Change is in the air

September 22, 2015

Finally we are getting colder nights that will bring water temperatures down enough to entice more fish into the rivers. Water temps have now fallen below the 70 degree mark.
All of our rivers have seen good increases in flows. The Moose went to 1000cfs, the Roach got another bump to 250 cfs, and the East Outlet is now at 2100 cfs. These are all great attractor flows but when its bath water fish are reluctant to make the commitment. A few will trickle in but not in the numbers you see when the water temperature is in the low to mid-60’s.
Also trout won’t leave the spring holes in the ponds while daytime temperatures keep getting into the 80’s. The colder nights to come will change all that and trout will begin roaming a pond in search of a meal and begin to concentrate in areas where they will spawn, like the gravel around the mouth of an inlet or outlet.
People are catching fish around but they are earning every one. Fish that entered the rivers as a result of increased flows will sometimes drop back out if the water temperature rises too much. It was proven during a two year study our biologists conducted on the Roach River a few years ago. Fish that remain in the river aren’t all that eager to chase stuff. We say they hang around panting to beat the heat.
So the bottom line is the colder weather coming should begin to decrease the water temperature a degree or two every night. As it drops additional fish will begin showing up. New fish in the river will likely grab streamers aggressively. New salmon should be brighter fish, especially females, than those that have been there for a while.
When times are tough the folks who start early and stay late, changes flies and methods often will find more willing fish. They are there, just not as many as we like or as willing as they can be when conditions are more favorable.
What will get the job done? There will be fish fresh from the lake that will grab a streamer. White marabou flies are the tradition, a Golden Retriever is the latest fish catcher or one of your own creations could do the job. Fish that have been in a river for a while and seen their share of streamers will likely pick-up a nymph now and then. All the mayflies, caddis, and stones are down there beginning a new life. They are young and many are small. It may take 5 different nymphs to catch 5 different fish. Consider nymphing this time of season like delivering a potato chip to a couch potato. Bang the bottom enough and that potato chip will go by fish. Every now and then one will decide to have one more Lays.
There is still plenty of time left to land some of the biggest fish of your season.
And there is some brilliant foliage in our future as well.
Have a great time on the water.