When it comes to the end of the “season” for a certain type of fly, experienced guides will tell you – “it ain’t over till it’s over.” Take for instance, the end of summer and terrestrial fishing. Ben Levin would be the first to tell you that foam hoppers can continue to pull big fish well into autumn, and all our other guides are also having some success recently on hopper outings, when conditions allow for it. Yeah it’s still summer technically, but the cool overcast days that feel more like autumn seem to be the best brown trout days lately. Looking back through the photos over the years, it seems those willing to stick with hoppers a little longer can find toothy critters willing to rise to the foam well after temperatures start dropping and most anglers are thinking about egg patterns. Point is, forget the calendar and fish what works until the fish quit bitin’ it!
There are still some very fine fish to be had on terrestrials if you keep after it. Overcast days and evenings can be good, especially on rising water. Black hoppers like Juicy Bugs and Moorish hoppers are guide favorites, but late in the season, downsizing old faithfuls like Western Ladies and Fat Alberts can be effective. Try #10-12 in pink and tan for sure. On minimum flow, wade fisherman can do well in flat water with nervous fish by downsizing even further to small beetle and ant patterns on 5x tippet. Wotton midge patterns like Black or Red Whitetails, Black/silver Super midges, and the new Red Head Whitetails are all performing well. Charlotte’s Redneck White River midge makes an excellent dropper also. A heavy nymph like a Sunday Special can help get your midges deeper if necessary.
Minimum flow is fishing very well with Hunchback scuds, Kaufman scuds, and Wotton sowbugs. For something a little different and fun, try a Hunchback with a UV hotspot. Ask one of us to help you find them in the fly bins. The slim, subtle profile of a Trout Crack can be deadly as well on pressured fish. Throw some Ruby midges, Medallion midges, and Jujubees in your box to round out your midge selection and you should be all set.