Fly fishing at the water temperature we have in October (50’s) using the correct fly line wil help you catch the largest bass.
At this time of the year I make sure I carry three different style fly lines in order to fish my flies at the depth required to catch bass at all depths in which they might feed.
1. I use a floating fly line in order to catch them in shallow water and when they feed on the surface.
2. I use a Scientific Anglers Mastery Sink Tip III Fly Line to fish the fast runs and moderately deep water.
3. I use a Teeny 200 Sinking Head Fly Line in order to fish the deepest pools.
Previously we discussed how to fish deeply with a floating line using streamers with a “sweeping a streamer” technique. This is very effective in pools out to about 30 feet. However, today let’s look at the method I use when I want to fish my streamers further out in large streams for the large trout at this time of the year.
In order to cover the deep water in the whole pool effectively I use a Teeny 200 fly line in which the first 24 feet of the line sinks quickly at 5.5 inches per second. My favorite tactic with this line is to wade into the stream just below the riffle and make a 30 foot cast across stream. After my streamer sinks deeply I swim it back across the stream bottom by stripping it six inches every ten seconds. Successive casts are made ten feet longer until I’m casting as far as comfortable. Then I wade down the side of the pool pausing every ten feet to repeat the same tactics. Often I’ll cover the whole pool this way until I start hanging up in the tail of the pool. Very effective streamers for large trout with this method are the Shenk’s Sculpin size 6 and 8 and Murray’s Black Madtom Sculpin size 6 and 8.
The warm weather has kicked the local fly fishing in to gear! The North and South Fork of the Shenandoah River are both in great shape and are fishing well (for April). Kelly landed this 15 1/2 inch Smallmouth Bass on an Olive Marauder #6 on 4/7/2010. A Sink Tip III Fly Line will work well for helping to swim your flies deeply through the ledges and deep pockets. An 8 Wt. Fly Rod will help you cast the heavy flies and lines a bit better than a 6 or 7 that we typically use in the summer.
Fly Fishing for Brook Trout in the Shenandoah National Park has been very good with mayflies and caddis coming off throughout the day. There is still a lot of water so if you are willing to hike into the upper reaches of your favorite stream, you will likely be rewarded with a few more willing fish.