November 27th, 2019 | Be Thankful
Fishing has been steady over the past week, with steelhead and trout being our main targets. Day to day, it’s been all over the map. Good one day, slow the next. For someone looking to sneak away from the family and get on the water, it’s certainly a good time to do so. Despite the high water, the fish are often times willing to play if you put your time in, work each hole thoroughly, and stay determined.
The steelhead bite has been pretty decent in general, but wouldn’t say it’s good. This is probably due to the high, dirty, cold water. Last Thursday, we got a lot of rain throughout the state, the brunt of it falling north of Grand Rapids. Rivers are finally starting to drop, but high dirty water made the past weekend challenging. We are supposed to get another nice storm tonight, bringing extremely fierce winds and upwards of an inch of rain.
Hard to say what technique is best right now, but certainly larger more visible patterns make the most sense when the water is heavily stained. Large clown eggs, rag eggs, and pink glo bugs are good, and estaz eggs would work well when it’s sunny. Can’t go wrong with large bright wiggler patterns either.
On that same note, the swing program can also be a productive technique. In high dirty water, they cannot miss a large flashy intruder swinging into their domain. Seems to “wake them up” in a sense, compared to a drifting egg that they might not even see. The hardest part with a swung fly approach right now is getting it down deep, and keeping it there for as long as possible. Remember to use an intermediate skagit head, a heavy tip, and a weighted fly. Having a weighted fly is helpful in high water situations, just gets it down quicker, and keeps it down there longer.
If you’re looking to catch some trout and get away from the crowds, this time of year can be great for some midday nymphing action. Try targeting any slow, deep stuff along wood piles, and run the standard nymph patterns though it and you will be fine. Sz 16-18 pheasant tails, hares ear nymphs, red copper johns, caddis larvae, and scuds will all work. 5x or even 6x fluorocarbon tippet is helpful. Biggest thing to consider is that the trout are not nearly as widespread as they are in the spring and summer. When you find that first trout on a nymph, it’s almost guaranteed there are several more alongside it. They are very concentrated in the deep slow stuff right now. Finding that first one is the only hard part. Once you do, keep plugging away at the spot, because chances are you are standing in front of a trout cluster. Here's one from the Rogue this morning.
Small pheasant tail jigs with a CDC collar were working great.
Streamers will also work right now, especially smaller simpler type flies like conehead woolly buggers and small weighted bunny leeches. Fishing these on a 5wt or 6wt rod with a light sink tip (150grain - 200grain) or even a floating line is super fun, and a great leisurely way to spend a few hours. Black is probably the best color option, but olive and brown are good choices as well.
If you’re in town visiting family for the holiday, and are curious about some quick half day getaway options, stop by the shop and we will provide some ideas as well as flies and tackle and whatnot. If you want to save some time, feel free to call us at either shop and we can chat over the phone.
We are closed on Thanksgiving, but other than that, our shop hours are normal for the rest of the week. Swing by the shop this weekend and take advantage of BLACK FRIDAY DEALS!!! Here is a sneak peak:
- 40% Off fly tying materials in-shop and online 11/29/19-12/2/19. Use code "SHOPSMALL" at checkout*
- Additional 15% Off Used Fly Rods and Reels 11/29/19-12/2/19. Use Code "USED20" at checkout.
- Buy 12 get 12 flies free in-shop
- Check out our SALE PAGE
- Stop in the shop for more deals!
- As always, we will match any sale price on any item you find online. Keep it local this year, we appreciate it.
Have a great Thanksgiving and good luck if you get out.
* excludes hooks and UV finishes.