Fall is a delightful time of year. We are treated to wonderfully warm days and cool nights, footballs flying through the air, oak and aspen trees turning the hills red, yellow and gold, and, trout moving into the shallow shoreline waters of Strawberry Reservoir.
Reports from Steve Densley at the old Sandy Anglers' Inn confirmed that the latter event had begun and many fishermen were finding success on the reservoir fishing the traditional flies and using methods that we'll discuss here.
I must confess that although my first fly fishing experiences were almost exclusively spent float tubing Indian Creek Bay, two or three experiences of little success and large schools of chubs or suckers turned me into a Green River fisherman real fast. But I'd love to give this activity one more chance and now seems to be the time. The reservoir won't be poisoned for about a year and the flooding of new areas of shoreline has given the trout a respite in the battle against the trash fish. The chub has all but decimated the midge larvae which used to produce such large trout but alternative food sources have given us maybe one more year of good fishing until the trash fish again overwhelm the food chain and the inevitable poisoning must occur.
According to Steve, the fish are being caught all day but mornings and evenings are best with the early A.M. being best of all. The fish are at the surface down to 10 feet so if flyfishing, a #2 sinking line works well. The traditional patterns for this fishing include the olive, brown or black Woolly Bugger or Woolly Worm, with sometimes a red pattern working well. The Double Renegade pattern is also very productive, and I have also had success using mayfly emerger patterns and streamers. My favorite fly would have to be the olive Woolly Bugger, however. I have even trolled this pattern behind a boat and done as well or better than my friends with their Flatfish and Triple Teasers. My guess is that the large Cutthroats which Strawberry is known for love a Dragonfly nymph and perhaps that is what this fly represents to them.
Any shallow shoreline area should be holding fish now. My favorite areas are around the old dike (now submerged), East Portal Bay all the way to the Bryant's Fork inlet, Salamander Bay and Indian Creek Bay. The Trout Creek and fish ladder inlets are also excellent and very accessible. Steve recommends fishing the seam along the mossy or murky water where it begins to clear. Fish are being taken up to 18" and larger with the average size being 14". Fishing will be good now through October or as long as the cold doesn't drive us away. I'll hope to see all of you former Strawberry "tubers" out in the next few weeks.