The weather and water were kind to us poor fly fishermen today. Beautiful blue sky, light breeze, temps in the eighties, and some willing trout of the quality type. Father and son Barry and Justin Turner of Louisiana were lucky enough to spend the day with Chad “Mississippi” Johnson – good grief I could hear the drawls coming from that boat a mile away. But dang those country boys can fish: 3 browns landed, one hooked and lost, plus scores of fat bobos.
Me I’m not so lucky, I got to go fishing with the Tasmanian devil himself, Steve Dally. It’s a good thing we didn’t invite a third mate, cause Steve always brings enough camera and recording gear to fill whatever vessel he climbs aboard. The bloody bugger had me rowing him all over the river so he could point his camera at various sights and sounds. After touring several scenic venues for an interview, he finally settles on the perfect combination of light and sound, then sticks the equipment in my face and starts asking me questions!
All silliness aside, only those of us who have to put up with him understand the amount of work he puts into the social media side of the fly shop, which in the end, is what brings in customers and pays our bills. So we don’t mind rowing him or his heavy stuff around. And besides, Steve has been in the boat with me for all three of my biggest brown trout. Heck I should drag him along every time as a good luck charm. We did manage a few nice trout in the midst of all that drama anyway.
Prince nymphs, Sunday Specials, Devil Jigs, and other caddis pupa like flies continue to produce the bulk of our catch including the browns, but Ruby, Root Beer, and Wotton Super midges are a necessary trailer to complete the presentation. Caddis hatch activity of the large, green body variety is tapering off but will likely be replaced by the smaller, tan bodied caddis, especially downriver of Crooked Creek and Buffalo River once they clear up. Keep an eye out for early sulfurs, crane flies, or even terrestrials as summer heat begins to set in.
Root Beer midges, #18 Whitetail midges, and little gray or olive scuds are killer on the low, slow water. Fish them under a Sunday Special or weighted egg to sink them faster and adjust depth as needed. There have been some real quality browns, rainbows, and cutthroats caught on the high water in the afternoons. Eggs, worms, #14 Whitetail or Super midges are great choices on the high water, just make sure you’re adding some heavy shot and fishing deep.