So far this November we've been blessed by some warm weather and enough rain to have our rivers and streams in excellent conditions. Levels are slowly rising after a dry early fall. This is a typical pattern for our area. Anglers have been generally pleased with the size of the trout from the Fall Stocking and there were about 7000 additional trout that were released back in October. The shop also stocked about 150 Rainbow and Brown Trout in Califon Island Park around Columbus Day.
Our thoughts go out to all of those who have been directly affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Many of know someone who has either had the illness or lost someone. It is a situation that none of us have faced in our lifetime and we need to be mindful as we head into the colder months to wash our hands and wear our masks. One heartening consequence of the social distancing requirements is that many individuals and families have either discovered or returned to fishing and this includes fly fishing. It is good to see more young people exploring their local waters. They are realizing that there is more to life than X-Box and Netflix. I welcome their enthusiasm and it seems many are inclined towards catch and release since they always have their phones with them. One day, they will have the sole responsibility of caring for and stewarding our resources.
As we move into the second half of November, caddis and mayfly hatches will dwindle. Some of the more common natural foods for the trout will be midges and scuds. There always some mayfly and caddis larva in the water but the bulk of insect biomass will be the aforementioned midges. Scuds are aquatic shrimp and they are very common in our waters. Trout eat them all year but probably rely upon them more as other food sources become scarce. I'll use a Grey or Tan Scud in most Fall/ Winter scenarios but early on, Olive is a good color as there are still patches of green algae available to the scuds for forage at this time of year. Tie them in sizes 16-20. Another major food item are minnows and young of the year fry of suckers, trout and dace. Forage biomass is at its highest in the fall and so a well placed streamer is a great choice right now. The last food item eagerly sought after by trout are eggs. Many of our trout are attempting to spawn right now and so egg patterns can be deadly especially on Rainbows who if given the chance, would probably eat eggs all the time.
Local Hatches 11/15/2020: (Mayfly and Caddis are dwindling now but may still appear on a warm day on freestone streams)
Morning 9-11 am:
Little Dot-winged Sedge Neophylax spp. Tan Elk Hair Caddis #16-18, LaFontaine's Tan Sparkle Pupa #16-18, Hare's Ear Soft Hackle #16-18, Tan Bird's Nest #16-18
Midday through Late Afternoon 12 noon - 5pm:
Blue Wing Olive Baetis spp. RS2, BWO, Pheasant Tail Nymph #18-22
Dun Midge Paraleptophlebia debilis RS2, Adams #20
Midges- Olive , Cream, Grey
Here's a nice scud tied by Tim Flagler.