It is officially Fall in Alberta, the changing colour of the leaves marking the transition to cooler weather. The hatches are transitioning also, as hopper fishing tapers off and boatman now scoot around in prolific numbers.
Luckily we have had a very mild start to the Autumn season, so a hopper dropper rig with a boatman below can still be effective. Once we get hit with a couple frosty evenings we can expect the hopper and Trico action to diminish. The dry fly action is far from over however. Blue Wing Olives can be found all over the surface of the water this time of year, as well as fish rising to midge clusters. October Caddis can be a large, and very tempting meal for opportunistic trout as well. Definitely ensure that your box is well stocked with these patterns.
Sub surface, the winning pattern of the day is going to be Water Boatman. It’s absolutely mind boggling how much biomass these insects add to the river. Fish them deep on a classic nymph rig, or trail them just below the surface behind a dry fly. The beauty of fishing Boatman is how many different ways you can effectively present them to fish. You can dead-drift them, you can sink them subsurface, or you can swing them. Try a Boatman swung behind a larger streamer and hold on!
While we’re on the topic of streamer fishing, trout are still keying in on big meals and fattening up for winter. This is the time of year where larger articulated patterns can bring big fish to the net. The Bow is full of good sized baitfish this time of year. As the big Browns move to their spawning redds into October, hungry Rainbow Trout take over all the prime lies in the river. They should be in prime physical condition right now, so it’s one of the most fun times to fish for them.
At Bow River Troutfitters we implore you to give the Brown Trout a break this time of year to allow them to spawn. Keep a keen eye out for large clean patches of gravel and give them a wide berth. Try not to wade upstream of them either to avoid covering trout eggs with debris. Giving the Browns a break should pay dividends in the coming years.
Dry Flies: Tan Fat Alberts sz 8 to 12. Bucky’s Emerging Midge Lt Olive sz 18 to 20. Hi Vis Spinner BWO 16 to 20. Comparadun BWO sz 16 to 20. Slickwater Caddis sz 10 to 16.
Nymphs: Glass Bead Backwimmers sz16. Tan and Black Foam Boatman sz 16. Anderson’s Bird of Prey OC sz 8 to 10. UV Caddis Pupa sz 14 to 16.
Streamers: Galloup’s Flat-Liners sz 6, Galloup’s Silk Kitty sz 2. Sculpzilla sz 4 to 8.