General Fishing Report 10/13/2020
General Fishing Report for October 13, 2020
Hey all, I hope October is finding you well. Before I get into the fishing report, I though I'd pass along a heads up about a couple public meetings coming up about simplifying Vermont's fishing regulations. These meetings are via Zoom, either computer or by phone, this Tuesday and Wednesday the 13&14 from 6:30-8:00. More info and the Zoom joining info can be found on the Fish&Wildlife webpage. One item of note is opening up more water for year-round fishing and changes to trout creel limits.
Rain has been helping the rivers and the trout fishing and with more on the way, we should see some more opportunities as we head into the last few weeks of the regular season. Me and a few of the other guides here have been out in various conditions over the past couple weeks. It seems like fly selection has been a bit over the map, and will most likely remain so until we get some real cold air and water temps. Smaller natural colored streamers were getting some eats on an Otter trib that had some stain to it, and also as it was actively raining recently, but I think a bit more discolored water and fishing could have improved. Don't let those chilly rainy days (like today Tuesday) keep you inside. Many agree that these days are good to be out, even if the amount of rain hasn't stained the water yet. The Otter has been putting out some fish, for me the smaller bugs are working when the Blue Winged Olives are active and small (10-14) white streamers in times when bugs are not as active. I am fishing these white streamers with my normal tight line rig, fishing them like a nymph with occasional jig action during the drift. Other guides are finding similar results. One of our most prolific hatches this time of year is the Blue-Winged Olive (BWO) and we imitate them with nymphs from 16-22. These could be small PT's, quill bodied nymphs, Rainbow Warriors, or even simple black mayfly nymphs with or without flash, but usually with a soft hackle. If you are tying these little morsels, keep it simple. The naturals have a slender body and are found in shades of olive, brown and black. Also, with the increased fishing pressure that our fisheries had this year, cutting back on the amount of flash and hotspots might be worth considering for a few of your favorite patterns. I always say, let the fish decide what fly is interesting them. With water temps running in the 50's, fish are still munching away in the current. I have not found many yet that are holding in the slower water off the current seam. This will change however, with a decrease in water temperature. Back to the BWO's, I generally find them more active on the cloudy and rainy days, and while I rarely see fish rising to them, you can bet they are picking off the numerous nymphs in the drift.
Besides a good selection of streamers that you should have on hand this time of year, here are a few nymph suggestions. Anything that will pass for a small mayfly nymph in the 16-22 range. I like to have various styles on hand, some flashy (like the Rainbow Warrior) and some not. Since I fish my nymphs tightline style most of the time, they all carry a tungsten bead. Also good to have handy now are Prince nymphs or Zug Bugs, and other peacock-type flies like Olsens Blow Torch. You might know me by now, so the Iron Lotus should come as no surprise. I find that as the water cools a bit more this time of year, the Lotus finds itself in more fishes mouths. I carry them in sizes 12-18. I'm going to have some Caddis nymph/emergers around too. There are some big October Caddis around now, but also having some generic tan emergers in the 14-16 range has been productive in years past. Other flies that have worked in past seasons include the Duracell jig, Bat Wing Emerger and various shades of Walts worms. If you are going to nymph during higher flows(which by the way is a fabulous idea), have some stones, worms and other slightly larger profile nymphs on hand. And a note on tippet size. I am still running 6x, sometimes 7x flourocarbon for my nymphs. The decreased diameter cuts through the water better, allowing me to have less weight on the fly to achieve proper depth. It's increased abrasion resistance is an added plus. Of course, I will upsize if I am stripping streamers, usually in the 3-0x range depending on clarity.
In the Shop, Steve is getting in his cool weather stock of clothing, and has a great selection of waders from Simms, Patagonia and Orvis. He's also got on hand tight-line rods in 2,3,4 and 6 weights. Most often the 6 weight is the choice for targeting larger lake-run fish like steelhead. Rods from Syndicate, Echo, Orvis and Thomas and Thomas, with prices for some company's models starting at $199. Don't forget to check out the flies, tippet, on stream accessories and packs to put it all in when you stop by.
Two and a half weeks left of the regular trout season; no need to hang the waders up yet. Lots of folks have changed to hunting gear, leaving a bit more room to spread out a bit. Please do remember that hunting season are in full swing, it might be a good idea to wear a bit of hunter orange will walking to and from the river. Stay safe out there, have some fun and feel free to reach out if you have questions or comments, firstname.lastname@example.org.