October 18, 2015
October 18, 2015:
This past week the hatches have been sparse to non-existent, in my view due to the sunny warm weather that is an enemy to the fall insect hatches. However, the weather has turned colder and this morning we enjoyed overcast skies and just a slight intermittent breeze. Out on the upper field water I encountered a stronger Fall Baetis hatch and an increasing number of Mahogany Duns. Still, there were not a lot of “working” fish. We experienced primarily isolated rises and subsurface swirling. Ultimately the sun did come out and the breeze picked up, but for a while everything looked promising. The forecast for the next several days is cause for optimism.
Some strategies for your consideration.
When you believe the trout are taking Fall Baetis duns off the surface, tie on your favorite BWO dry provided that it is sparse. I had a couple of trout come up for a #18 Olive Hackle Stacker, my favorite pattern when the breeze dies off and glassy surface conditions prevail. Other candidates include: an Olive Sparkle Dun; an olive Klinkhammer or similar emerger; a BWO Hatch Matcher; a BWO Quigley Cripple; an olive Comparadun; Parachute Adams.
Recognize that this time of year the trout will take a Mahogany Dun dry even though few of these mayflies are present on the creek. A Mahogany Dun hatch is rarely dense. Keep in mind that the Mahogany Dun nymph lives in greater quantities along the bank, and the adult often emerges in the same habitat. When the sun I bright I prefer a pale dry; conversely, I’d rather fish a dark pattern under overcast skies.
Lately, I’ve had some success swimming a small (#20) dark gray nymph down and across the creek, both blind and in front of “bulging” trout I feel are focused on subsurface emerging nymphs. For some reason, my trusty Pheasant Tail soft hackle has not been working for me the past week, even in size 18.
When all else fails, try blasting the banks and trout swirling subsurface with beetles and ants. One Member reported taking trout on a small grasshopper pattern.
THIS YEAR’S STREAM RESTORATION PROJECTS:
As you may have heard already, later this fall we are planning another restoration project. It will involve dredging accumulated silt from the bank opposite the gravel road from the top of Beat #7 down to the bottom of the island at the entrance to Beat #6, and behind that island. Long term Members likely remember how great the fishing used to be “behind the island.” All I can remember is positioning my tube as close as I could get to the “mouth” of the back channel and making 5o foot casts during the Callibaetis hatch, hooking monsters and watching them disappear behind the island. It w an outstanding “tease.” We have been assured that we will receive an IDWR permit this week and are awaiting results from the county’s permitting process. This project will likely cost in excess of $70,000, so we would appreciate any donations Members are able to bring to bear. We will be designating the newly dredged back channel to be part of Beat #6.
With generous Member contributions, we planted 518 five gallon buckets of four varieties of willows along the creek banks starting at Beat #10 and ending down at Beat #1. Your Stream Keeper bought a dozen Yellow Willow shade trees and ranch hands planted 2 trees at each of six picnic tables (4 along the lower field water and 2 on the south side of The Pond). I am having laminated “Please Water Me” signs made up and will place 5 gallon buckets at each location so that Members can help the shade trees through their difficult first season.
Over the winter I will design two boardwalk access structures to replace the handrails on the south side of The Pond which Members have reported being less than optimal. We will also renovate the entrance boardwalk at Beat #8 and apply some “non-slip” material over the glossy painted portion of the boardwalk at Beat #9. Signs will be placed on the pond islands to emphasize that no walking or fishing from the islands is permitted; the reasons include nesting birds and preventing conflicts between anglers fishing from the bank and those in float tubes.
If you have suggestions for access improvement or further stream restoration projects, please communicate them to your Stream Keeper or owner Nick Purdy.
Doug Andres, Stream Keeper