The big water is running around 21,300 CFS. Thats pretty big but it appears to be on the drop and hopefully we will get another short window to fish the big river before it decides to really blow out. If you do get out to fish, look for any water that is moving slow. Trout are going to be taking refuge in this type of water. If you find one, you might find a lot.
If you do get out there, be careful. There are substantial logs and trees making their way down the river. Make sure you or the person you are with are competent boaters.
Small water fishing is having it’s good and it’s bad days. But that’s to be expected for any piece of water you fish. The recent cold snap has given some drainages a drop in flows and enough clarity to fish while others are still pretty turbid. Bug activity is ramping up and you can expect to see a smorgasbord of insect types, including the “big bugs”. Keep an eye out for Salmon flies! It’s that time of year for these larger than life insects to be crawling all through the willows and alders on their way to molt and mate. Trout absolutely love these insects and they represent the largest food source of the year for our trout. We have yet to see large numbers of these bugs but it is only a matter of time till it is full on Salmon fly madness.
Chubby Chernobyl’s, Jakes triggers bellies, Sofa pillows, water walkers and other large black and orange dry flies are a good choice if you find yourself in an area where Salmon flies are present. If the water you are fishing doesn’t have the “big bugs” then be sure to carry other dry fly patterns such as parachute mayfly patterns, elk hair caddis, caddis X, flying ants, stimulators and other bright bushy flies.
Under the bobber:
Pick your poison in this department. We have seen a variety of bugs becoming active in our smaller waters. Both big and small. Some flies to consider having in your fly box are Pat’s rubber legs, Kaufman stones, 20 inchers, caddis pupas, frenchies, copper Johns, two bit hookers, micro mayfly, split back mayfly, and other mayfly nymphs.
The streamer game has been unpredictable. Some days the trout want the streamer and others days it seems like they a repulsed at the thought of eating a baitfish pattern. Persistence is the key to streamer fishing this time of year. If you are going to fish streamers, commit to a patterns and fish it hard. With our water still high and off colored in a lot of areas, use a sink tip that drops to the depth of water you are trying to target with your streamer. Bright colors that contrast the darker water color seem to be the most productive.
There have been varying reports as to how good the stillwater trout fishing has been this week. For some, the fishing has been pretty damn good, others, not so much. Not much has changed in the food department. The patterns we have been using for the past two weeks are still working. However, the trout appear to be cruising at different depths throughout the day. Adjust the level at which your balanced leeches (size 10-16), chironomids (size 10-16), and scud patterns (size 12-16) are dangling below your bobber. Once you find the level that the trout are cruising, get your patterns down to that depth and let them soak. Stripping balanced leeches and streamers has also brought trout to hand. No stripping technique has out fished any other so change up your cadence till you find the strip the trout like. Hold on to your rods though. Some of the bites have been down right vicious, with the trout conveniently setting the hook themselves as they cruise right through your fly on the way to their next meal.
Bass fishing is warming up daily. Anglers have reported bass moving into shallower water and feeding well. Try streamers in whites, chartreuse, olives, and blacks.
Enjoy it out there folks! Be well and if you have any comments or suggestions feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.