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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lake Davis Fishing Report 9/17/14 - Callibaetis!

Conditions at Lake Davis continue to improve, catch rates and strikes have been on the upswing using a wide variety of techniques. The aggressive fall bite is starting to kick in; the best fishing of the year is on the horizon! Water temps this week were 60 degrees in the morning rising to 66 by the afternoon. This morning, air temps in the area were much warmer at 51 degrees, with areas of heavy smoke. Water clarity is off in places with a slight algae bloom but improving dramatically in some areas. Big wind the last few days has shut down the callibaetis hatch, but hanging chironomids in the chop has produced numbers. The wind did help blow all the smoke out, but to the south toward Tahoe the plume was huge, black, and darkening the sky. A weak system is coming in tomorrow with a 30% chance of precipitation, and colder nights down to 37. We need a change to get those rainbows going. 

Free floating weeds will be in the system for here on until ice up, the American coot have shown up in moderate numbers, ripping up weeds and eating their veggies. The weeds beds are also starting to wane and compress allowing more fishable pockets to open up. For you boaters the west side peninsulas are barely submerged, these long fingers of land stretch extremely far out into the main body of the lake. Running north and south routes near the east side and then coming in directly west to the coves of Cow Creek, and Freeman Creek, is a safe choice.

Fish behavior is starting to change, and quite a few cruisers in the skinny water have been caught while sight fishing with the Adams parachute dry fly. The callibaetis are out, and last weekend there were thousands of them with large trout slurping the surface. Productive tactics include using a floating or intermediate line stripping Wiggle tails in black and rust, Rickard’s still water nymphs, and other buggy patterns with a slow sink rate is getting the grabs. The most effective rig has been the bobber, 3-5 feet down in the morning, and 9-14 feet down in the early and late afternoon. Chironomids #10-18 in red, black, brown, and lime green is what they are eating. Hot flies have been callibaetis nymphs #14-16, Adams parachute #16, UV2 sheep creeks #10-14, Spirit River UV2 mayfly nymph #14-16, and Blood Midge emergers #14. 4x-3x tippet depending on your presentation and depth.

Photo courtesy of Ralph and Lisa Cutter / Flyline.com
Adult bug life is rich with very small midge adults on the surface during the morning, it seems every new morning there is a different unique midge they are sipping on. Very sparse hatches of blood midges of late in most areas around the lake, though the fish do search for them while working. Callibaetis on the other hand are flourishing on days without big wind. This hatch is the start of the last brood of the season, and both duns and spinners will be smaller now in a size 16. The main staple of damsels is always present, and the increasing snail population is a favorite of the large rainbows in autumn, two patterns you should always carry.

Remember that the incredible fall colors peak sometime from the 2nd week of Oct. to the last week, but you never know with mother nature, she’ll throw a curve ball when you least expect it. Fishing will improve on a weekly basis, and with beautiful surroundings like the colors of autumn, makes for an unforgettable experience at Lake Davis.


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