The rainy and cloudy weather we've experienced this week looks like it will continue into this weekend. Expect cloud cover most of the day with a chance of rain and varying winds in the afternoon. (But be careful, use that "W" word lightly!)
The blue-wings and mahoganies are still hatching when the weather starts to cool so keep an eye out while on the water. Try immitating these insects (#16-20) with a Purple Haze, Adams, or emerger patterns that sit low in the surface film. Fish will be feeding on the edges of dropoffs and foam lines, and with the water as clear as it is right now, you might be able to see that fish come all the way off the bottom for your fly!
October Caddis are still out, and fish are still happily rising to them. Watch for splashy eats that indicate a trout is snackin' on some.
A few of the Ellensburg Angler crew got together on Halloween and did a short afternoon float in the canyon. We almost exclusively pounded the bank with streamers and found success with gold/olive Sparkle Minnows (#8) and natural-colored Sculpin patterns. Fish a sink-tip with a short leader and focus on stripping your fly with a downstream arc in the line. Cast over drop-offs and around structure where fish will hold in the lower flows. Fish will see that fly coming in their face and will be forced to eat it or get out of the way! There is nothing better than seeing the chase and feeling the tug.
If you want to nymph, try fishing a Pat's Stonefly (#8-12) in coffe or black. Fish a smaller mayfly-style nymph (#14-20) off the back of the Pat's like a Lightning Bug, WD40, Olive Hare's Ear, or Pheasant Tail. With slow flows, try fishing no extra weight on the line and mend like crazy to keep your flies in the drift as long as possible. Consider switching to a yarn indicator as they are much more sensitive than a Thingamabobber or Air-Lock.
Keep an eye out for sheep! The big rams are out chasing ewes and might provide a chance to see some of these cool criters up close.
Good luck out there this weekend and get in on some of this shoulder season fishing. Pack a rain jacket, some coffee or hot chocolate, and maybe a couple hand warmers.