Even though it’s September there is still some summer heat to be had out on the water so remember the bright sun and warmer temps can push fish into slightly deeper, more oxygenated parts of the river. We are still finding fish close to the banks as expected, but try to target drop-offs, buckets, deeper riffles and mid-river channels as well.
All this dry hot weather means that hopper season is still in full swing and anyone floating by sunny Bow River cliffs will get an earful of chirping grasshoppers. The trout are looking up and eagerly moving to hopper patterns, however, on bright days hopper-dropper can really produce fish. Try a caddis pupa or copper john below a colourful hopper and double your chances of a hookup!
This is a great time to swing streamers as well. Warmer water temps (but not too warm) get the fish feeling feisty and they will often chase larger meals this time of year, in some cases coming clear across the river to eat a fast-moving streamer pattern so don’t be afraid to fish larger flies right now, streamer patterns in sizes 6 to 2 can be just the ticket. We find that short quick strips will induce aggressive takes and that the fish have a lot of fight in them. Please remember that in warmer water fish will fight hard but will also tire quickly. Use stout tippet and get those fish landed quickly. Make sure they are fully recovered before releasing them promptly, releasing them in quicker flows can aid in reviving them due to more water/oxygen passing over their gills.
September is also one of the best dry fly months on the Bow. Trico hatches are still dense this time of year with the banks often looking like they have columns of smoke rising due to the number of insects. Take some time to survey slick, glassy water right next to the grassy banks and you will see big fish rising to Trico spinners. If the action slows down this could be a good time to chuck out an ant or beetle pattern too, Bow River fish often like to see something other than the usual suspects this time of year. Caddis are also constantly out on warm summer evenings, so get out and enjoy these ever-shorter days while you can. Stalking the banks and fishing to picky trout with your favorite 4-weight rod might be the most fun you have this year!
DRY FLIES: Polywing Spinners Sz18-20, Bucky’s Midge Cluster Sz 18-20, Indicator Trico Spinner Sz 20. Peacock Caddis sz 14-16, X-Caddis sz 14-16. KK Henneberry Hopper Tan sz 10-12, Spotted Hoppers sz 10-12. Galloup’s Ant Acid sz 14-16, PMX Fire Red Ant sz 16-18.
NYMPHS: Copper Johns sz 14-16, Krueger’s Poudre Pupa sz 14-16, Ritt’s Tung-Syn PT sz 14-18
STREAMERS: Rickard’s Seal Buggers sz 8-10, Coffe’s Sparkle Minnow Lt Olive sz 6-8, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon Natural sz2, Galloup’s Articulated Fatheads Tan & Olive sz 6