November 22nd, 2019 -
With November’s unpredictable weather upon us fishing has remained pretty consistent. While there has been some extremely cold days we have also had some great fishing weather. If you have the will to go out there, you can be handsomely rewarded for your efforts. Just remember to dress warm and be prepared for any type of weather as a beautiful day can easily turn unpleasant if not properly equipped.
Nymphs are definitely the key to net most fish right now with there being an abundance of stonefly nymphs in the water. Big stonefly nymphs such as girdle bugs and Prince Nymphs are a great flies this time of year and allow you to trail other smaller nymphs which you can experiment with till you find the most consistent producer. Keys to success right now depend on finding the right location. With water temperatures dropping, fish are starting to pod up in numbers. If a run or deep hole produces a fish for you, chances are good there are buddy fish hanging around close by. Targeting deep buckets and pocket water behind boulders and logs is a great place to start to gauge what they are biting on and where your fly should be in the water column. Fish are gonna be hanging closer to the banks this time of year, so before you get too close to the water and spook a laid up tank try some casts along the bank. Think like a fish when surveying the water. Search for that calm deep water that would be easy for a fish to hang out while not burning much energy.
Streamers will produce some fish as well but not as consistently as the nymphs. That being said, depending on the day and conditions the streamer bite could be the better path. Always be experimenting with how you are fishing the streamer. Try everything from fast strips, jigs, and even the tight line drift and swing. Fish are getting less aggressive with the cold weather but they will still occasionally slash at, or eat a big bug if presented well to them. Olive, white, and natural colors seem to be the most consistent patterns, with black and darker patterns working on overcast days. Fish will let you know pretty quick if the streamer bite is on. If you are getting consistent looks and follows stick with it. If you are not seeing the fish showing any interest then switch that rig up to a nymph.
If you are out when a BWO hatch or small gnats are coming off the water fish will still gladly rise for those. You may be out on the water and notice a bunch of rising trout but no distinct bugs in the air, chances are they are rising on those super small flies where a Griffiths Gnat or small parachute adams size 20 or smaller will work. Some of the better fishing during the fall can be on tiny dries farther up river by Reynolds bridge and Three Dollar bridge. Just depends on being in the right place at the right time. Late afternoons on overcast days tend to be best.
Check out the latest Madison River Fishing Report here.