The weather this past month has been difficult to say the least. I would be more pessimistic if my Giants hadn't shown me at least some signs of life! It has been a waiting game. We've kept ourselves busy at the shop tying flies and getting ready for the holidays. Our Fly Tying Program has started. Len Ruggia is teaching the Introductory Class on Saturday mornings starting at 9:30 am. Beginners just need to show up; the classes are free and we have some kits they can use for the class. Of course, we have a variety of quality but affordable vises for sale if fly tying is for you. Sunday morning, tying will return this week December 9th with John Collins presenting a program on Cased Caddis and Jig Flies. Bill Ninke will offer a program the following week, December 16th on Hair Stacker flies including a mayfly emerger, a cluster midge and the Hair Stacker Royal Wulff. Classes are free, bring your vise and threads. Materials are provided.
Fishing has returned and skillful anglers are catching fish on nymphs and streamers up and down the river including the Ken Lockwood Gorge. Still, you're going to need to use some weight to get the flies down. Midge, egg and sucker spawns are catching fish now along with traditional nymph patterns such as a Beadhead Prince, Copper John, Beadhead Pheasant tail or Hare's Ear in sizes 14-18. The fish will eat larger flies in higher water so don't forget those streamers; Beadhead Woolly Buggers are catching fish now. I like Olive, Brown or Black in sizes 8-12. Look for seams and quiet water next to a stronger current. The fish have had a chance to spread out so keep moving. Adjust weight frequently depending on the flow. Also, as I said in the last report don't be afraid to bump up your tippet. I plan on using 4X and 5X this weekend. Controlling your drifts is key. Start by drifting in close and gradually work your way across and up a run. I am definitely using a strike indicator.
It is that time of year. The holidays have begun and that means Bubba will be returning to the South Branch shortly. Keep an eye out for the video. Tim Flagler and I have been discussing the latest twists to make the footage as entertaining as possible. Each of the two Bubba Trout will sport a numbered jaw tag. Catch and release the fish and bring us the tag to claim your prize: a new Douglas fly rod or Galvan reel. As you know, Bubba isn't going to be alone. Several hundred beautiful Rainbow, Brown and Tiger Trout from the Musky Hatchery will join the two tagged fish. 2019 licenses should be available by mid month and we have plenty of nice holiday gift ideas. Buy a fly rod and reel and the fly line is 50% off and the backing and rigging are free. We have waders, boots and fly boxes along with thousands of flies as well as nets, Fish Pond packs and accessories. Finally, we've had some members of our Shannon's Private Waters retire and move out of the area so there are a limited number of memberships available for 2019. These memberships not only include our great trout fishing but also offer access to privately stocked bass ponds on a local golf course in the summer months. Interested anglers should contact me via our e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy Holidays from all of us at Shannon's!