Fishing Idaho’s Upper Teton River in October can be a perfect 70-degree sunny day or a blizzard. In the last few years, I have experienced both.
FFI Certified Casting Instructor Tom Dempsey and I have been caught in the latter a few years ago. It was an interesting dilemma for be surrounded by rising fish but struggling to tie on a dry fly with numb, frozen fingers. Proudly, we did not leave the fish until the weather deteriorated into blizzard conditions.
This recent early October day was the opposite.
FFI CI Chuck Iossi and I had the opportunity to fish the Teton on one of those perfect autumn days. The time of year has the added benefit of absent paddle boarders, canoes, and rafts. In fact, we saw more moose than people.
The insects most often encountered this time of year include Tricos, Gray Drakes, Mahogany, BWOs, and October Caddis.
While I handled the oars, Chuck caught the majority of the fish using a Purple Haze dry fly or a Mahogany emerger. We caught about 30 mid- range size Rainbow, Brook, and Cutthroat trout. Casts were to specific targeted rising trout using 12-14 foot leaders of 5-6x. All casts were made from a sitting position. A drag-free drift was important because this portion of the Teton fishes like a crystal-clear slow-moving spring creek. The fish have plenty of time to examine the imitation but if presented properly these fish readily take a dry fly.
When fishing from a drift boat, my advice is to cast while seated if possible. I am certain you will have more stealth, and catch more fish.
FFI Master Casting Instructor