3 Flies for the Week: November 27
It seems like we’re living in real life Groundhog Day when talking about this weather cycle. We’ve been having big drops in temperatures that come with snowstorms, then the weather quickly warms up to the 50’s. We hope this doesn’t last, otherwise we may be in for a rough snowpack. This up and down cycle is affecting water conditions in numerous ways. Big snowfalls and melts are causing water clarity to murk up (only slightly though), while the big drops in temps cool the water off and then suddenly they come back to where they were. This isn’t ideal for fishing, but finding the upswing in the water temperatures is going to result in some quality fishing. Expect the middle and later part of the week to have better fishing. Like last week, expect midges to be the main hatch, unless you’re fishing in Pueblo where you can expect to see plenty of BWOs still. Now, let’s get to the flies:
#1: Irish Ale Midge - sz20 (In Store Only)
The Irish Ale Midge is a color variation of the Pale Ale Midge that flat out catches fish. Like I’ve mentioned with other midge larva patterns, it’s a good idea to mix up the color from the standard red. A lot of fish see red larva patterns and they become resistant to picking them up, plus there’s a ton of midge larva that aren’t red. Olive is an absolute must-have in your box for not only this week, but throughout the winter when we’re fishing for fussy tailwater trout. When we fish the Irish Ale Midge on waters like Cheesman, Deckers, the Blue, Frying Pan, and Taylor, we yield a much higher hook-up rate than on the standard red larva. Although this is a very small pattern, we’re using this as our lead fly on a three fly nymph rig. The majority of fish have now moved to slower, deeper water which allows them to inspect your flies from a good distance away. This is the time of the year where the fish’s feeding window is much smaller, so we need to do everything in our advantage to convert eats when they’re active and sometimes sizing down to midge larva as your lead fly is the key.
This is one I bet you weren’t expecting to see on here this week. Yes, I did mention that there wasn’t likely to be any BWO hatches this week aside from Pueblo. The beautiful thing about the pheasant tail is that it can resemble just about anything when fished in the appropriate size. The sz20 is a perfect in-between size that can resemble BWO nymphs and midge pupa alike. This is the exact reason why we’re suggesting this fly this week. Majority of areas will have dwindling BWO hatches and growing midge hatches, so why not fish a fly that covers both scenarios. Although we love to fish very hatch specific flies, sometimes the general, suggestive flies flat out work.
For the most part, brown trout are done spawning and very worn out from it. The spawn is a time where mature fish spend very little time eating and more time fighting with another and competing for the perfect spawning gravel. Due to all this burned energy, they need to eat a lot of food in order to recover. One of our favorite tactics for this time of the year is fishing jigged streamers, such as the jiggy fat minnow. The reason we like this profile of a streamer over others is its shape or movement. Again, these fish are relatively tired so not all of them want to burn even more energy chasing down a 4” fish that they might not even get. But, that 1-2” baby fish looks a lot easier to tackle and provide the calories it needs. But keep in mind, you need to fish this fly in the manner it was designed to. A straight retrieve is not going to cut it. This fly needs to be fished by jigging your rod tip with a long leader to provide better connection and minimal line sag from the fly line. Think of all the concepts associated with euro nymphing, but with a lot of motion thrown into it and beefed up tippet, say 2x. A long leader in combination with the heavy tungsten bead on this fly can allow you to fish all water types, even the deep holes where fish are spending most of their time in the winter.
Best of luck on the water this week and we hope these flies catch a fish or two for ya. Two of the three flies are available on our website, but all are in the shop. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to Xavier on email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the shop at 303-330-1292. Thank you!