Fall is showing its colors, and there is rain in our forecast. The local rivers are getting loaded up with Silvers and anglers, which means this season is in full effect. With a few summer steelhead around and plenty of Coho, now is a great time to hit the water with your single-hander or two-hander in hopes of hooking up with these fun-fighting fish.
Scandi lines and Skagit lines have their place this time of year, and so do the summer and winter flies. Coho can be targeted using the same flies and tactics as the summer steelhead, but you'll have a better chance with an intermediate/sink tip line and a smaller fly like a comet retrieved slowly through an eddy or "frog water."
Silvers are also known for being attracted to a jigging presentation, and I've been able to get a couple to eat a stripped jig fly I've been tying up for the coho. It's still really early, and the fish haven't fully turned on, but get out there and be ready for the first good rain. When they decide to bite, it's a pretty action-packed fishery!
Meanwhile, on the eastside, Trout are playing second fiddle to our returning anadromus fish as anglers focus on swinging Steelhead flies. Their loss. Misc. Mayfly hatches on the Deschutes, Crooked, and Metolius rivers have fish looking up as they pound protein in advance of the coming winter. October Caddis are starting to show on the D and Met, so make sure you have some big orange Caddis in your box. We should also start to see the lesser Green Drake hatch on the Metolius, so keep an eye peeled for this event, as it always makes for great surface action. Down size a little from your spring offerings, as the fall version is a bit smaller. Don't forget terrestrials like beetles and ants if nothing has taken to wing early in the day.
Coastal options include returning Salmon, and the Sea-Run Cutthroat that follow them home. Since Cutthroat fishing ends in October, you might as well get a few casts in before the weather gets damp. Reverse Spyders, Borden's Special, bigger Soft Hackles, or even October Caddis skaters will bring Sea-Runs to hand. Focus on deeper pools and tailouts, and watch for explosives takes as Cutties aren't shy. If you need to get deeper, try a small Clouser Minnow with lead eyes.
Stop by the shop for gear and fly suggestions, talk tactics, or just come hang out! Fall is a great time of year to be on the water so gear up and go fish!