I’ve written about fall and spring fishing and my favorite setup during those times, but it’s worth reiterating especially after the communication I’ve had with a friend over the past few days. The setup I’m talking about is the GIE (Greg’s Incredible Egg) trailed by a size-18 standard Pheasant Tail nymph). Fish this on any trout stream in the country during fall and you are likely to meet with success. To catch trout, fish it under an indicator and pinch the proper amount of split shot to the leader to quickly get that offering to the bottom. The conversation with my friend, Nate Schweber, a writer for the New York Times and author of the book Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park (pictured above with his Madison fish) went like this:
Friend: Greetings from your old home of Ennis, where flows the Madison, the river that has given me more days of zero fish than any other piece of water I’ve ever worked. Now back to the Madison where I’ll try black streamers, white streamers, red copper johns, regular copper johns, BWO nymphs, spruce moths, October caddis nymphs and hail-Mary hoppers — and still catch not a one of these damn trout.
GT: Small, pink egg trailed by a standard size 18 pheasant tail nymph (not a bead head). Use about five bb split shot and get that sucker down. Bounce it along the bottom and you’ll be happy. Also this: the run below (location deleted) downstream of the (location deleted) is always loaded this time of the year. You should be able to crush with that rig. Park below (location deleted), cross the (object deleted), go through the (object deleted) and fish the run from the non-road side. Money.”
Friend: Small pink egg trailed by a size #18 non-beadhead pheasant tail, five BB splitshot. Broke my 0-for-the-Madison streak. Thanks again.
So, AT faithful, when you’re out on the water this fall, no matter where you’re fishing, consider that egg and PT combo, especially if all else fails. Remember, you have to bounce that thing along the bottom to catch fish. If it drifts high you won’t get a touch. Speaking of the Madison, it’s glory time there. Fish the braids below town or fish the big runs just upstream from town and you should find some good fish. The Beartrap Canyon, below Ennis lake is also tops this time of year. In another couple weeks the Slide Inn area should really be rocking and it will fish well all the way to Thanksgiving, if you can stand the cold.