We’ve rung in 2018 with more fun fishing up on the Fall River. With the mild weather, the water temps have remained consistent. The hatches come off as expected and the fish have not only stuck around, but have spread out a little as well. Whether you prefer the “Tubes”, the Hatchery or up higher, if you know where to look, there are fish to be found. And in some spots there are big ones!
Recent trips up there have served up decent Blue-Winged Olive hatches provided the skies are sufficiently overcast. In stretches of river with some lava structure to the bottom, look for the little winter stonefly too. And if all else fails, tie a big, flashy streamer onto some heavy tippet and swing into any deeper water, especially around undercuts, drop-offs and downed trees.
Favorite flies this time of year are Sparkle Duns in BWO #20&22. The Butthead in the same sizes also fools fish. For dry-dropper look for a Purple Haze or Carlson’s BWO in #18 with the Micro-May 16″ under it. Soft Hackles and Winker’s Midge are also effective. For the big stuff, try a Sculpzilla in olive or chartreuse, anything heavy enough to get to the bottom. This should be done on a short leader down to 3X tippet. No messing around with far and fine when feeding them the streamer.
The hatch will come off anytime between 10am and 3pm. On a good day it goes on for a few hours. That time of the day, look for active fish. They might not be on the surface. Any movement signifies feeding. If they’re only moving a foot or two right and left, get the dry-dropper in there. If their bellies are on the bottom, show ’em the big, nasty.