Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday 12/18/15 Report- more big browns

One impressive brown, caught Wednesday by local guide Zach St. Amand (you can contact him through our Guides page). Big fish reports just keep coming lately. Total flow in permanent Catch & Release area is back up to 254cfs (112cfs from dam in Riverton, 142cfs from the Still River), this is a very nice medium level. MDC cut flow from the dam back earlier in the week, at the moment the rain yesterday put some flow in the Still River. Look for flow to steadily & slowly recede over the weekend (from Still river dropping). Plenty of good reports the past couple of weeks, especially from those who know how to nymph. Dries & streamers have also been effective at moments. Change spots and/or techniques if you are not catching trout, experimentation and covering water are keys to success right now. Move around until you find some willing fish. Water temps vary depending upon distance from dam, sunshine, daily high, and daily low- they've been averaging in the mid 40's. Cooler weather this weekend will drop the temps a few degrees, and then air temps go back into the 50's for next week. Normally water temps would be in the 30's in an average December. Due to mild weather and water temps in the 40's, the trout haven't set up in the slow water winter lies yet, they are anywhere from medium-slow pool water to riffles, to softer/deeper pockets. Eventually when temps go into the 30's and stay there (probably not until January!), you will see most trout migrate into the slower/deeper pool water. Most browns are post-spawn right now and as such are feeding, but moving around too, so cover lots of water if you can.

Fish are rising in the mornings to Winter Caddis #20-24, in the afternoons Midges #22-32 are hatching, and  there are still a few small Blue Wing Olives #22-28 (light hatch. almost over) -Midges & Winter Caddis will hatch straight through the winter. Ironically, when winter weather normalizes and gets colder, the morning Winter Caddis hatches get heavier. If you are nymphing in the early to mid mornings, try egg patterns, Squirmy Worms & big stoneflies, and pair those up with a smaller nymph in the #16-20 range. Streamers are another good choice in the mornings, but fish them slow & deep, don't rip them in fast like you would in May or October as water temps are colder now and trout are more lethargic, make it easy for them to "catch" your fly. If your primary goal is numbers, go with medium sizes (#6-8), or go bigger if you want a crack at the biggest trout, but are willing to catch less and forgo some of the average fish. Assorted smaller nymphs in the #16-20 range are some of the more consistent fish catchers right now- try Flashback WD-40's, Zebra Midges (black, olive, red), and Pheasant Tails. Caddis Larva in #14-16 too, there are TONS in the river. Also try attractor nymphs in #12-18 (Prince, Rainbow Warrior, Yellow Sparkle Prince, Lightning Bug, etc.).

Other suggested flies include the following nymphs: Yellow Stoneflies #8-16, Black Stoneflies 8-14, Fox Squirrel Nymph #12, Hot Spot Baetis #16-20, Olive nymphs #16-22, Rainbow Warrior #16-18, Tan Caddis Pupa #14-16, Green/Olive Caddis Larva #14-16, Pheasant Tails #16-22, Prince Nymph #12-18. Play with colors on your streamers, lately some of the better ones have been white, olive, and brown. Nothing lighter than 2-3x on your streamers (for average sizes streamers), and go heavier if you are tossing big ones. 5x fluoro is a good average for your nymphs, and 6x-7x tippet for your dries (depending upon size). Long tippets help with both dries & nymphs: it will give you "S" curves to get a drag-free float with dries, and it will sink faster with less weight when nymphing.
We just scheduled our second & final Don Butler beginner tying class for this winter, it will be 2 day course, January 9th & 16th, 10am-3pm, cost is $125 per person. Call 860-379-1952 to sign up, class size is limited. See Events/Classes for more details.

Our apartment is now closed for the season, and will be available again starting in April 1, 2016.