Monday, September 28, 2015

Fishing ahead of the blood moon

The super moon rise above the tree tops
Yesterday afternoon I headed north to do some early fall fishing and take some pictures of the moon during the lunar eclipse.  Last night was a coincidence of a super moon and a blood moon when the moon comes closest to earth and is eclipsed by its shadow.

I started off nymphing a nice run and took a couple of browns.  These were mostly holder trout that have been the river a while and some were showing some nice color.

After noticing some consistent surface activity in the tail of the pool, I headed downstream to see what was going on.  The subtle rises looked like the sort of rises you see when fish are taking small olive emergers so I tied on a #20 olive parachute and started to target the rises that were somewhat regular.  The fish consistently took the parachute most of the afternoon and the fly I was using seem to get more effective the more worn it became.  At one point the parachute post had taken so much abuse that I needed to change flies.  The new fly wasn’t nearly as convincing but once it had a taken a couple trout it fished well.  I found that fishing it slightly downstream was move effective and a fair number of fish took it on the slow swing at the end of the drift.  Maybe next time I should fish a small olive wet!

One of several colored holdover browns

As evening approached the yellow quills (Leucrocuta hebe) were starting to appear.  I watched carefully as the fish started to clear the surface either chasing rising nypmhs or trying to catch the spinners that were hovering a few inches above the surface.  A #18 olive/yellow parachute took a handful of fish including one that cleared the water and then took the parachute on the way down!  However, I think a small wet fly might have been more effective than fishing dries.  As the light faded the rise forms changed again becoming more subtle and less aggressive which led me to think the fish were taking spinners.  An olive/yellow spinner was pretty much ignored so I switch to a #20 rusty spinner and took the last trout of the evening.  It’s been a while since I’ve experienced several hours of consistent dry fly action and the pleasant weather and surroundings made for a wonderful Sunday afternoon outdoors.

Low clouds passing in front of the moon

As I finished packing up my gear back at the car, I could see the glow of the moon over the surrounding hills so I pulled out my camera and began scouting for a nice location to get some shots of the moon.  It was really amazing the watch the earth’s shadow travel over the face of the moon and then to see the moon turn red as the partial eclipse progressed.

The earths shadow progressing from left to right over the face of the moon

The blood moon


  1. Hey Mark I fished the river Sunday morning and did well on a partridge and yellow, and a yellow wing downwing Hornberg,
    The lunar eclipse and blood moon were seen by Jeanette, I was fast asleep. I'll catch the next one.

    1. Alan - I was thinking a #18 partridge and yellow might be a very good choice! You have to wait 2033 for the next super moon/blood moon!

  2. Sounds like a great day on the stream. Great pictures of the trout and the blood moon.

    1. Parachute Adams - thanks! It was a very good day for sure!

  3. A fine day on the stream and in the sky, wasn't it? I had a good one then while fishing Kettle and then catching the eclipse. Rare moments, for sure! Nice fishing report; beautiful photo of the reddish moon.

  4. Thanks Walt - it was a fine day for sure topped off by a wonderful display in the sky!