September Fishing Thoughts

River conditions this summer have been warm with little rain so many of us curtailed our fishing. We had a few days but mostly the trout were sulking on springs or in the deeper pools. Tuesday there was a hint of fall in the air and with recent rains ticking up the stream gauge slightly, I decided to see what the river had to offer.

Heading down to the Home Pool low water conditions prevailed, gravel bars were exposed but I was encouraged by just how well how our stream restoration gathered what water there was and directed it to the main channel.   While the conditions may not have been ideal for nymphing there was another game just starting: the fish were sipping dries.

September is prime time for two hatches, the fall broods of the Slate Drake Isonychia bicolor and the Cream Cahill Maccaffertium modestum. Both mayflies are relatively large most often a size 14 and hatch later in the day; the Isonychia in the late afternoon and the Cahills right around dusk. Spinner falls overlap after 6pm with the former being more prevalent early while the Cahills often dominate before and just after dark.

Over the years I have noticed that the trout feed differently when targeting Isonychia or Cahills. Sporadic but aggressive takes tell me that the trout are feeding on the Isonychia, while deliberate, frequent rises usually mean that they are feeding on Cahill spinners. Tonight the mahogany bodied Isonychia were scarce or at least harder to see. There were more Cahills in the air but the rise forms observed indicated they wanted the Iso Parachute. Several takes and two fiesty fish landed I called it a night. Our fish had survived yet another hot Jersey summer in fine form.