Beautiful Autumn weather blanketing Lake Davis in the last week, another Indian summer with flashes of small weather systems in the last month and a half. It’s just how our climate is these days and surly not the same world I remember growing up in Paradise. Back then we’d get rain and snow from late September through May, and a whole lot of it. We had t-shirt weather last Friday in the afternoon. It’s been too nice to be honest. We need a good storm to let these fish know that winter will take hold soon and they will be living under an icy tomb for 5 months. They tend to feed more during such desperate times. Currently It's been really cold in the Lake Davis area, lows in the teens, and the east wind has a bite to it. Shore ice is starting to form, especially in shady areas. Catch rates have slowed down from the previous week. The big mega pods I found in the extreme north end and took advantage of have dispersed – Fish are scattered once again. We saw this in early October as well. You’ll find them in all types of water too, shallow shoreline, mid depth with heavy weeds, and in 25 feet with a featureless bottom structure. No matter the depth the trout are hugging the top water column. 50 degrees is the current water temp and it’s been dropping really slow with the warm afternoons we’ve had. Fishing conditions are rarely perfect, the angler that makes the most of what they have been dealt will always succeed the most. At least there are more fish in the lake. When we have a day with 13 fish to the net and I’m thinking it’s on the slow side, that tells me things are getting back to the normal rhythms that Lake Davis is known for.
Glassy conditions with a high sun can be frustrating, the trout are spooky and hard to catch. Fishing from a boat requires my guests to cast at least 40 feet when the lake is like a giant mirror. That boat puts out a pretty large foot print on the water’s surface, so you need to place your fly as far away as possible. That’s the beauty of choppy water, it masks your mistakes, and gives you an advantage. Do yourself a favor and practice your casting for 20 minutes three times a week for months before a trip to the lake. As a guide, it allows me to make your day much more productive, I have more to work with. Pray for the ripple, it really helps. Same story…cover water, find them, bang them…move on. With the warm weather there has actually been some hatches of size 34 midges in the afternoon, enough to see a few risers. When you see rising fish, it gives you hope. If you’re catching smaller fish in a certain area and you want bigger fish – Move to a different location. Big fish are bullies, and they’ll push out those smaller fish where there is abundant food and prime feeding areas. Quality or quantity, a choice you have to make at times.
Big flies with moving parts, Jay Fair stuff. Rust in the morning with a little red, burnt orange in the afternoons. Keep it moving, vary the strip cause these fish do not like a fly stripped with perfect rhythm, mix it up, make that fly look alive like a real creature swimming underneath the surface. I love a fly like Jay’s trolling fly (a stripping fly for those that are sensitive to the word trolling) that can do it all, and is easy to tie. When the fishing is on the slow side, it’s the intricate details that often make the difference. Don’t just fish, strategically think as you fish and decipher the ever changing daily conditions.
My plate is full for the next two months. I’ll finish up the best fall season in 8 years ,here at Lake Davis, a 3 day trip to the Trinity River for my own fishing with my buddies @shogun_of_denver and Brian Clemens as our guide, then prepping for my 2nd So Cal Presentation tour to 7 clubs in 10 days (I’ll post the details soon), come back home and bang out a bunch of Lower Yuba River trips… next would be my full day of “Insights to Nor Cal Eastern Stillwaters” with Delta Fly Fishers on December 7th, then a 3 week-long trip to Colorado to go fishing with my best friend Cat, while ending it with some Christmas cheer and the last Star Wars movie.