It’s been a quick fall. The river I see now is the river we’ll see in November. Subtract the yellowing tamaracks, and it’ll be the river we see all winter! Likewise, the brown trout spawn is getting rolling in a big way and many of the trout are paired up on beds. I went for a wade this afternoon and it was pretty slow fishing. I rotated through the usual streamers and settled (with some desperation) on a black leech with two split shot about a foot up the leader. I’d hit just about every piece of cover I could and decided to swing the last big pool in the wade. Good thing. Halfway through the run I had an electric jolt and landed a nice male. I like to strip the fly, but the swing does have its moments.
It’s been a quiet week up here…and a good one. The afternoon olives have been pretty good the last few afternoons. The best fly has been an RS2 fished about 12-16″ behind a dry. As I say every week, find the shallow, slow, gravel-bottomed spreads and wade softly. This is 6-8x tippet, light rods, and patience. The trout are lovely brook trout, many post-spawn and colored up. The upper Holy Waters, upper Mason Tract, and upper North Branch are all prime spots…though I did see a few rise on the lower South Branch today.
The nymph fishing has been consistent most afternoons and tends to stay good through the end of December. Pretty easy to figure that game out…at least, what the presentation goal is: Find a deep pool and fish the bottom. But do play around with flies, tippet sizes, and have confidence in the way small changes can make a big difference.
I’ve been getting outside as much as I can. Between work and whatnot there’s really not that much else to do and I’m always happy to be outside. Hunting with my oldest yesterday and he looked at a distant oak ridge, all burnt red and glowing at dusk, and said it looked like a sunset of leaves. And it did! The woods have really quieted now. Many of the migratory birds are gone. For many of us that live up here, the turn toward winter comes with a rush of new adventures, deer hunting or streamer fishing or steelhead. I’ve got a brand new tying room under construction — something about my kids each wanting their own room — and when it’s done I’m going to justify its existence by tying oodles of flies. I sure do miss fly tying. I think this is the longest I’ve gone without tying a fly since I was about fifteen…and IT’S DRIVING ME NUTS.
We have rain falling now and more on deck for tomorrow. This should make for some excellent streamer conditions but could pose some wading challenges. Give us a call if you have questions and/or concerns about water levels. It’s too early to tell right now.
This is our last weekend having the restaurant open to the public. We will continue to serve guests through 11 am on November 1. We have great openings at the lodge all next week and weekend. Enjoy the last of the fall.