It is a drizzly morning today, and as I write this report while having my coffee I can't help but think that I would rather be out on the river right now if only I didn't have other things to attend to. These drizzly days have been getting the blue winged olive (BWO) mayflies to hatch and at the height of a hatch we have been spotting pods of rising trout. Most often, these trout are still near the heads of runs, stacked up in an eddy or in an area of less turbulent and shallower water.
The BWOs have been about a size 18 and any parachute pattern should work. The trout are not overly picky when they feed aggressively during these hatches. But, these hatches can still be fickle and hard to time, all I can say is that if it is cloudy with a little bit of a sprinkle or drizzle then chances are pretty good of finding rising trout.
Even if you cannot find any rising trout, a cloudy day is a great chance to strip some streamers or to swing some wet flies. If I anticipate a BWO hatch coming off then I will switch to swinging wet flies until I start to spot some rises. That usually does the trick.
We also had a big bump in river flows a couple days ago (see: Spokane River Gage), so check for new areas on the river that the trout might have moved into. These trout can be sneaky and might be closer to the bank than you would expect, or in shallower and more turbulent water than you would assume.
Finally, the Spoken River event is coming up November 5th from 7:00-8:00pm and is hosted by the Spokane Riverkeepers. It is an online event that will include information on efforts to reintroduce salmon to the river, live stories about connections to the Spokane, as well as a fundraiser and auction. It is a great event to watch from your computer and provides a way to show your support for our Spokane River and to the Spokane Riverkeepers who work to protect, restore, and clean up the river as well as provide volunteer opportunities and educational resources for the community.
Lately, I have been trying to get as many fall hunting days as possible, going for turkey, quail, mourning dove, and grouse. Whenever I see the golden aspen or larches at the height of their color, I am torn on either going fly fishing or setting out into the woods with my shotgun.
There have been so many times that I decided to hike through the woods with a fly rod on the way to a river and ended up busting a few ruffed grouse. Those are tough upland birds to pursue but I finally decided to give it a go this season. I believe it was more first timers luck, but was able to bag two ruffed grouse the other day. I feel like it was just a bit too easy, just enough to get me excited to go back out to the woods looking for them again only to be dealt a series of disappointing days.
The same can go with fly fishing, where you decide to target a new species and end up with a highly enjoyable day, but then trying to repeat your success the next several outings becomes an overly frustrating endeavor. Yet, it is tough to shake that feeling of fighting and landing that fish so you venture back out, maybe with a different game plan, a new fly, and a bit of hope that this time it will happen again.
I know I will be heading back out in the woods, and even if I don't bag another grouse I am pretty satisfied roaming the fall woods looking for them. I also have so many grouse feathers that are absolutely gorgeous, so I will be tying up some fly patterns over winter that use the feathers and see how they work on the Spokane. So that will keep me busy at the vice once winter really settles in.
As always, if you are interested in booking a guided fly fishing trip with us Contact Us, or check out our Spokane River Guided Trips page for more information. We also offer Fly Fishing Instructional Lessons here in Spokane if you are interested in spending just a couple hours out on the water improving your fly fishing skills.