Weekend Warrior: Who’s Ready to Nymph?

The waters these days are getting too cold even for the dogs. Gus hightails it back to shore on Rock Creek in November.
The waters these days are getting too cold even for the dogs. Gus hightails it back to shore on Rock Creek in November.

While I haven’t had the chance to hit the water much this week, I plan on getting out this weekend for what could be one of the last bits of the fall fishing we’ve got. It’s been cold, and colder most nights which has all but shut down the bugs for the year though there could be some BWOs hanging about in places. But bright sun usually means no bugs hanging about, and this late in the fall our dry fly fishing might be a goner for the season. But that doesn’t mean the fishing is all done! On my most recent trips to the river, the nymphing still caught fish where they should be, and there are plenty of spots to hang out and find some real solitude this time of year on the river.

If you’re wanting to scratch that fishing itch, wade fishing is a great option for the weekend. There is little to no boat traffic and lots of water where you can pick apart seams and riffles with a shallow nymph rig without another angler in sight. Try a light setup with some smaller may fly profile nymphs to find trout willing to grab on. This time of year I like two nymph rigs that aren’t run deep. Fly combos like a san juan worm and a pheasant tail, a smaller rubberlegs and a hotspot nymph, and other combos will move fish in slow pools and let you concentrate on why you’re out there in the first place. I know it isn’t a popular way to fish these days with the bobber being a go-to, but fall also is a time when I like to run a single nymph through runs on a tight line, just to feel the tug on the line of a little guy in a soft water pocket. Late fall is a great time to slow it down and enjoy the scenery as much as it is catching fish. Streamers? I always rip one through the water I’ve just nymphed just for fun. If I’m fishing from a boat this time of year the streamer game is the only one I want to play. Some chases, mostly blanks, and I don’t care. However you plan on fishing this weekend, make the most of it. Get out this weekend with the right expectations and you’ll enjoy yourself.  Not much season left before the winter rigs come out.

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