Fall Fishing on Rock Creek 2021
Updated: Dec 8, 2021
Water Temp: 49-55°F
Dries: October Caddis, Mahogany Dun, Blue-Winged Olive, Purple Haze, Hoppers
Nymphs: Pheasant Tail, Orange Serendipity, Perdigon, Pat's RL
There is a distinct chill in the air now, and the daylight hours have been noticeably shorter. Although there are still lots of bugs flying (mahoganies, October caddis, etc.), the dry fly fishing itself has been spotty in the mornings due to the colder temperatures. If you are a dry fly aficionado, I'd recommend sticking to the late morning and most of the afternoon for surface fishing. If the daytime temps hit the 70s, there will likely be some decent dry fly fishing in the evenings, as well. The mahogany dun has been a great option this month, and the purple haze is always a good choice as a general attractor. Keep them in the size 16 range during the warmest parts of the day, and you should get some trout to rise to them.
There have also been more October caddis flying as we approach their namesake month. Try an orange elkhair or stimulator pattern when you see them flying, and put a small beadhead pheasant tail or crippled emerger behind it to improve your odds. One of our favorite droppers this time of year is Doug's big orange serendipity. A lot of anglers prefer to fish this as a cripple/wet fly, but I like to put a split shot above it and sink it to the riverbed. Pat's Rubber Legs and perdigons are still excellent nymph patterns this time of year too.
This is also a great time to break out your streamer patterns. Though we haven't seen any of the big brown trout moving upstream just yet, you can still have productive days stripping wooly bugger patterns in this colder water. JJ Specials and other brown trout imitators are usually the preferred streamer, but black and olive are also good color options, and big articulated patterns will become more effective as we dive deeper into fall.
Whether it's due to the change in temperature or the pressure we've seen on Rock Creek these past few weeks, the fishing has been up and down this September. As October approaches, the number of fishermen visiting will drop significantly, and I suspect the fishing will become steadier by that time. Granted, you will have to deal with colder weather and shorter days, but if you prep for it, there should be some good days to be had on the creek! More soon.