Wilder Fishing Report Oct 1, 2013
Since early September we have been in a weather pattern that has brought lots of rain, wind and clouds on almost a daily basis. Last week we had about 2 inches of snow at the Wilder and temps dropped down into the lower 20’s overnight. The good news is that this has been good for the fishing. With all the rain, river levels have stayed around 300 CFS on the Taylor and the cloudy days have brought strong afternoon hatches of Blue Winged Olives, PMD’s and giant Gray Drakes. We have been lucky on the Wilder at the Taylor as the water here has remained clear despite many other rivers in the area turning brown and getting blown out by dirty water. This is a perfect time to be on the river as the Cottonwood and Aspen trees are ablaze with Fall colors and the snowy white Peaks in the background make it feel like you are fishing in a postcard.
The Fall dry fly fishing has been fantastic. Mornings are slow as expected with water temps plunging to 40 degrees or so. However as the day and water warms up, the fish and the insects get active and by mid day you can expect to see Mayfly spinner falls and hatches throughout the river which bring up the fish in large numbers particularly during cloudy afternoons. These hatches can be short lived and the angler must be observant to detect the subtly rising fish and put on the correct fly before the hatch subsides and the larger fish drift back down to the bottom.
On certain late mornings, we have seen strong Gray Drake hatches. These Gray Drake events never seem to last very long but when they are on the water, big fish come up and feed voraciously. These are HUGE Mayflies and size 8 – 10. Parachute Adams seem to produce good results. Mixed in with the Gray Drakes will be PMD’s and BWO’s hatching in waves throughout the afternoons. I have seen large hatches die off quickly and then 30 minutes later, here comes another wave of bugs and the fish return to the surface. The fish seem to prefer the tiny BWO’s which at this time of year are about a size #22. Larger patterns will fool the smaller fish but the large Browns and not easily fooled and require a more exact imitation. Size is the most important, followed by shape and color, so having a selection of small BWO’s will increase your odds of fooling a big trout.
As Fall sets in, the Browns prepare for their spawning period in the river. The males have turned very dark in color and during the day, you will see some of the bigger fish jump up high in the air and slap the water hard on landing. There are different schools of thought as to why they do this but most think that the males are marking their territory and warning other males to stay away, and the females jump to loosen up their eggs inside. Whatever the reason, it is quite entertaining to see these fish sky high in the air and crash the water loudly on impact. Soon we will be seeing them in the tail outs, preparing their redds and getting ready to provide another generation of wild Brown trout for the Taylor river.
If you are fishing the Taylor in October, remember that mornings can be slow. Water temps are cold and fish are pretty stationary until things warm up a bit. Starting the morning with large nymphs or Streamers fished very slow and deep is your best bet. Around 11 am, look for insect activity. I like to start out with a large Gray Drake type dry fly and if that doesn’t do the trick, I’ll put on a BWO and size down until I hit some fish. At times a double dry with a Gray Drake up top and a small BWO below works very well. The hatches can start anytime between 11 and 3 pm. This is prime time right now and it is the best time to be on the water. Remember that the hatches will come in waves so if things seems to be dying off, wait a few minutes and see if another wave of bugs brings the fish up again. This can be some of the best dry fly fishing of the year and combined with the amazing fall colors, it is the perfect time to lock your office, turn off your phone and hit the water.
Rarick Creek is fishing well as it has all summer. The large Rainbows there just finished a busy Hopper season and have been accustomed to getting easy groceries since the hay was cut in the meadow. Now, the Hoppers are dwindling and the fish are still looking for big meal. This is a perfect opportunity for the angler to throw out a large Hopper and wait for the explosion! If the fish don’t respond to the Hopper which is rare, try a small BWO as there can be some very strong hatches on the Creek during the day. When the fish get on the BWO’s they become very selective so a good presentation and light tippets are key.
All of our ponds have benefited from the rains of September and with lots of fresh, cold water, the fish are active and putting on the feed bag for winter.Many fly combinations can work here, but a Hopper/Dropper set up is hard to beat. A slight twitch of the Hopper when the fish is approaching often is the secret to getting them to eat your fly. Some of thee fish are quite big and hooking one is like hooking a Steelhead. They will run you out to the backing and make several big jumps.