July 8, 2016
There are a lot of memorable times throughout the open water fishing season. We all have our favorite outings like the first Hendrickson hatch or when caddis season kicks in or when monster mayfly hatches begin on our remote ponds inspiring big trout to make pigs of themselves.
The memorable mid-summer golden stone fly hatch has just begun. It’s that time of season when the big summer stoneflies made an appearance and it’s time to break out the big stuff like size 8 Stimulators, Tarantulas and Rogue Stones. They come in many different body configurations and colors but in a salmon’s brain they all mean stonefly, the cheeseburger of summer.
It started just the other day. Even though fish still feed heavily on whatever caddis are around the sight of something big on the surface gets the interest of the biggest fish in the pool. And when they make the decision to grab one they come with conviction and don’t mess around. Be on your toes and get’em on the first take because they likely won’t be fooled a second time.
We often put whatever caddis is in season as a trailer about 2 feet behind a big bug. Don’t forget to skip the flies around at the end of the drift to fool’em into believing they are trying to take to flight. Or maybe tie on a bead head as a trailer and use your big dry as the strike indicator. The big fly gets their attention and the beadhead become an easy tidbit.
The flow in the East Outlet has increased making the river harder to wade but it doesn’t mean it isn’t as fishable. When flows increase fishermen say they can’t get to spots where they had been catching fish when the water was lower. The river is too high and fast. When flows change fish relocate. Where fish hangout changes with different flows.
At 1000 cfs fish are forced into deep channels because the rest of the river is to shallow and slow moving. Pools are well defined and fishy runs are easy to find. Increase the flow to 1500 cfs and fish relocate to the edges of the channels and away from the heavier current. At its present level of 2500 cfs the river is full from bank to bank. Where you were easily wading at 1000 cfs there is now waist deep water with fish holding along a new eddy line that wasn’t there at lower flows.
Our point is the river fishes differently at different flows. There are low water holes and high water holes.
We were catching fish today in places that held no fish at lower flows and catching no fish in the main channels where they all were a week ago.
The river is still full of fish. They just got shuffled around and are now closer to the edges than in the middle. If the flow is different than you are used to look at the river differently. The fish haven’t left they just moved to new neighborhoods.
The monster mayflies on the ponds are still in full bloom. Some are about done and others are just now beginning.
Have a great weekend and support your local fly shop.