Things have sure changed out there! The recent and continued much cooler-than-normal temperatures have put fish and anglers in a different mood! The fish are in full-on fall mode now and we expect that the Brown trout will start an early spawn.
Bow River flow rates are running on the low side (40-45 cms) which is more typical of mid-October levels. Welcome to late fall-style fishing.
With the cooler, wet weather the Blue Winged Olive (Baetis, BWO) hatch continues as does the Pseudo's (tiny #22-#26 members of the BWO family). The fish do eat them because they are so abundant. The fish this year have been happy to show their faces and eat off the surface, which always makes people happy. The rising fish are not always easy as they can be very picky with smaller size bugs BWO's(#18-20) during the day. The large fall caddis (October Caddis) (#8-10) are also out, but the fish primarily eat the pupa rather than the dry.
Water Boatman (#14-18) are out by the millions along the bottom of the river which always makes for fun fishing as the fish are keying in on them. You may end up with them in your boat as they fly around and aim for the water and miss! Check out this "Small for Fall" article to help with fall fishing techniques and learn the difference between boatman and backswimmers!
Hopper dropper is still working well, especially with a 16-18 small flashy fly or a water boatman imitation (prince nymph works great). Streamer fishing has not been overly productive numbers-wise but there sure have been some monsters landed recently, especially in the evening on minnow patterns. Standard nymphing with a worm and second fly is working well and will continue to be your best "numbers" technique. Lots of smaller healthy rainbows out there, which is really encouraging to see.
The browns are in amazing shape and starting to have some beautiful colors in preparation for fall. This week they have darkened substantially which generally means they are getting close to spawning. Watch for and avoid their 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, Pheasant tails, Tung Stud, San Juan Worms, October Caddis pupae.
Streamers: Black and White Clousers, Flesh Eating Sculpins, Flash Buggers, Kreelex Minnows, Skiddish Smolts, Dungeon's, and other Galloup articulated streamers
Dries: Yeti Hopper, Catch's Hopper, Fat Frank, BWO patterns, Orange Stimulator,