Fishing Report, Spokane River, October 9th 2021
Updated: Mar 22, 2022
We finally are getting some cold snaps that are leaving the lawns frosted over in the mornings. I have been splitting my time between guiding and trying to tag one more fall turkey, but I just have to remember to give myself some extra time to scrape the truck off in the early morning hours. It also seems that the moose are loving the cooler weather, we drifted past one that had their spot picked out on the river for a relaxing afternoon.
These frosted mornings also mean the hoppers have definitely tapered out, but luckily the redband trout can still be fooled with a large dry fly...for the time being. I think they just are still temporarily in the rhythm of seeing the occasional hopper or large caddis. As the weather keeps cooling down this will no longer be the case.
Fishing with a dry-dropper is still effective for now and is best thought of as a shallow nymph rig more than anything. Since we had a decent bump in river levels earlier in the week (Spokane River Gauge), use a longer piece of tippet between the dry fly and the nymph, something like 25-30 inches. Work the deeper, slower inside sections of where runs spill into a pool or glide.
With much cooler mornings, it is better to nymph with an indicator or euro set-up and then try using the dry-dropper or swinging wet flies in the afternoon. Early fall is a great time to swing wet flies and it can be effective until river levels really jump up later on. Wet fly fishing is also a quick way to cover water looking for feeding trout, and better yet a simple roll cast is sometimes all you need to get the flies out and into some current.
I like to employ this technique when I am standing on the bank and have some vegetation right at my back that makes casting difficult. I will just roll cast a pair of wet flies out into the current, maybe pay out some line, and let the flies swim amongst the boulders. Then I'll wait to feel a strike.
Importantly, since most the hits on a wet fly are while they are swinging downstream of you don't be too aggressive on setting the hook. While the wet flies are swinging downstream of you, if you feel a strike the best thing you can do is to let the trout set the hook on itself. If you try to hard to set the hook you are essentially pulling the fly out of the trout's mouth. I like to feel the subtle tick, tick, tick in the line indicating a trout is trying to eat the fly before either raising the rod tip or doing a very soft strip set.
For tips on how to rig up your leader for using wet flies, check out our latest article: How to Use Wet Flies: Rigging
Also, just like last week as the river bumps up every now and then, look for new pieces of water right along the banks. Trout will move into these areas to explore new feeding lanes, so it best to take your time and scout the river before sending out a cast.
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.