STRAWBERRY RESERVOIR — Many boat anglers are now thinking of getting their rigs winterized before the winter season. But October can be some of the hottest fishing available at Strawberry Reservoir.
Locations for fishing success can be varied, but structure near deeper water holds cutthroat trout. Often, with trout suspended, downriggers are not a necessity to catch fish. This is not to say that depth isn't important, but fish are found by those using weighted tube jigs and float tubers with fly rods casting leech patterns.
Right now, the trout at the reservoir are opportunistic feeders. They are hungry and fattening up before the long winter season sets in. Lure color, presentation methods, and mixing up your willingness to cast and troll are success makers.
Coloration is always a factor, and many anglers have their favorite colors and lures they like to use. Nearly everything has a chance of working. The pop-gear and a worm fans will catch fish, as well as those fishing jigs. One really successful color for spoons, jigs, and spinners is white. Also, white with streaks of color or sparkle lures are good for trout action. But black, brown or purple leeches are a good bet as well right now.
In presentation methods, still fishing and casting lures such as tubes, Rooster-Tails, Blue Fox spinners, and Jake's lures can entice solid strikes. But you must be willing to change approaches at Strawberry, especially when the 11 a.m. wind picks up. That's when drifting with the current can be effective.
If the wind is not in your favor, trolling will work as well, sometimes better than vertical jigging or casting. Tipping jigs with a piece of nightcrawler can make the urge to strike more than the trout can handle. They'll slam such offerings with a vengeance.
The bottom line here is to be prepared to switch up often in order to find what is most effective. Having multiple rods rigged, one with a big, white Rooster-Tail, a tube jig, and another with a spoon such as a Kastmaster, will produce at different locations and times of the day.
Regardless of your approach to the big reservoir, you can expect to see some action if you experiment and stick with it for a while. Don't hesitate to move if the action slows or is nonexistent. The trout are in there and finding them is a fun challenge. Once located, a good school of cutthroat trout can make for a day that you'll have stories to tell about for a long time to come.