We have been waiting very patiently for winter storms to start rolling through. This last week lacked any sort of weather though surprisingly enough we had some great fishing days. Not everyday has been great, but the fishing is getting better. For the most part we are starting to consistently see better number days. Big fish are still being caught and there sightings are becoming more frequent as well. A lot of fish in the 8-12 pound range are being caught and they are fired up! It seems as though since our huge influx of freshwater in the last year has put some spunk back in the fish. Even as the water cools the fish are still fighting harder than the last few years prior. The real culprit right now that would make the fishing tougher would be high barometric pressure added with calm clear days. A quick rise and high pressure will put a damper on active feeding in the shallows. A big reason is high pressure will slightly expand the fishes' swim bladder and make them uneasy which in return not as willing to move as much for food. Another case is calm sunny days the fish can see what's happening around and above the shallows easier and makes them weary of predators. On the other side for example when there are waves, clouds, and occasionally some sort of mud line the fish are much more willing to come into feed as the bugs and baitfish all congregate in the shallows. Even on blue bird days the fish will still come in, but your best bet will be lower light situations.
Now for the more positive note looking into the near future a transition is already starting. When water temps get colder the fish will start to like a little bit of sun to warm the shallow water up and the afternoon and evening will be your best times but there will be more consistency through the whole day. Still as of now we are catching fish from north to south. We at Pyramid Fly Co. had some great trips early in the week with one day catching over 30 fish between two anglers. Then the next day headed south where we had another great day with the larger fish ranging from 8-10 pounds. On the blue bird days we have been doing better on smaller size flies and stripping natural baitfish patterns. The midge bite has been picking up and good idea to try when it's calm. Red, wine, and black have been producers for chironomids. Your baitfish patterns will still be your top producers, stripping or under an indicator. The boobies and popcorn beetles of all colors have brought some of the larger fish, when paired with your favorite wooly bugger or your favorite baitfish patterns. Changing the cadence in your retrieve will be beneficial on finding how active fish are. There will be days where they won't eat anything unless it's moving and other when it's dead still so make sure to experiment and have fun with it. When the wind comes in it doesn't hurt to try an indicator rig with a balanced leech or baitfish. Fly colors for both techniques should also be interchanged through the day. Good starting points will be black, brown, olive, white/olive, white/chartreuse and mixtures of all. Don't be afraid to throw some flash into your baitfish patterns. The low light conditions also have been the better chance at a bite but our big fish are still coming mid day or afternoon like we discussed previously. I will say this every report as well. If you want to create your best chance at trophy you must have flies in the water. The more you fish your chance increases with every cast. Cut down your unused time and get the fly wet and pull in that monster!
Hope to see you on the water,
Casey Anderson - President & Head guide