31 Jul 2019
July 31, 2019
It’s definitely feeling like mid summer out here in Craig. Daytime highs are up in the low 90s for the next stretch of days, and a hot breeze is kicking up in the afternoons. Angler traffic has diminished some, but don’t be fooled- the fishing is as good as it’s been. There will eventually be a day when I can cross PMDs off of our hatch chart here. That day is not today. The unofficial bug of summer 2019 is still getting it done, especially in the evenings. When in doubt, take a second to watch the water and assess what’s drifting down the current. There are also big Trico swarms popping up more consistently. Lots of Trico columns in the upper river this morning. At one point there were enough in the air that it sounded like rain hitting my windshield. Cluster Midges in 16-18 and Trico spinners in 18-20 are the ticket for most fish, but as our guides like to say, “They’re eating a good drift.” Make. Your. First. Cast. Count. Long leaders (10’ and longer) help to fool the picky ones too.
Nymphing throughout the river continues to be stellar. Start to mix in Zebra Midges and Love Bugs in 18-20 as the Tricos get going subsurface. Both of those patterns are also good building blocks for a hopper-dropper setup as well. Otherwise, standard caddis nymphs like the Weight Fly and the Case Caddis continue to produce. Fish banks, swirls, and fast riffles. The fish are generous in the morning and then a bit tougher in the afternoon as the mercury soars. Evenings and, *stage whisper,* nighttime are producing some fish. Get out there and have a great day!
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