Caddis and terrestrials are on the menu for the trout, but just around the corner is the BWO spinner fall that occurs in the mid-morning, or when air temperatures are between 57 to 67 degrees. An egg laying female pattern used as a dropper fly underneath, or a flat wing spent spinner in the film will fool all in a size 18.
When I get back from my trip I will be focusing my guiding on the Middle Fork Feather River, Lake Davis, Frenchman Lake, and a few trips in the Truckee area until the snow flies (hoping sooner than later). With that being said, I won’t be on the NFYR at all (just the way my trips were booked this year), so I’d thought I would share some tips on approaching the river as we head into fall…
As the days become shorter, it’s not that important to get on the water early. You can start fishing at 10am on to the twilight caddis grab the last couple of hours of light. Deeper into fall, an angler can start at around noontime and fish until 5pm or so. It seems these trout actually like sun on the water, so choosing your spot in the canyon (especially in the deeper sections) where there is more ample sunshine can be a difference maker. This coincides with…
Water temperatures will dictate all. Late autumn conditions have colder air and water temps, so it is important to fish during the warmest time of the day. For example I had a trip a few years ago where my guest insisted we start at 8am. I told him in all honesty that we would be lucky to get a grab until the water temps came up around 52 degrees. When we got on the river to fish, the temperature of the water was 49 degrees. We fished a solid 3 hours and only one missed take occurred. Right around noon, I recorded a water temperature of 53 degrees, and the light switch was turned on. There were also warmer air temps as well, and now we had adult aquatics flying in the breeze and on the water’s surface with rising fish. Needless to say, the fishing was great for the next four hours.
Concentrate your efforts from just upstream of Downieville down to the last bridge on Hwy 49 as your heading to Nevada City. Bigger water, a better October Caddis hatch, and more available sunshine are key points here.
Tight line the deeper holes, slots, and transition zones of areas that feature shallow to deeper water like at the head of a major plunge pool.
Match the hatch, but also try presenting some attractors like an orange Stimi.
Bring a good camera. The NFYR canyon is spectacular in fall with blazing colors – it’s quite the show!
A limited amount of larger brown trout will migrate up from Bullards Bar reservoir for the spawn. It takes a lot of prospecting to find them, but there will be a few lurking about.
There you have it, just a few tips to help you out. Make sure to check my blog in the upcoming weeks for all the action in Colorado, and the early trips of the above featured waters I will be prowling around on. Let’s hope our fire activity is minimal and a huge thank you to all fire fighters and personnel that protect us, our homes, and the great outdoors we love to live in. Having been evacuated due to the Jones Fire, I'm so grateful for still having a home. See you on the water…