10/10/08 – Flows up and down the river are great. Water temperatures are great. Blue Winged Olives are hatching every day here at Shawmut and from what I’ve heard most other sections of the river are also enjoying fall hatches. But beware – the fall Blue Winged Olives are small and sometimes these fish get real fussy about fly size. There are still caddis of various sizes (the blacks are still around – late for them) and streamers are working. All in all this three day weekend (for some) should be a good one.
The weather forecast is also favorable – no rain until the middle of next week and the temperatures are are supposed to be above average. Nice. I’ll be up at camp this weekend but it’s one of the few times I wish I wasn’t going as the fishing here should be better than the fishing there. Sure wish the West Branch was open in October 🙂
If you’re not sure where you want to go this weekend scroll down a bit to last week’s post and you’ll find some links to open water lists that might help you decide. Something you might want to try is hanging a nymph (say a small beadhead Pheasant Tail off the hook bend of a high floating fly like the Indicator fly on the right.
Fairly often the fish will come all the way up and take the indicator but more often they’ll hit the nymph. Try several different nymphs until you find the one they want. This rig often works better now than a sink tip line or split shot and a deep nymph. At least that’s often the case because of all the full grown and dying weeds coating the bottom this time of year.
If a hatch starts you can readily replace the nymph with a dry like the Blue Winged Olive, Thorax style on the right. These Thorax style flies don’t get enough press – they are more realistic than a Catskill tie and work well but you don’t hear a lot about them. For those of you that tie they are easier (in my opinion) to tie than a Catskill tie if for no other reasons than the wings don’t have to be divided and the wings set back towards the middle of the hook giving you more room for tying off hackle.
If you’ve got a mind to throw some streamers don’t completely give up on Smelt or Dace patterns but if they aren’t working don’t hesitate to throw something gaudy at them. The Montreal Whore and Mickey Finn account for a lot of fish this time of year. Both of those flies are great attractors and there certainly are others. The Wood Special comes to mind when I think about attractor Streamer patterns as does the good and reliable Sure-Bet. (love that fly)
All in all it should be a good weekend to get out and there are few of them left. I’ve got more places I want to hit than I’ve got weekends left in the month 🙁
One spot I’ll be sure and hit is the Upper Kennebec Gorge (saving that one for the last weekend). Another is the East Outlet but I may save that one for the first weekend in November since it’s open year round now down to the Beach Pool. And I promised myself I’d get back to the Forks to swing streamers after my last trip up there. I plan on walking up river from the Ball Field (one – two miles) and spending the day with my Spey Rod working back to the bridge. So much water so little time.