A Hoppertunity lost is no Hoppertunity at all. The forgotten bug of the Fall is almost always the Grasshopper. This bug, which is generally associated with hot, windy days in the summer is a hardy insect and the chance to fish this big bug is always given up on prematurely. Here we are in November, and many of our desert rivers continue to flow low and the hatches have begun to dwindle, yet go walk the South Fork of the Boise, Silver Creek, or the lower Big Wood. What you will see is a plethora of Hoppers still.
Throw in cooler temperatures and now you have a very vulnerable insect. One that would normally hop into the water to avoid birds and other predators would normally swim (kick) back to the shore. Now though, the Hoppers hit the water and are all but comatose when they do. Making them an easy target for fish and also giving anglers a clue as to how to treat the fly on the water. No reason to twitch the fly when the real thing is frozen in time.
The list of bugs that seemingly go unnoticed also includes the October Caddis. This bug, much like big Salmon Flies on the Big Wood or the Green Drakes on Silver Creek, is not one you see massive hatches of…instead the bug trickles off all Fall long under our noses, and the fish love them! You can find October Caddis on the Big Wood, Silver Creek, the South Fork of the Boise, the Lost River and pretty much everywhere you fish trout in the west. Just don’t go looking for skies filled with orange bodies Caddis, instead think about searching the water much the way you would fish a Hopper pattern.
Finally the Crane Fly is the last insect I’ll mention here in the list of forgotten Fall bugs. It is never going to show in huge numbers and it’s most effective over smooth water, but a long riffle is also an effective place to fish this fly. The Crane Fly is one of the most entertaining bugs to fish as anglers generally skate the fly on the surface downstream of where they are wading. This makes for explosive takes more akin to a Bass than a Trout. The end result is the fish miss the fly quite often, but watching them explode on it is worth the price of admission! When they don’t miss it – Even Better!
Happy Fishing Everyone!