Hot temperatures and rising water have been the talk of most around Craig lately. It finally feels like summer with our highs stretching up into the 90’s for the rest of the holiday weekend. The good news is our water temps are holding strong at 59 in the morning coming out of Holter Dam. Where will the water levels go? My guess is it will be headed down real soon. Flows at Tosten are 7,200 cfs. Canyon Ferry is about 20% into the flood pool. Our flows at Holter are 6,900 cfs. Common sense says it will go down, but we don’t get to control the water. There are lots of factors to consider.
Overall dry fly fishing has been pretty good despite the higher flows. Wading is a little less limited. However, this flow is great for the fish and will help us keep good fishing throughout the summer. The Caddis hatch is going strong down in the canyon. Lots of folks blind fishing with their favorite Caddis patterns along likely looking water and having success. We like Elk Hair Caddis in #14 and #16 for this technique. Find some sippers that you think will eat a Caddis? Try a #16 Stocking Wing or Double Duck. PMD’s are still around and Trico’s are just around the corner. Rusty Spinners and PMD Cripples are the choice flies.
Nymphing is good throughout the entire river. With the higher water, the worm has been back in the spotlight for some. Most are sticking with Caddis Pupa or smaller Mayfly looking stuff. Lighter nymph rigs are starting to become more popular. Adjust your depth until you are ocassionally finding bottom, or seek out the shallower water with a short leashed system. A small pinch on indicator and a few feet to a couple tungsten nymphs is a good way to tackle the lighter nymph rig system.
It’t going to be a busy weekend with the holiday. Stay safe out there and enjoy the warm weather!