Water flow in the river has been stable (about 1300 cfs at Irwin) for almost two weeks. BWOs remain active, and rubber legs and streamer patterns will produce especially under low light conditions. But winter is coming, and next week looks like ice in the guides and reels and chilled fingers expected. Is it time to clean up the gear and store it for next year? Not quite. There will be some “half decent” weather as we move through November with decreasing BWO activity and more reliance on nymph and streamer patterns for fishing success. So enjoy the remnant of our season, and what ever you do: don’t go for a dunking!
Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped to 1680 cfs on Thursday (now 2110 cfs at Heise, 1340 cfs at Lorenzo). Great for walk-in fishing and from a boat because low flow concentrates fish, but is not so good for them. Let’s hope flow goes no lower with winter coming up. The current windiness does not help any aquatic insect hatches.
Flow out of Palisades Dam has been reduced to 3160 cfs ( 3640 cfs at Heise, 1910 cfs at Lorenzo). This is great for walk-in fishing and locations for doing so are numerous. With the wind not quite as fierce as past few days BWOs will be more active. If wet flies are preferred, drop a bead head nymph off a rubberlegs pattern. But to try these approaches, you’d best hurry. Weather this weekend looks to be awfully close to that of winter!
Flow out of Palisades Dam has been ramped down to 3980 cfs ( now 4610 cfs at Heise, 2380 at Lorenzo). This makes for even more wading locations. Even with the wind this is good BWO conditions up and down the river. There are plenty of sheltered spots along the river, especially in side channels. Don’t forget to have streamer patterns in that fly box; they are becoming more effective each day this time of year.
Chad Larson (208-346-1459) tells us Thursday evening he lost a green & black Cabela’s backpack between Kelly’s Island and Wolf Flat. Contents include a Pfleuger reel, multi-compartment box of flies, dual sided snap box of flies, and assorted tools. Chad would much appreciate recovery if you find this item.
The river helps the BWO and mahogany dun activity by having a near constant flow ( 6050 cfs at Irwin, 6700 cfs at Heise, 3550 cfs at Lorenzo) of clear, cool water for several days, but it looks like a drop in flow out of Palisades is coming up. Everything these unsettled days works in favor of mayfly activity except for the WIND, that is, and lately it has been fierce during afternoons when they should be most active. So expect slower action when wind comes up. But that is not the case with streamers. Bad weather usually means they are effective because of increased overhead cover. So continue taking BWO and mahogany dun life cycle and streamer patterns and the gear to present them during the fall season.
Flow is just a bit higher than normal for the time of year: around 6000 cfs at Irwin, 6630 cfs at Heise, 3280 cfs at Lorenzo. Water is crystal clear and cooling. Only sad happening is that fall colors will soon be a thing of the past. Riffle fishing seem to be picking up with BWO and mahogany dun action bringing fish up. Add caddis activity during PM. With a stormy weekend predicted this action may get even better, but do not overlook presenting streamer patterns.
Even through flows are where they should be ( 5980 cfs at Irwin, 6590 cfs at Heise, 3100 cfs at Lorenzo), action has slowed a bit, especially around riffles, during these bright, clear days. We need some stormy (with rain) weather to help increase fish activity. Regardless, as we move through October, streamer fishing will pick up as brown trout migrate to spawning areas.
Don’t expect to see big aquatic insect hatches during these windy days. Those bugs get blown away before mating and know it. Cool air temps will also slow down terrestrial insect activity. So think streamers and nymphs. And be sure to have rubber legs in that fly box. That pattern seems to remain effective throughout the season on the South Fork.