A 5mph breeze is a lovely addition to a beautiful sunny fall day. A 10mph wind removes a few hats, and tangles a few leaders, but is otherwise tolerated with smiles. A 15 mph wind separates fair weather fishermen from those who must fish. Anyone still on the water at 20mph is just plain wacky. We’ve seen it all this past week on the White River System – push rowing into hot winds from the south, and today pulling against a stiff gust from the north. On especially windy days I often envy the trout, resting in their underwater shelter, unencumbered by the tumultuous atmosphere whirling around above them.
Blake has the fishing gene. He must fish. Every pocket, seam, and drop-off in the river arrests his attention. He casts at them with intention. Wind be damned. I put force into the oars to match his intensity, and offer small suggestions when necessary, but mostly just watch a fellow angler pour himself out with casts, mends, and strips. No small talk necessary.
The wind is almost gone. The beautiful weather will return this weekend. 70s, light breeze, sunshine – ya know, the good stuff.
One unit (or something close to that) continues well into the afternoon, exposing plenty of inside bends, gravel bars, and shoals to wade. Boat fishermen can take advantage of mid-river humps and bumps, and drift those deep, rocky banks. Once the wind dies back enough to make throwing a hopper bearable again, try a Fat Albert or Western Lady in tan, black, or pink, and drop a Copper John, Pheasant Tail, or Hare’s Ear 3-4 ft underneath. Otherwise, drop your favorite nymph or egg pattern under an indicator, and trail it with a Ruby, Root Beer, or Super Midge. As the water rises in the afternoon/evening, strip baitfish patterns like Galloup’s Barely Legal or Zoo Cougar.
Flows have been steady at a half unit, but they may be changing now to a different schedule – off in the a.m. hours, then a full unit for the remainder of the day. If this schedule holds, try suspending Hunchback Scuds and Root Beer Midges in the pools, and rolling egg patterns and Sunday Specials in the shoals, when the water is off. When one unit flows, its typically hard to compete with a big egg pattern and Sunday Special or large Zebra midge or Super Midge.