The Yampa River is at 135 CFS this morning. Due to a bunch of precipitation over the last week the river has spiked a bit in flow. It got as high as 150 CFS a few days ago from the previous early fall storm we had. These precipitous conditions have really provided a fantastic boost to the watershed coming into the fall bite. Rising water has put a slight damper in the hopper fishing, as trout are a little more reluctant to rise, as well as having been pushed out of their consistent feeding lanes from the last month or so.
With this infusion of fresh cold water into our local river systems this week, the prospective fall hatches should be staging. It often takes this first wet cold pop of September to really kick in our fall fishing. With nighttime lows in the 30's and the water temperatures consistently dropping, The Mahoganies and Blue Winged Olives should be just around the corner... if you’re not secretly seeing them already! The streamer bite is kicking into high gear as well, as is typical this time of year. Throw your bright on bright days and your dark on dark days. Don’t be afraid to go big and huck those absurd articulated massive bugs you’ve been tying. These river conditions are getting those browns pissed off and horny, perfect for your sex dungeons and peanut envies.
On the same note, with the spawn just around the corner, anglers are wise to start thinking eggs. The spawn is a long sustained process. It starts earlier and ends later than the majority of fishermen realize. The early bird gets the worm and those willing to play the egg game before the hordes, are usually rewarded. Let’s remember, trout eggs are as natural food source in the river seasonally as a size 26 Trico or any other fussy hatch. The anti-egg stigma exhibited by many anglers seems to really only separate those catching from those not. Let’s remember the egg bite is a fixation bite. Once they’re in the river, there are days eggs are the only things fish will consistently eat. You can either play the game or sit in the bleachers and spectate. Lots more on egg fishing to come as the spawn approaches!
Tricos are still the dominant hatch late morning… Make sure you have them surface and subsurface. This will look for hoppers way after we think they’re gone so keep throwing them. When the river comes back down a bit, which it will, they will be back on hoppers big time through the rest of September, so don’t put them away for long.
Tight lines, be nice.