Some egg suckers resting on my Bougle
Gotta love this time of year. The river is full of leaves, cool mornings have arrived, and the river is full of fish. Dead fish, half dead fish, and LOTS of fish dropping eggs everywhere. Even though there are a boatload of Steelhead in the river, they are keyed in on pretty much one thing only-EGGS. Unfortunately for us who swing flies, this poses a big hurdle. Watching pinners and egg bouncers hammer fish all around us is one of the most frustrating issues to contend with, but we can also learn from them. Watch where they are finding fish, watch how they are fishing.
Try this: instead of the normal down and across approach, cast across the river or slightly upstream. Kick in a big mend and let 'er sink and dead drift. Usually you will get a take as the fly is sinking, before it begins to actually swing. Try to keep a tight line throughout the sink early in the swing. Egg sucking leeches work really well this time of year also. Lastly, don't overlook the fast pocket water. This is where the MOW tip systems works really really well combined with a weighted fly. Don't be afraid to experiment and try various casting angles. The fish are there, we just need to adjust to the conditions in order to bring a few to the bank.