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River Report: September 13,2020

River Report: September 13,2020

  • September 13, 2020
  • brian-zingergmail-com
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  • River Report

River Report 9/13/20

With cooler nights we finally have colder water temperatures! The mountain brooks are still super low but most brooks are in the low 60’s. The bigger rivers are generally in the mid to high 60’s but still pushing 70 by mid day. So fishing early morning is still key for finding cooler water temperatures if your targeting trout.

Butter belly brown


Longer accurate cast will help catch more fish in the low water. It’s really easy to spook fish when the brooks are this low. But it’s good to explore rivers at this level to get to know them and help understand what’s underneath the water when it’s at a normal level or high from a big rain storm.

For trout I’ve been mostly using dry / droppers or hopper/ droppers. Definitely getting some topwater action but most fish have we’ve fooled have been on nymphs. If you flip some rocks you will see Stoneflies, Caddis and Isonycia’s! Also look around on rocks and logs that are just out of the water for the cases that these nymphs leave behind when they crawl out of the water, then bust out of them and fly away.

In the fall I always am amazed how the trout seem to chase nymphs like it’s a streamer! I tend to use extra strong mends or strips when using a hopper / dropper. This makes the hopper “spurt” a little water and I think it makes it seem like it’s alive and upset that it’s floating down the river. This can cause some violent strikes! It also makes the nymphs move around a bit and up and down in the water column. I almost never do just a “dead drift” I think fishing across and down gives this setup more chances for fish to see them as well. Also swinging it at the end can put a few fish in the net.

The ISO Nymph is a strong, agile, fast swimmer and I think this is the main reason fish go crazy after nymphs this time of year. I will also use a cone headed streamer with a nymph dropped off it. In the past 10 days, I’ve not caught a single fish on a streamer, only on the nymph trailing behind. Fishing it this way helps get it down deeper and actually fishing it like a streamer helps imitate the nymphs swimming around looking to get out of the water to complete the life cycle.


Some hot flies have been: Terrestrial/ Dry Flies—>BZ’s Scorpion, Dave’s Hopper, Floater in the pool, Fat Albert and the Dickerson Dandy. Plus the Green Humpy, Purple Caddis, Rusty Haystack and Orange Stimulator. It’ still Hopper Time!! So pretty much any hopper pattern will get munched on. Add a nymph or two below it to catch more fish.

Hooper eater


Hot Nymphs—> Prince, Golden Stone, Zug Bug, Pats Rubber Legs, Purple Duracel Jigs, and Red Copper Johns. Look up some popular ISO patterns and give them a try. Remember to keep them moving to get more strikes.

Nymphs have been hot!


With river and lake temps dropping to a more normal level it’s time to take advantage of the fall Pike bite. The Otter about a month ago was pushing 80 degrees and higher in Middlebury and now its hovering between 64 & 70. The ideal temperature for Pike from what I’ve read is 64/65. The bigger Pike like water that’s even cooler so in the summer they go to deeper spots. Now in the fall they come back into shallower water to put on the feed bag. They know winter is coming and they want to add weight quickly. So from knee deep to 15’ of water is where they will be till things freeze up. A sink tip will be helpful to get down a bit but they will also be on the lookout for an easy meal.

WHAT! Pike on a fly….cool!

I got out in my Jackson Kayak on Friday afternoon and caught a nice Pike quickly on a Joe Goodspeed Black/Orange streamer. Missed an even bigger one just as I had to go. It felt great to be out slinging big flies around with a 10wt!


Look for cooler nights in the 40’s it help drop river/ lake temps even more. Still not much rain in the 10 day forecast unfortunately but be stealthy and you will rewarded with a nice fish. Our clients have been catching some nice Trout and learning all aspects of fly fishing. Book a trip soon!
Tight lines BC