Fishing Report September 24th 2021
Fall is progressing right along and the trees bordering the river are coloring up more each day. Cloudy skies, autumn colors, cool temps, it all comes together as my favorite season for fly fishing.
The river has also been bumping up slowly over the past week, boulders that were once high and dry are now starting to sink beneath the rising Spokane. We also had a couple storms pass through which brought on the clouds and rain, and whenever this is the case the trout seem to feed a bit more confidently (and with the storms, the insects also get revved up as well). Yet, after these storms roll through and sunny bright skies settle in it can make the trout a bit more elusive. The algorithm of fly fishing in the fall is playing to these swings in the weather, but you can't always time when you can be on the river so showing up ready to use multiple tactics will help your chances of hooking into a trout.
The larger trout were still pretty active in the swifter water this past week and using both dry-droppers and indicator set ups was fruitful. Whitefish were also decently active this previous week too. The smaller trout, under 11 inches, were more finicky to find. With this coming weekend and a forecast of warm weather, I would focus on the morning or evening hours if you are looking primarily to nymph the river with an indicator set up. During the afternoons, a dry-dropper should produce as there are still plenty of grasshoppers buzzing around the banks. There might also be some cloud cover on Sunday which could help the trout to feed more actively throughout the day.
Patterns to try out include large Stimulators (size 10) and grasshopper patterns, large elk hair caddis with orange bodies (size 10 as well...there were just a couple October caddis bouncing along the river), small white/red or black streamers (sizes 10-12), Frenchie nymphs (sizes 10-14), and you can also try swinging wet flies and caddis pupa (sizes 10-16) through the current to pick a couple trout in the evening hours.
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.
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.
Floating over the river bottom marbled in green-hued stones, I tucked the oars under my legs to free my hands to tie on a new fly. As we glided along the gentle current, the shoreline trees reflected their early autumn colors against the water's surface. The clouds overhead mixed together, then separated. In the shade of the clouds I zipped my jacket up to stay warm, but as the sun occasionally reappeared I had to ditch the jacket to keep from sweating. The day finally felt like the first float in the fall.
The trout were not being overly picky, yet they were trending towards certain fly patterns. Clouded skies always helps to entice these redband trout to feed a little more, especially in the low river levels of fall, and having a slight drizzle would have been even better.
Handing the fly rod back to the angler up in the bow of the raft, we progressed through a series of pocket water and runs. At the end of the last stretch of pocket water a long horizontal stretch of riffles spanned the river. Both anglers made casts towards the promising water, and one hooked into a solid trout.
Oaring the raft over to gentle current under a tree dropping its first fall leaves, I grabbed the net as the angler guided the trout towards the raft. It was a gorgeous and healthy redband, and once in the net we admired the chrome green and magenta colors on its side. Behind the dorsal fin was a small orange tag signifying that it had been caught, measured, and documented as part of a survey to track the health of the Spokane's redband trout population. We released the trout and it took off into the clear current beneath a few leaves floating atop the water.