All the food items are out and in play at Crowley right now. The poor fish don’t know what to key in on right now, Perch Fry, Tui-Chub Fry, Damsels, Callibaetis, Midges, Leeches, Snails, take your pick but choose wisely.
If you can’t figure out what they are chewing on in any particular hour, you might watch a lot of other anglers with some really hot sticks and you just barely getting any bites. Be proactive, switch colors, flies and depths every 10 minutes if you are not having success.
The Circus has been happening for the last month or more in McGee Bay. The channel has been the main focus for most anglers, however there are many other options to choose form besides the channel. Deep water up to 25 feet where no channel exists has been working well all the way back into the 13 foot range where you can definitely see a channel that will sometimes be up to three feet deeper than the surrounding main floor of the bay. Concentrate on finding mud bottoms along the hard and high weed edges. Post up fishing in the mud next to the weed lines. This is by far the toughest, smallest area to find and fish but the most rewarding.
Some anglers and guides can figure it out one day for 30 to 40 fish days, then come back the next day and can’t quit figure it out again for very few fish. Its unfortunate that some guides are able to get out on the spot before the gate opens up at 7am, however most of the time they post up in the wrong areas and it doesn’t help! If you don’t get out in time, you could be closed out but there are many more areas to fish than McGee Bay right now.
The North Arm in the channel in 7 to 15 feet of water has been very good for most who know how to post up correctly in the channel. Don’t straddle the channel, try to get on one side or the other depending on the wind direction. Do your best not to anchor up your monster boat of float tubes in the middle of the channel unless the wind forces you to do so.
Crooked Creek has been fishing well for a month or so now, I haven’t been in there but there are a tremendous amount of smaller fish and some very large ones also. If you have the patience to weed thru the smaller fish, you will be rewarded with some very large models up to the 24″ range.
The fish are starting to move out of McGee and head around the corner towards Sandy Point and along the south side of Sandy that is the shallower side and fish next to the weed lines for success.
Anywhere you fish this time of year, make sure you post up next to the weeds and fish quietly. The perch fry are all looking to hide in the weeds and the fish are using the weeds to get into big bait balls of perch thru out the day!
Damsels are starting to weaken a little but still plenty of Nymphs/Naiads moving around in the top part of the water column and hungry trout are eager to crush them all around your boat.
Chironomids and Callibaetis are hatching very, very strong each day with the Chironomids coming off several times a day including a phenomenal evening hatch that almost every angler and guide doesn’t even see or know about because in most circumstances, I am the only angler left on the lake when the evening turns to dark. Its pretty cool to be the only boat in most circumstances left out on the lake while other anglers and guides are at home or in their trailers. This is my solitude from everything and just relaxing and watching some of the most beautiful sunsets in the Sierra.
Tactics have been starting early in the morning with anything that imitates a perch fry. Punk Perch, Light Assassins, Birds nest, Hares ears, anything that looks like a baby perch fry. Once the midges and Callibaetis start coming off the water, move over to the midge or the light or dark Assasins, Pheasant tails or hares ears, something thicker to imitate the Callibaetis nymph body thickness. Then I move into the midges and really get on some great runs of fish. Rotate colors, Blacks, Greys, Olives, Browns and Chocolates. You as an anglers must put the time in to figure out the changes from color to color you need to be consistent and successful fishing the chironomids. Don’t forget the small blood midge larva early in the morning also in low light.
As we move on into the beginning of the Fall months, water temperature will start to drastically cool, the weed beds will disappear and the perch fry and snails will have nothing to hang onto anymore. It will be harder to locate bigger concentrations of fish because we won’t have the weeds and channels to hold our fish anymore. The fish will be spread out, roaming looking for the bait balls, the snails will be free floating along with the wind currents so look for small bays, points and shallower areas where a ton of snails will congregate because of the wind. Perch fry will look for anything resembling a weed stick up and try to hide against drop-offs because its the only assemly of cover they think they can use to hide from hungry trout. Leeches will be free swimming and being also blown around in the currentsl Fish deep into shallow areas where the wind is blowing straight into the shallows, bays or points and collecting large quantity of food items. The Fall bite is very exciting, we can get away with using much larger patterns, shorter leaders and heavier tippets. The fish feel the water cooling fast and they know they must put on the feed bags and get ready for winter and oncoming ice.
Good luck out there anglers, finish up your remaining time on the water strong and try to be courteous to your fellow anglers. I for one have taken on a new attitude this season by being more vocal when anglers try to invade my clients space. We must give each other enough room to fish and when asked to move farther away, don’t have an attitude that the person thats letting you know your too close is the bad guy. If you get on a spot or area first, its yours and you should be able to verbally let someone know to respect that area.
Good Luck, be safe, enjoy and have a fantastic rest of your season!