I keep wandering over to the meat bins, salivating at the sight of all that gorgeous deer hair, flash, and schlappen we just got in from streamer tying extraordinaire Mike Schmidt. When the temperature starts dropping I want to grab the eight weight and chuck something substantial, but alas, that time is not yet upon us. Now is the time to enjoy the changing of the season – the turning leaves, the brisk mornings, the cackle of eagles watching from shaded bluffs. Now is the time to guzzle autumn brews, restock firewood, and tie more midges. The dogs are still panting and the hoppers and crickets are still clicking in the tall grass. Soon it will be scotch or bourbon by the roaring hearth, and long feathered streamers hanging from the vise, but not yet.
Flows have been anywhere from minimum flow to 3,000cfs during the day, and rising up to as much as 10,000cfs in the late afternoons/evenings. Various midges like Wotton Super midges and Whitetails, ICU midges in brown or olive, Rubies, Root Beers, and Zebra midges are all working. Small Pheasant Tail nymphs, Hare’s Ear nymphs, and Flashback nymphs are also good. An orange or pink egg makes a great attractor pattern, and also fishes well by itself rolled right along the river bottom. Ye old olive Woolie Bugger or soft hackle is always a safe bet, and often gets overlooked by stubborn indicator fishermen, such as myself. My indicators keep getting whacked by fish too, which might be a good indication that a terrestrial dry fly is still worth a float.
A partial unit of water gets turned on for a few hours now and then, sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the evening, maybe both, who knows when it’s coming, but the majority of the day we’ll see minimum flow. Scuds, midges, and eggs are best. Kaufman or Hunchback scuds are good, try a UV Hotspot Hunchback if you haven’t yet. Root Beers, Rubies, and Harvester midges are good as a trailer behind a scud or even better behind an orange egg pattern. Little black Woolies and dark soft hackles seem to perform well in the riffles too.