May 24, 2018 – Memorial Weekend Fishing Report
Conditions could not be any better. Water flows are just about perfect and fish have been very co-operative. Smelt runs have run their course but because major hatches haven’t kicked in yet fish are still willing to chase streamers. It’s not as crucial these days to just imitate a smelt. We are beginning to catch fish on different streamers, especially skulpin patterns. An olive woolly bugger fished along the bottom in the right place should do the trick. There are also some very effective skull head skulpin patterns as well. The sucker spawn is coming to an end. A week ago they wouldn’t leave a good egg pattern alone but lately they are moving on to greener pastures. There are good Blue Wing olive hatches around and fish are beginning to pick at those. Also nymphing has become very productive. When we are fishing runs that we know hold fish we often need to cycle through a few nymphs before finding one they want and that nymph may only catch a fish or two.
This time of season we say “ It takes 5 different nymphs to catch 5 different fish”. The reason being hatches haven’t started in earnest just yet. Every bug out there is still in their nymphal stage of their life cycle so there are litterally hundreds of species of mayflies, caddis, and stoneflies waiting around on the river bottom until the right conditions occur and send them a signal to become adults. At this point in time hungry fish are looking for whatever comes their way but for some reason they can become quite fussy as you may have to cycle through a number of patterns before you hit on the one they want.
Everyone is anticipating Hendrickson hatches to begin as are the fish. Once they pop all you’ll need for are Pheasant Tail nymphs, parachute Adams and plenty of Hendrickson dries. But or now very few fish are looking up so we have been working the bottom of the water column. Water temps are rising close to the 50 degree mark. Surface fishing isn’t upon us yet but it’s not far away.
Our trout ponds have warmed and may fly hatches will be in full swing. Make sure you bring the four major pond dries; Adam, Blue Dunn, Black Gnat and Quill Gordon. Pond hatches generally begin during mid-day and last until the dinner hour. If you want to get tricky add two feet of tippet to your dry and drop an unweighted Hare’s Ear in natural, olive or black and you’ll probably fool a few more trout. If nothing is showing keep using your sinking line attached to a Woolly Bugger or your best Dragon Fly nymph and work the contour where you just loose sight of bottom. That game will continue to work until you see adults buzzing about.
Our fishery could not be in any better shape. Anglers have been bringing some beautiful trout to net. And it’s only going to get better. Have a great Memorial Day outing and be sure to dedicate a toast or two for all our vets.
The photo above is a long time custom, Sewell, admiring a 4lb male brookie he landed on the East Outlet a couple days ago. He hooked the trout in one pool and we had to chase it to another before he could bring it to net. A sucker spawn pattern did the trick.
See you on the water and have a wonderful weekend.