This past week saw a few tough days on the river as the cold water spurred the fish to seek new feeding lanes. We found ourselves working a little harder than usual to find the fish. However, those who were able to find them were rewarded with some quality rainbows and browns. There were reports of browns up to 27” and numerous rainbows from 20” to 25”. We are constantly amazed by the quality of fish this river can produce. Of course, they do not come easily.
Fishing the shoulder seasons can be a challenge as the conditions can change from day to day. Last weekend, we were still finding fish feeding aggressively on PMD at the tops of the run. This week, the fish have been slinking back into the tailout’s and deeper slower runs. Cold water has suppressed the PMD and Caddis hatches, while the BWO and Midges become more common. The egg bite has started to pick up and should continue for the next month or two. Crawdads are still on the menu, and of course the ever-reliable San Juan worm. The October Caddis have all but disappeared from the main river. The streamer bite has been pretty good in the past week, but don’t be tempted to size up too much.
Smaller streamer patterns have seen far more consistent action and will still put some big fish in the net. We expect the fish to respond favorably to the slowly rising water temperatures this week as a high-pressure system settles in for the weekend and the fish should return to feeding more aggressively. During this time of the year, we would encourage fisherman to be extra observant. Look for warming temperatures to trigger a late season PMD or Caddis hatch, while also being prepared to fish small BWO and Midge patterns on 5x to sulky trout sitting in slower water. Pay attention to changing water temperatures as it can be an important determining factor in the type of water you should be targeting.