Break out the two-handers, November has arrived. Cooler – but not cold – temperatures over the last week have improved the swing bite, and that cold air we need is in the forecast for later this week. Trout Spey fishing should go from good to great over the next 2 weeks.
Last weekend saw many spey rods out on the river. Both locals and anglers traveling from out of the area are out exploring the long runs with the long rod. We had several guided spey trips out last week as well. We love to see everyone getting out of the boat and three stepping through those runs.
The river is fishing top to bottom right now, though Pelican to Cascade is a little much for a day dedicated to the swing. Too much water. But we highly recommend everything from the Dam to Pelican. As the days get shorter you’ll want to keep that float short as well. Spend your time fishing not rowing.
above: Mike with his first Trout Spey fish. Nice start.
Depth and fly patterns are still all over the place, which is good and bad. Good, because you can do what you want to do. Bad, because it’s hard to define a fly type, sink tip or type of water that you should concentrate you efforts in.
A floating setup, typically a Scandi, with an intermediate leader is the go to for the soft hackle crowd. Your best bet is to swing a larger #8-10 Sparrow, Carey Special or similar trailed with a smaller #14-16 Partridge soft hackle. Late in the afternoon you could keep it small as the fish elevate and key on emerging BWO’s and midges.
You can also fish a larger streamer on a floating/intermediate, and we like some of the skinny minnow patterns – Foxee Clouser, Marabou Clouser, Shock & Awe, etc. – when fishing near the surface, but in the right water leech patterns like the Fruit Roll-up or the STS Bugger can be just as effective.
If you’re more inclined to fish a Skagit and a deeper tip, we’d stick with the Leeches and Streamers. The weeds are thingin out quickly which makes it a lot easier to fish a deep rig than its was just a couple of weeks ago. Finding fish concentrated in fast heavy water can be tricky, but if you do a deep Skagit presentation will get it done.
You can swing soft hackles on a Skagit/deep tip as well, but it’s so much funnier to swing those shallow flats with a floater. And while those juvenile fish that populate the riffles are still there they’re beginning to be replaced by larger fish.
More good news, our Brown Trout – which have been hard to come by recently – are starting to show up. Colder weather and the back half of the spawn have some of them returning to what they do best. Murdering streamers. Headhunters Manager and spey-guru Ben McNinch has reported catching several good Browns in the last few days. And if Ninch says they’re “good” they’re usually really good.
TROUT SPEY GUIDED TRIPS
We won’t be holding our clinics this fall, and have replaced them with our Fall Spey Special. You’ll learn so much more on a guided trip. If you’ve been curious it’s a great way to give Trout Spey a try. At $400 it’s a screamin’ deal, so grab a buddy and book a trip.
If you’re not interested in a guided trip but need some questions answered, swing by the shop. Our entire staff are Trout Spey fans and can answer all questions regarding gear, flies, lines, tips, etc.