Here we are now, at the tail end of October. The leaves have changed colors and I have to scrape my car windshield in the morning. Winter is in the air and I can't help but hear sleigh bells and Christmas tunes in the distance...
Although we aren't in the 100 degree temps, hatches, and wet wading we experienced this summer, the fishing is staying strong for those who are willing to get out on the river.
While we have been fishing nymphs to start out the mornings, the guide staff welcomes the mayfly and October Caddis hatches that begin midday and offer a chance to throw dries. Once the chill has burned off and the sun has warmed the river bottom, small BWOs and midges start to materialize over the water. Things really start to ramp up when October Caddis begin slapping the water and fish blow up on the surface, chasing the whimsical insects. The October Caddis hatch is starting to wind down, but you still might be able to trick a trout that has been used to feeding on them on top.
To target October Caddis, trying fishing an Orange Stimulator or PMX (#6-10). You can fish these solo during a hatch, or in tandem with a cripple or adult mayfly pattern(#14-18). Quigley Cripples in olive or brown and Pheasant Tail Cripples have been picking up fish, and a generic Adams in olive has done well to imitate a BWO adult. If you aren't seeing any caddis, try fishing an adult mayfly trailed by a cripple. Take some time to "hunt heads" and watch for consistently rising fish. Look for feeders in seams, foam lines, and along deeper banks.
You can find success in the mornings fishing under an indicator in deeper runs and the slow tailouts of pools. Try a stonefly nymph like a Pat's Stonefly (#8-12) in coffee/black, black, or brown, trailed by a smaller BWO-style nymph (#14-18). Gold/silver Lightning Bugs, green Hare's Ears, and RS-2s have been consistent patterns. As a rule of thumb, monitor the color of the insects hatching and match it to your nymphs subsurface.
Worm season is just around the corner and a few people have been hooking up to fish on San Juans (#8-12) in pink/red. Make sure you have a few in your box from here on out to target winter fish. Streamer season should be starting soon as well, so have a few sculpin patterns and a sink tip to swing through slow runs. You just might hook into a mean, hungry rainbow...
Also, the Naches River has been fishing well recently and will close on October 31st. Try to get out and enjoy some Yakima River tributaries before they close!
So load up the car, pour a cup of coffee, pack an extra pair of socks, and get in on the last of what October has to offer.