November 6, 2018 - Full Force
It's official. Game on. Here we go. It's now Steelhead season, and it's in full force. It's cold, windy, and wet. Perfect setup for a late fall/winter steelhead fishery. The Grand has been fishing great, with large fish all throughout the system. Standard flies have been consistent, with eggs still being the best choice. Large hexes and stoneflies are also good options when eggs don't seem to be working. It's hard not to have at least one egg though, since they seem to be so gullible for them throughout the year.
All this rain will keep fish moving, which is good for us. A particular hole may host a dozen fish one day, then after a decent rain, another group of fish will move in and take their place. Again, these fish move way more than you might think. This time of year, and with this current weather pattern, that is undoubtedly the case.
If swinging is your thing, November is arguably the best month to make it happen. The numbers are there, and the fish are still in semi-lake mode. They are willing to chase big flashy stuff, much like they do in the lake. Plus a lot of them haven't been "mouth-sored" from many anglers yet, causing them to be somewhat reckless. It's a glorious moment when you cross paths with a chrome fish that hasn't been hooked yet. When it happens, you better be ready, because they will turn you into a blithering mess after they show you who's boss.
Indicator fishing remains a constant, and will reliably work all season. Make sure you're using an appropriately sized float for the water you're fishing. Low clear water calls for sensible tackle, and vice versa for high dirty water. Egg flies in Apricot, Golden, Oregon Cheese, and Pink have been good lately.
Some days the bite it simply "off" for whatever reason. We theorize about this endlessly, trying to come up with an explanation as to why the bite suddenly shut down. Is the water temp too cold? Did the air pressure change? Too much angling pressure? Are there even fish in here right now? Did we spook them? Did the moon change position?!? Do I just suck at fishing?!?!
This is what makes steelheading so enigmatic. They have their own mysterious rhythms that continue to perplex us. Although they are somewhat predictable, there are certain days that can challenge everything you thought you knew. During slow periods, I always like to experiment with "questionable" flies in my box. Might as well, since nothing else seems to be working...
Since it's basically dark by 6pm nowadays, we are also entering peak fly tying season. The shops are loaded with materials and tools, and we have an array of classes on the agenda. Just a reminder, you can order anything and everything right on our website. Check out our tying stuff HERE
We've also got a lot of cool new layering items from Simms. Check out the Simms Fleece Midlayer Bottom
Simms Guide Thermal OTC Sock I'm a HUGE fan of OTC (Over the Calf) Socks
Also a big fan of the Headwaters No Finger Glove
Thanks for all the support at the shop. See you out there!