Trico’s are back, but not for long. The cooler temps are making the trico spinner fall more abrupt and shorter lived, but the trout are getting more aggressive on them.
River flow: 3,200 cfs
Water Temp: 65 F
Mountain Snow pack: 0% The snow is gone
Lake Inflow: 5,867 cfs
Lake Level: On target for normal
Nymphs: Sow Bugs, Sunken Trico, Pseudo Nymph, Orange Scud, Caddis
Method: 7.5 foot 4x or stronger leader to one BB split shot. 1ft or so to the first fly and1ft or so to the second fly.
Size 14-18 Grey Ray Charles
Size 14-18 Tan Ray Charles
Size 16-20 Pink Soft Hackle
Size 18 -20 Sunken Trico imitations
Size 12-16 Orange Scud
Size 18-20 Pseudo Nymphs. Yellow, light green and burnt pink.
Size 16-8 Caddis Emerger
River Temperatures are holding steady, but are anticipated to start dropping with the cooler and shorter days. This will slow down the trico spinner fall making the fish more active on nymphs. The large orange scud is back in play. Don’t discredit the sow bug and caddis patterns as there have been tons of black caddis around in the late afternoons. The fish will eat the caddis all afternoon, but it’s has the most success later in the day.
Dry Flies: Mahoganies, Tricos, Pseudo patterns and black Caddis
Method: 9 foot 5x leader to the top fly. 1ft or so leader to the second fly.
Size 12-14 Mahogany spinners
Size 16-20 Trico spinner
Size 16-20 Trico duns
Size 18-20 Pseudo duns
Size 18-20 Pseudo spinners
Size 18-20 Black Caddis
The shorter, cooler days are causing the trico spinner fall to become much more abrupt and last for a shorter amount of time. However fish are still targeting them in the traditional spots. There is no need to get up and be out there at the crack of dawn as the spinner fall isn’t starting until 8am or later. With Fall brings hunting season and outdoorsmen flee to the hills to hunt upland birds freeing up more spots on the river for the avid angler to pick off trico eating trout. Interestingly, there have been a large number of black caddis around in the afternoons and evening. Don’t discredit fishing dries later in the day. Try a black caddis as your lead fly in the trico spinner fall. Pseudos are there and active all day long. Keep your eyes open for sipping trout on the grass banks and in traditional dry fly spots. The savvy angler can easily make a day fishing dry flies.
Streamers: Little shiner minnows, spawned rainbow, whitefish, sucker, carp minnows and large rainbow trout imitations.
Method: 4-6 foot 0x or stronger leader to your first fly and 1-2 feet to your bottom fly.
Colors: White, olive, black, brown, red and yellow
The spring spawn minnows are grown to 3-5 inches in length by now and have moved into the main water column to join their big brothers in the eating frenzy. Trout are targeting these little fish as they skate around the surface sucking dry flies. It seems that the best color is day to day so stick with the old mantra “dark days dark streamers and light days light streamers.” Another interesting point is that MT FWP has released a large number of 6-8 inch rainbows into the after bay this year. We are seeing these little rainbows on the river and catching a fair number of 20 inch+ trout with these little rainbows hanging out of their mouths. An adventurous, strong armed angler might reap large rewards by throwing a 6 inch plus rainbow imitation streamer to the deep water with a heavy sink tip.
Happy Fishing from Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort