Almost every early November, I aim for the nastiest day in the forecast and I float solo down the river. Some years this leads to an incredible day of fishing and other years there are too many trout spawning. This year there were too many trout spawning. The modus operandi, in such instances, is to fish the dead water (that is, the slow water where no fish are spawning; or where fish that haven’t yet spawned or have already spawn go to gather) and the rainbow water (the choppy water downstream of the brown trout beds). The rainbow fishery on the mainstream is now healthy enough to target the rainbows with confidence. A fall rainbow is a goofy fish. Fish-egg drunk and happy, suspended in the big pools, rising — yes rising — to what appeared to be tamarack needles (and maybe the odd BWO spinner that I saw). It was an odd day, but not a bad one. I caught a fair pile of gems that looked exactly like this.
And a few better brown trout that ate a streamer on the swing. In fact, the streamer fishing was pretty incredible for the initial hour of fishing, and the first four pools I swung a fly through paid out five trout. It was so good in fact that I thought about rowing out, grabbing Holden — freshly home from school — and doing a short evening float. But instead the sun popped through the clouds for about 30 seconds…and that sort of ended the streamer fishing and any thought of rowing out. I spend most of the day stopping on the slower pools, running a nymph rig and swinging a streamer. A few trout I was able to sight-fish off the sand. And one good trout rose in very shallow water…and though I stood on my rower seat and looked, I could not spot it among the mats of summer weeds that remain in the river.
That’s the real reason behind using the boat: to see the trout, whether I’m fishing for them or not. There is no time of the year when there are more trout in the upper river than right now. Pods of post-spawn — and very shy — brook trout by the weed edges. Active brown trout redds with a dozen or more fish jostling for position. A few trophy rainbows were sighted behind the beds but, alas, they were a little spooky and wouldn’t hang around for a cast. In the pools that I could see into, there were pods of smaller trout — brown and rainbows both — in almost a migration formation, breaking slightly for a nymph, or an egg. Tough fishing in that clear water. But excellent trout gazing.
Matt and Sam got out for a float downriver and caught this trout that pulled, they said, as hard as a trout can pull. It ate in 12″ of water, appears oddly pre-spawn, and made their day.
We got a warm-up coming…and deer rifle season. Staring November 15, wear orange and think about your walk to and from your truck. We close the fly-shop on November 15 but we’re open every other day from 9 am – 2 pm.
We are cranking out some cool stuff for you fly-tyers. Custom tailing packs, Hex-sized Build-A-Hackles, and a new Fall Catalog are all coming in the next fishing report.