly rotations, and focus on shallow outside cover.  Cold nights will push the action toward the middle of the day.  I fish my summer/fall streamers on floating lines and 7-9′ leaders tapered to 2 or 3x fluorocarbon.  Since I’m fishing smaller bead or cone-headed streamers, a five or six weight rod is fine.  I particularly like a good all-around five-weight this time of year so I can quickly adjust to changing conditions.  For instance, the guides today were oscillating between matching the diminutive afternoon BWOs, blind-fishing terrestrials, dry and dropper fishing, and streamer fishing.  I love having all those choices, each with its own mindset, kind of like having different positions on the baseball field.  You tie on a dry fly and the river organizes into feed lanes and bubble lines.  A streamer, and now your eyes find cover.  A nymph, and suddenly you’re looking at weed-edges and drop-offs.

The moon will be bright all this week and next so my focus will be on chasing the daytime trout during this cool down.  Morning tricos and afternoon olives will be present, but many trout turn opportunistic this time of year and that is a great attitude for a trout to have.  A size 12-16 parachute Adams is one of the strongest searching flies in late August and through September, and a good place to start, without or without a dropper.


Lots of Sweet Used Fly Rods:  Click here: https://gateslodge.com/bulletin-board/. These are in excellent to mint condition and priced to go.


Sign up for River Cleanup, September 12

Yep, we’re going to give it a shot in 2020.  Dumpster in the yard, Rusty’s poker sticks.  We need to get this job done.

Sign up here:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16flYuJuli-Kdpv1B5NMVWW277NRTqikJzkDtZKIFUJs/edit?usp=sharing.

This will give real-time data so you know what beats need “help”. The goal is to get as much of the river cleaned as possible, of course, but with a definite focus on the stretch between Wakeley and Mio Pond (this means you, folks with boats!).

Please check the list and email me — [email protected] — with questions.


Fall dates

Fall season is a’coming.  We have open dates for bird hunters and fall fishers, trout guide trips and connections for steelhead guides.  Put together a fall tour.  Shoot me an email at [email protected] to ask about options…