Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The warm and dry weather that we are having right now, has brought the creeks down to a normal flow. We are now going into prime bug time, all of the major hatch's are now coming off or about to. For our local streams, look for Sulpurs, much Browns, Gray Foxes, and of course a mix of Caddis. For the dry fly trout fishermen, this is the time to be on the water. Because of the recent warm weather expect to see most of the hatch activity starting late afternoon and going into dark. This means we could see both a hatch and a spinner return with in a three to four hour time spent.

Note ; I have added an article that I wrote a while back about fishing spinner return. Hopefully you may find something helpful in this article.

Dealing with spinner fall
With our hectic daily lives, it is often hard to get away for a day of trout fishing. However there is one small saving grace. That is, most of us live within a reasonable driving distance of some sort of trout stream. Getting away for a day’s fishing may be out of the question, but a few hours in the evening can be possible. Understanding feeding cycles and the hatches that trout feed on can potentially maximize our precious fishing time. This is where spinner falls become important to us as fishermen.
Fishing spinner falls can provide the fishermen with some of the best fishing of the day. You can spend all day fishing your favorite trout stream and then in the evening when the May flies return as spinners, you can have more fishing action than you saw all day. For many fishermen going out in the evenings and catching the spinner fall is how they go about their trout fishing.
The spinner fall happens shortly after the May flies mating flight. The timing of this event happens at dusk, generally the last hour to half an hour of the day. The fact is the event does not last long - often the whole event will happen within the time span of an hour. The hotter the air temperatures, the later in the evening a spinner event will happen and the faster the spinner fall will happen. During cooler evenings, just the opposite will happen as spinners will often return earlier in the evening and the whole event may drag on for over two hours. Once the mayfly hatches start, so will the spinner falls. As long as the conditions are suitable for a spinner fall, the spinner fall will happened. Spinner falls are very predictable. As long as the air temperature is above 60° and wind conditions are calm, and it is not raining you can count on a spinner fall. Even though spinner falls do not last long, they are almost a daily event. When the conditions are not feasible for a spinner fall on a particular evening, the following evening the spinner fall will normally be heavier.
The best part about fishing evening spinner falls is that they can correspond with an evening mayfly hatch. You may end up with about two to three hours fish activity, depending on the type of hatch and weather conditions. By late spring, this time span of activity can often be the best fishing of the whole day. By late spring most streams in our area have their heaviest hatches. Spend the day doing other things, go fishing for the evening, and end up fishing the most productive part of day.
Setting up to fish a spinner fall does not require anything special. Your favorite trout rod with a floating fly line of whatever design is perfect. As long as you are comfortable fishing with it, it will work just fine. Standard length tapered leaders of 7 to 9 feet with 5 to 6 X tippits are also standard. Basically nothing new here, just use your favorite trout fishing set up.
Fishing a spinner fall has its own challenges. The biggest challenge is seeing the fly and picking out your fly is not an easy matter. Fading light and flies that lay flush in the surface film of the water certainly make it tough In addition, some evenings the water surface can be covered with naturals. The technique that I use to deal with these is to use an indicator fly. I usually select a fly that first is easy to see and second the fly has a chance of catching a fish. My favorite fly for the job is a size 12 white wolf. Despitethe size of this fly it has a proven record of being a fish catcher. Plus, the white color of the fly and large wings make it very easy to see well into the dark.
Setting up this tandem of flies is fairly straight forward. Tie first fly on with 5 X tippit to the leader. Then from the bend of the hook of the White wolf, tie about 12 inches of 6X tippit. From this 12 inches of 6 X tippit tie in on your second fly, the spinner. Fishing this set up is just as straight forward. I do not worry about the second fly (the spinner) landing in the exact spot I want. I just concentrate on fishing the white wolf as if it was the only fly I had tied on. The second fly on just 12 inches of tippit will land close enough to be productive. When I see a fish rise near my indicator fly the white wolf, or the indicator fly disappears, set the hook.
Fishing with two flies can and does more than double your tangles. When this happens do not spend a lot of time trying to straighten everything out. Instead it is best to cut off the pair of flies and retie a new set on. To speed the up process, set up a white wolf with a spinner dropper ahead of time. This way all you have to do is pull a fresh set out-of-the-box and tie them directly to the leader. Spinner falls do not last long and anything you can do to speed up the process and fish more efficiently, is wise. As I often will say, you can't catch fish when you’re tying on flies. Another little trick that I use that helps prevent tangles is to avoid using a net unless I have a very large trout on. It is amazing how the second hook always gets hooked into the net bag. As the evening goes on I will eventually cut off the smaller fly (the spinner) and continue to fish with the white wolf. When fishing in the dark it is more important to present the fly properly then fish the correct fly. Trout will often become less choosy in the dark.
Fishing evening spinner falls, is not complicated, or technical fishing. It is however a basic trout fishing skill that is easy to learn, an important skill for every trout fishermen. Also with tight schedules and lamented fishing time, these evening spinner falls provide excellent fishing opportunities.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

