Fall is here and our first cold front of October came yesterday with some much needed rain. It has been very dry here in Central Virginia. The low and clear water can make fishing very challenging and unfortunately not worth the time depending on where you are going. Small mountain streams are super low and in my opinion unfishable. The native brook trout should start spawning in the near future and with the low water I will be leaving those streams alone until flows increase. Yesterday we received over a half of inch of rain and more forecasted for next week so hopefully we will see better conditions soon.
If you are wanting to get out after trout then I suggest the Jackson and Smith river tailwaters. With the flows coming out of the dam the flow is typically managed and will not get terribly low. I have started my Fall trout trips. The Jackson River has fished well primarily nymph fishing but also catching some fish on dry and dropper rigs as well. In a couple weeks the brown trout will start their spawn. If you see fish on spawning bed let them do their thing so we can have more fish for the future!
I have pretty much wrapped up my smallmouth bass season. Hopefully I will get out a few more times before Winter weather gets here. It was a great season and my busiest guiding year ever. The last few weeks I was surprised we were still catching them on topwater flies. Now streamers will be the way to catch them. With cooler temps the bug life will start to die off and the bass will not look up to the surface as much.
I made a quick trip down to the North Carolina coast with some buddies of mine. This time of year false albacore are the sought after fish for the fly rodder. The fish were around but being picky. They were eating very small silversides, so matching the bait size can be important. Unfortunately the albies would not stay up long on the surface, so you had to make your shots count which isn’t easy in rolling seas. October fishing can be really good in N.C. and I was able to catch, several spanish mackerel, bluefish, and a couple redfish. So even if the albies are being tough theres other fish to catch.
A lot of anglers are getting fired up because Fall generally means time to target musky. I have had some interest in trips but I’m going to wait till late November to start running my guided trips. With the low and clear water it makes a hard fish to catch even harder. With the low water they can see everything going on and generally I have found it to be very tough. I’m going to stay patient and wait for the water to rise.