This is the last week of fishing on our beloved McCloud River and my last report till she reopens next spring. The recent storms and rain are putting a tad bit of color in her as well as rising flows and a lot of leaves. This week I chose flies that would stand out in these conditions and found more success on those big bows and browns that have been dropping everyones jaw this season. This yeare there have been many rainbows 18- 22 inches and a few bigger than that. Absurd…but why? I’m no fisheries biologist, but I have to assume that last winters high flows pushed these fish out of the river and into the lake. In Shasta Lake, their diet went from bugs to fish and they grew big quickly. Thats my guess.
These last days of the season you are bound to see huge browns on redds. These are spawning fish and need to be left alone. Be very careful where you wade and simply stay away from them. Typically, in the next run below a redd there will be rainbows eating eggs and nymphs displaced from the spawning activity above. These fish are fair game and a good place to catch one. Some of the most exciting fishing will come from throwing the big stimulator as the fish are finally keying in on the October Caddis that are much less prevalent then a couple weeks ago.
Go walk her banks, say goodbye for the Winter, pay respects and catch one last one for the season. 2017, the year of big ones.