How often do you head to stream and hope for off-color water? For me, once in the last two decades. My son had tied his first fly on Saturday night (a San Juan Worm) because I told him that was an easy fly to tie and the streams would be a little off-color with the recent rain and that would be a good fly to drift. The assumption was that the recent rain would have floated a few earthworms down the stream and the trout would be needing something big and the worm would be a familiar sight. We showed up at 9:00 to a crystal clear stream. A testament to how dry it has been and also to how good our streams can deal with rain.
Well, we decided to fish the San Juan as an attractor and drift my Narly Midge below. My son caught this 15 inch brown on his third cast with his San Juan worm. That’s the first and last fish we caught on the San Juan. We ended up with a number of fish on the Narly trailer before rain chased us off at 10:30.
Earlier in the weekend I guided Dan from Chicago. Dan was somewhat experienced, but having trouble catching fish. We caught fish on nymphs in the morning and successfully transitioned over to a Griffith’s Gnat late morning to catch a number of rising fish. I have no idea what the trout were actually taking, but when I can’t see bugs the fish are taking this time of year, gnats are my go to fly. The afternoon was a little slower and we managed to get a few fish on nymphs, caddis dry and emergers.
It’s also time to be prepared for some Light Hendricksons (#14) and March Browns (#12).
Most early mornings and late evenings the air will be thick with midges. The spider webs are full of them. Watch the rises closely before you tie on and determine if they are taking the mature midges on top of the water or the emerging midges in the film.
Flies to Fish in the coming weeks:
Nymphs: Copper John, Prince, Pheasant Tail, Hare’s Ear (#18 to #12), Caddis (#16 to #14), Midge (#20 to #16). Buy some weight if you are nymphing!
Dries: Caddis (#16 to #14), Light Hendrickson (tan) (#16 to #14), March Brown (#12), Griffith’s Gnat (#20 to #18)
Emergers: Any emerger to match the dry flies above.
Fishing report by Kent Kleckner of Bear Creek Anglers in Decorah, Iowa.