Winter is here. Time spent walking trails keeps me spry for the next fly fishing season. The other day I was on the Path to the Sun…walking towards a New Year… a brighter one…we’ve all had some good news lately, and a positive change…hopefully we can keep rolling along and build momentum on the Path to the Sun.
Beach fishing for Roosterfish. Sea of Cortez. Baitfish flies. Simple impressionistic patterns. Six inches or longer; a 4/0 hook. These are light grey over dirty white. I tie some tan over off-white and light olive over dirty white. Some with flash. Most dull/flat. Deer hair is tied inside the head to create a puff/bulk. The puff pushes/moves water. I tie more streamlined heads for high wind days. And in the Springtime along the Cortez many days are windy, especially in the afternoon. My first few Roosterfish trips I cursed the wind. Then I learned that the wind and waves push plankton and baitfish up against the beach and that’s helpful when you are on foot. Baitfish like Mullet eat plankton and big Roosters like concentrations of Mullet. A roiled surf also seems to make Roosters, a very challenging discerning gamefish, less wary of fly patterns.
It’s winding down. Most rivers close at the end of the month. A nice weekend. Sunny on Saturday. Warm. Fished in shorts. Minimal wind. No surface feeding. The water looked dead. Lifeless. Late afternoon, when shadows were lengthening, I decided to sit and watch a pool. Noticed the occasional bright green grasshopper drifting by. Waited. Waited. Then a sizeable surface disturbance. Casted a small greenish hopper pattern…the only good fish of the day.
SEPTEMBER. IT HAS BEEN CHALLENGING. FEW BUGS ON the tailwater rivers I frequent and therefore few rising trout. I’ve had some luck searching the shallows for moving shadows and prospecting the deeper water with terrestrial patterns. I recently had ten days off of work so I was able to spend some full days on the water. So far September has been beautiful. Smokey at times from the fires west of here, also a few brief cold snaps but generally warm mid-day into early evening. I was able to wet-wade the past several days. Rivers are low and most clear. Tourists are gone. Few anglers around. It’s silent out there. My favorite time of year to spend a day, or ten, on my favorite rivers. Some fine trout on dry flies…