We have received some decent rainfall over the last few days. This rain was desperately needed to bring a trout streams back up to a good level. In fact some of our streams need time to come back down before we can fish. The upper Genesee River is over the 5 foot mark at this time. Hopefully the water levels on the Genesee will drop off over the weekend. Water flows on Oatka Creek at this time is at 3.26 and still slowly rising, this is high but at a fishable level. Even though last couple of days the water had a very heavy stained color to it. For most people this will be considered on fishable. However for those of us who know, these are the conditions that we look forward to. High dirty water flows even in our trout streams can provide some of the best fishing of the year. Water conditions like this is ideal for streamer fishing and the streamer fishing has been outstanding the last couple of days. The best pattern I found is a size 6 or 8 black bunny Leach, of course black woolly bugger same size will also produce. The darker color stands out in the off-color water.
As for the bugs – we got bugs. Both light Caddis and sulpurs are now hatching on most of the trout streams, this includes Oatka Creek. As soon as the water flows, both drop and clear a little the dry fly fishing will be on. For now expect to see most of the hatches happening from mid day on to dark. When conditions are ideal there will most certainly a spinner fall. For now look for B.W.O size 18 and the standard mix of Midges on Springbrook. Sulpurs will soon be showing up here about a week or two, Springbrooks sulpurs are always about two weeks later then Oatka Creeks sulpurs.

I am back home fishing the local trout streams now. This is Oatka Creek, Springbrook and the upper Genesee River. If interested or have any questions feel free to call the fly shop at 585-352-4775 or my cell phone at 585-233-0436

Sunday, May 9, 2010

This will finally wrap up the end of a long steelhead season. You've got to love steelhead fishing, great fish and a long season. We caught our first steelhead the season last October and only now, we're finally seeing the end. The season was no different than any other season. Good days and tough days, and plenty of opportunities and challenges. This spring was a prime example of throwing us a few new challenges. The biggest challenge, we are all aware of is the usually warm spring. The steelhead spawning cycle started way earlier than normal and finished fast. The way the spring fishing has progressed I would say that everything is about 2 to 3 weeks earlier than normal. However I do love irony, as I'm writing this on the banks of the Salmon River, mothers day morning, there is about inch of snow on the ground and more falling, you got to love mother nature's sense of humor.

This spring most the interesting and biggest challenge was dealing with all the baby Chinook salmon. As I have said in previous updates, the Salmon River is infested with these little fish. These little salmon were a double edged sword. They helped to keep the steelhead around, by providing a large forage base on which the steelhead could feed on. The problem was there was so many of these little guys, the fly got lost in the masses. We were basically dealing with a classic trout fishing quandary, big hatches, lots of food, satisfied fish.

As always we seem to work through the challenges and figure out the puzzle. We enjoyed, good steelhead fishing with warm weather and green leaves on the trees, a rare opportunity, that we only get to enjoy for a couple weeks each spring.

It is now time to put away the steelhead gear and start looking at the trout streams. I will be back home trout fishing. We will be seeing the first of the light Caddis on Oatka Creek very soon, if they are not are ready hatching. There may also be a few leftover blue wing olives in the afternoons and Hendrickson spinners in the evenings. Sulpurs, Gray foxes, Much Browns are just around the corner. Some of the best dry fly fishing is about to start.

Note; For the trout fishermen, keep in mind I now back home fishing the local trout streams. This is Oatka Creek, Springbrook and the upper Genesee River. If interested or have any questions feel free to call the fly shop at 585-352-4775 or my cell phone at 585-233-0436

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Over the past week we have not received the needed rainfall. As a result water flow on the Salmon River is now down to the summer minimum flow of 185 CFS. This is definitely low water flow. However things are not as bad as one would think. First of all low water will concentrate the dropping steelhead into the traditional pools and runs. This makes them easier to locate. Also low water means we can fish last aggressive sink tips, making the casting and fly presentation Easter. Also 185 - water in my opinion is ideal dry fly water flow. This is especially true when it comes to fishing the bug hatchets in the afternoon for resident trout. This has been the routine the past week. Swing flies for big fish in the morning to early afternoon. Then finished the day, casting dry flies to the resonant trout.
The Hendrickson Hatch continues on Oatka. However there is now the new bug coming in to play. That is the blue wing olive, this is a size 16 may fly. Look for this may fly hatching daring the mid afternoon, along the tails of the pools. It is not unusual to have both the Hendrickson and the olive hatching at the same time. Take your time and watch the fish and the bugs, make sure the fish are eating what you think there. There's also good Hendrickson's spinner falls in the evenings. This week is supposed to be warm, so I suspect we will see plenty of spinners at dusk.

Note; The following days have become available for the Salmon River I have the following days available for early May on the Salmon River this will be swing flies for drop back steelhead. The days are May 8, 9, 10, 11 For the trout fishermen, keep in mind I will be back home fishing or local trout streams from mid may on. This is Oatka Creek, Springbrook and the upper Genesee River. If interested or have any questions feel free to call the fly shop at 585-352-4775 or my cell phone at 585-233-0436