Tricos are hatching in full force and the fish are gorging! You want to hit the water early in the morning before the water warms up and look for big pods of fish sipping on spinners or before the divers come equipped with the best scuba diving masks, they can find online. Late afternoon to late evening is also a great time to target rising fish. We suggest a size 18-20 Hi-Vis Trico spinner imitation or a cluster midge trailed with a drowned trico imitation. A small rusty spinner also works well as a spent trico or pmd.
Flows are holding steady just between 4500-5000 CFS and the fish are feeling themselves. There is wade fishing opportunities just about everywhere with excellent river access along the rec road. Just make sure you’re respecting the space of other wade fishermen. If you see more than one car at any given spot, move on to the next spot. It’s a big river ya’ll!
The primary hatches have been tricos, PMDs, and midges. Dry fly fishing has been the name of the game but there are times you need to switch over to an emerger or a dropper off of your lead fly for the fish feeding just under the surface. The nymphs that have worked well for trico or midge patterns have been the black zebra midge, black Green machine, and the love-bug.
PMDs ( or PEDs) are still hatching and the fish are still looking up for those. They have been on the smaller end (size 18-20) so keep your flies in that range. We like the parachute pmd, any CDC pmd emerger, or Harrop’s Last Chance Cripple. If you’re fishing these sub-surface, our favorite PMD nymph imitations include the Hogans S&M, Two-Bit Hooker, Psycho May, and the rust colored Green Machine. With the flows dropping, we are seeing plenty of weeds beginning to surface so look for the faster, rockier bottoms and keep your nymph rigs fairly shallow unless your fishing the deeper runs or drop-offs.
Caddis are still out and about but mostly in the lower sections of the river. Diving caddis imitations such as the Tung Dart are working throughout the day and into the evenings. Fish these on or near the rocky bottoms and along or near the banks. If caddis are buzzing on the surface look for fish sipping in the slow water and eddies near the bank. These fish can be picky so make sure you fish a long leader and do NOT put your line over them. My favorite fly for the big sippers have been the Double Duck Caddis or Lance Egans Cornfed Caddis. Remember, these fish have a long time to inspect your fly before eating it!
Streamers could be a good option for the wet and cloudy days. We are throwing an olive & white Docs Articulator, Coffees Sparkle Minnow, or a Kreelex. Black or Olive is always a good choice if they aren’t diggin’ the flash. Sunrise until about 9 AM is your best bet if you’re hucking streamers.
Swing by the shop, grab a cup of joe for the those brisk mornings, pick our brains, and load up on the right flies for a successful day on the water!