Fall Lake Fishing

Bob Newman - 10/14/20

Fall fly fishing patterns can include bead head wooly buggers on Spokane regional lakes.

Stillwater water. No crowds.

So the end of summer and it’s still very warm. Should you go fishing in a lake or the river? As the air and water temperatures drop, lake fishing is a good option.

There is still a lot of bug activity happening in your favorite lake. I was out the other day and found a few mayflies, dragon flies, damselflies, and chironomids flying around the lake. More importantly there were a fair number of fish, and good sized ones keying on the surface activity.

Adult damsel patterns are still working when you find a patch of reeds they are hanging around laying eggs on the subsurface reeds. For the adult chironomids, a parachute Adams is always a good choice. I have had success with the adult chironomids through the month of October when you see fish working on the surface.

If you don’t want to bother with the floating line, there’s always leech patterns, carey specials and their variants, soft hackles, dragon and damsel nymphs (remember they are around all the time), water boatmen, balanced leeches and other balanced fly patterns, and chironomids. I know I may have left out your favorite secret pattern but that’s because it’s your secret.

Right now the surface water temperatures are still pretty warm so there are a couple of considerations. The first one is that takes on the fly can be very soft because they are probably mouthing the fly without you knowing it, and if they hit it hard they may come off very rapidly because they are possibly tail biting and not really getting the hook past their lips. The second one is because of the warm water temperatures, not all of the fish will put up a strong fight. Landing the fish quickly and reviving them for release will mean they will be there in future.

As water and air temperatures cool down, we still have a couple of months of fishing time for some of the lakes around Spokane. Then if things don’t get cold too fast we have some winter only lakes that can fish well until the water gets too hard. Get out and enjoy a day on the water.

- Bob Newman

  • Bob Newman - Fly Tier 50 plus year award winning fly tyer and commercial tyer