Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to everyone!
Well, now that it's officially fall and winter has pretty much already arrived with a vengeance, we really don’t know what to expect in the next few weeks! We’ve just been through and are continuing to be in the coolest fall period that most anyone can remember. (Not to mention the record snowfall from earlier in the month.) Terry says we need to put in an official protest! However, the fish don’t mind one bit! They are happy to be eating away with very few people bothering them due to the colder temperatures. Those who have managed to get out on the occasional day when the line doesn't freeze in the guides are finding decent fishing.
A few things have changed out there. Other than the white stuff everywhere in the city (much-less-to-none to the east of Policeman’s) the most noticeable is the rise in water levels. The irrigation canals have been shut off which means about a 15-20% rise in water levels downstream of Harvie Passage which is good. We are now on the low side of the historic averages instead of well below them! Flow rates are in the 48-55cms range which is better for not leaving as much gel coat behind in some places and it lets fish move into some feeding areas they like to frequent when hatches start.
On the last couple of warm days there have still been BWO’s and midges hatching and people finding rising fish. Most likely we are coming to an end of the BWO hatch but we may still get lucky if we ever mange to get back to normal temperatures. The midges will continue to hatch though for sure. We also still have some water boatman around and fish are still on the prowl for this great food source.
Wether you're walk and wading or in a boat, a #16 dark/flashy fly will work. Remember "Small for Fall" is key to some decent success no matter if you are standard nymphing, hopper (indicator)-droppering, or fishing it behind a streamer. If you are lucky enough to find some snouts in the shallows, a #18 BWO or Griffiths Gnat has been on the game. Your casting accuracy just has to be pretty dialled in for these fish! If you have trouble getting those fish to eat your dry try casting an unweighted #16 prince nymph in the mix and see what happens!
Watch for and avoid Brown trout REDDS as you wade. REDDS are cleaned off gravel in riffles that brown trout build for spawning purposes.
As always, please handle the Bow's very precious fish with care.
Flies to try:
Nymphs: Small (size 12-18) beadhead nymphs like Princes, Copper Johns, Lightning bugs, Flashback Pheasant tails, Black Evil Weevil, San Juan Worms, October Caddis pupae. We have some flies on jig hooks and a #16 jig nymph (prince, pheasant tail, haresear, etc) has been very effective.
Streamers: Black and White Clousers, Flesh Eating Sculpins, Flash Buggers, Kreelex Minnows, Skiddish Smolts, Dungeon’s, and as water continues to cool down try leeches in the classic winter water. Some fish are starting to already be there!
Dries: Any Hopper you can see well then add a dropper (2-3 feet)! BWO patterns #18, Midge patterns #16 to #20