Jon Baiocchi, Baiocchi Troutfitters
Our first real low pressure system and a little precipitation for the north state last weekend have totally changed the behavior of the trout at the lake. A sharp drop in water temperatures has the current numbers at 54-58. Fish are scattered at all depths. Many are suspended in 16 to 22 feet of water, yet some can be found in 2 feet. Water clarity is much better in the south and middle parts of the lake; the fading algae bloom is still present in some areas of the north end. Not every day is producing yet, the fall grab has stalled in my opinion, but conditions will only improve on a weekly basis.
As of today, there are a few players to be challenged by in the shallows, stealth and skill is absolutely key here. I’m seeing more fish cruising in the upper water column later in the day 1 to 3 feet down in 6-12 feet of open water. Fan casting with a floater to 3x stripping a bigger bug, with a callibaetis dropper has been very effective for this situation. Indicator rigs keep on producing with vertical presentations 3- 6 feet down in 6-12 feet of water as well. Fish are large and strong, with some on the hot side. They like to take you into the weeds and try and break you off, so get on them early, and stay in control. The trout’s feeding window is also changing, instead of morning and evening, their pattern now adapts to an all-day event, with periods of intensity.
Bug life has not been so grand with the adult and emerger stages of the callibaetis mayfly, and very few blood midges as well. In the skinny water Kirby’s backswimmers are very active and the trout do eat them. There has been a blanket hatch of a size 52 midge in a creamy gray in the mornings; luckily the fish are not keyed in on them.
Go to stripping flies have been Wiggle Tails in brown, rust, and dark olive #12-16. Sheep Creek Specials #12-14, and Mohair Leeches in black, brown, and burnt orange #8-10. For indicators; heavy chironomids like snow cones, and Mahalo midges in brown, wine, red, and purple #12-14 are getting a lot of attention. Also hanging pheasant tail flash back callibaetis nymphs #14-16 is a must right now. Carrying a few size 16 Adams parachutes is a smart move as one never knows if a few bugs will pop up on the surface with some interested trout nearby.
The seasons have changed and planned fishing trips can be altered by snow, and other weather related factors when it comes to Lake Davis, which sits at a 5,700 foot elevation. Be prepared and always dress for
that day’s weather. My October dates are booked up, but I do have some open dates after November 10th. All of this greatly depends on ice up. With snow on the ground the launching ramp becomes icy and sketchy. The boat is retired for the season, and trips become walk and wade opportunities. Sometimes we snowshoe into the buckets for those hardy enough endure the trek to productive open water. We’ll have to wait and see what the weather will bring for the future. Whatever it is, just run it, and enjoy the Autumn adventure!