Last week’s cold weather hammered our gardens, as well as our hopper populations. Fear not though, for the fish will still look up to hopper patterns for weeks to come. We have also seen very large October Caddis flying about, and plentiful hatches of Blue Winged Olives. Try a size 12 Brown Elk Hair Caddis, or size 10 Crystal Stimulator in orange to catch fish rising to caddis. The Blue Wings we've seen on the water have been very small from about size 18 to 22, so now is the perfect time to break out a 4 weight rod and stalk the banks for gentle risers.
Nymphs are always effective this time of year. With all those October Caddis about, try size 10 Anderson's Bird of Prey, or Unwired Caddis nymphs in size 14 or larger. The instant you near shore however you will also see huge clouds of backswimmers in the water. Hungry Rainbows will give chase from across the river to eagerly eat these bugs. We like fishing Glass Bead Backswimmers, or Dee's Boatman in smaller sizes. Try size 12 to 16. You can dead drift them, or fish them shallow underneath a hopper. With streamer fishing heating up, we love to trail backswimmers behind streamers. It is incredibly effective this time of year.
Speaking of streamer fishing, the colder well oxygenated water, and impending winter has trout gorging on food to bulk up. Large sculpin patterns such as Near Nuff Sculpins, Galloup's Fatheads, Carlton's Gulpin Sculpin, Strollis' Headbangers and Muddlers will produce fish. Fall is one of our favorite times to fish, not only because of the vibrant colours on shore, but also the eager Rainbow trout. With the Brown trout off spawning, large Rainbows will take up residence in prime lies, and put up a very strong fight. Don't be afraid to start throwing larger flies now.