We have come to the part of the year where my dry flies give over to nymphs. Small midge nymphs will be my go-to fly until about March.
That’s not to say fishing hasn’t been good… I’ve had some of the best days I’ve had on the river this year within the last couple weeks. I haven’t seen much in the way of signs of spawning, except for this:
I have the smaller fish on the line. The larger trout just follows it over. I originally thought it was trying to eat the smaller fish–it’s pretty common to see a larger fish take a territorial or predatory swipe at a smaller fish as you bring it to hand. This I have never seen before. The more I watched the video, I realized that there does not appear to be any aggression in the larger fish’s behavior. Almost the opposite. I wonder if this is a mating pair? Thoughts?
One thing I often say to myself on the Gunpowder or elsewhere is ‘take what the river gives you’. By this I mean I believe you will have the most success in flyfishing if you adapt your approach to weather, flow, hatches, etc. rather than trying to make one technique work all the time*. That has been especially important on the Gunpowder recently, as there is great fishing to be had, but a technique that is lights out one day will leave you skunked the next…
One day you can have great success on dries (caddis, olives and/or tricos depending on when and where), only to have your offerings routinely snubbed the next. Standard nymphs–my go-to is a black zebra midge–have been more consistent. If you see these guys, though, you will still see fish coming to the surface in pretty good numbers:
Fish are still rising, the leaves have mostly cleared out, and the weather is about as good as it gets for fishing.
*I still always want to fish dries, regardless of my own advice…