That’s not a rock, it’s a fish!! It’s been a few months since I used that line with a client, but it was the quote of the day. It turned out to be a fifteen inch wild brown that immediately took him into the weeds and fooled him. Fortunately, the weeds acted as somewhat of a cushion and allowed him to stay hooked while he hunkered down. I was able to get him out and landed. It usually happens two or three times a year. Rocks turn in to fish. I’m big on catching rocks…you need to be down at the rock level to catch your share of the fish while nymphing. When you hook up on anything, take the slack out (fast and gently) and then hold steady until you determine if you have a rock or a fish. The faster the current, the longer you need to hold until you determine what you have. Most of the time when the hookup doesn’t move right away, it’s a rock, but every once in a while, you’ll be rewarded with a fish.
Fishing was a little tough for the first few hours this morning. Four different nymphs over the first few hours produced only a few fish. Not what I would expect on a cool summer morning. The next hour throwing caddis and emergers produced a few more looks and fish, but nothing like I would expect. Time for lunch and a new stream. It seems that everyone else had the same idea…well maybe not lunch, but we all had the same stream in mind. After driving by four parking areas that seemed to have an excess of fly fisherman, I chose one that had ‘less’ of an excess. We nudged ourselves in between a couple of groups and seemed to have 100 yards of spacing between us and hunkered down in a hole. Eight fish later, we decided to move on upstream and see if the guy ahead of us had left any fish. The answer was “No”. We took a hike and walked up stream a quarter mile. Wanted to give the other angler plenty of space and show my client more of the stream. We were rewarded with some good success. A majority of the fish had been taking the Black Zebra Midge including the 15incher to conclude the trip.
Water conditions remain good despite the lack of rain. We’ve had a few years of good moisture and our water tables are strong. Tricos have been hatching. Take a look in the spider webs to see if they are recent ‘flyers’ on your stream and then plan an early morning (sunrise) trip the next day.
Flies to Fish in the coming weeks:
Nymphs: Copper John, Prince, Pheasant Tail, Hare’s Ear (#18 to #14) Caddis (#16 to #14) Midge (#20 to #16) Buy some small weight if you are nymphing!! .2 grams is a nice size
Dries: Caddis (#16 to #14) Tricos – very early in the morning (#18 to #22) You could be fishing the Trico spinners by 7 or 8 in the morning – Griffith’s Gnat (#20 to #18) Terrestrials – time to be fishing the ants, beetles, crickets and hoppers – mid-morning through late afternoon.
Emergers: Any emerger/wet fly/soft hackle to match the dry flies above. Fish it with the dry. Definitely fish a midge soft hackle near dark and early in the morning if you can determine the fish are taking midges and not Tricos. Even if you can’t, not a lot of difference between a midge and mayfly soft hackle. Fish a softie when their taking emergers!!! The fish are less particular about the soft hackle than they are about the dry fly.
Sreamers/Buggers: If you are looking for big fish or if the water is a little off color.
Fishing report by Kent Kleckner of Bear Creek Anglers in Decorah, Iowa.