The dog days of summer…..long, hot, sweaty, but oh so sweet. Blessed are the days when either cloud cover or breezes keep the high temps around 90 instead of 95. You wouldn’t think 5 degrees would make that much difference. They do. This is a slower time in terms of business around the shop when compared with spring or fall – folks just hide inside in the air conditioning I suppose – but those who can stand the heat find some of the best fishing of the year. The guides don’t stop fishing when it’s hot and there’s no work. Go early, stay late, pray for clouds, whatever it takes. Summertime is play time y’all. The fish aren’t panting and sweating, they’re cool and wet, cruising the shadow lines looking for bugs on the wrong side of the bank.
This weekend’s weather is looking beautiful – partly cloudy and highs in the upper 80s – a golden opportunity prior to next week’s return of hell fire and highs in the upper 90s. Don’t stay inside all summer people. Sitting still will make you old faster than sunburn.
Minimum flow has been low and clear and wade fisher friendly every day until noon or one pm, and longer if you stay downriver away from the dam. I’ll say it again. There could not possibly be a better time to get up early and wade fish your favorite spot. It will be cool and foggy, no-one else will be there to bother you, and you just might fool a big brown with a hopper. Anyway you can lead a horse to water. Super midges and Zebra midges drifted through riffles and pools will catch you a ton of rainbows. Fish them under a Pheasant Tail or Micro Mayfly nymph for added weight if you need to get deeper. Summertime is also a wonderful time to strip Olive Woolies, Slump Busters, Near Nuff Sculpins, and other small natural streamers. Bigger fish will look for bigger meals when they’re hungry, and often they will look up for terrestrials too, especially early and late. Try Fat Alberts, Juicy Bugs, and Hippie Stompers #10-12 on minimum flow. Fish #4-8 on high flows.
One unit continues steady for daytime flows, providing excellent water for deep nymphing with egg and worm patterns, as well as larger scuds and midges #14. One unit is also a good flow for streamers and sink tips 15-30ft at 3-6″ sink rate. Four to six inch flies are perfect. Try Schmidt’s Double Deceivers, Dally’s Twerking Minnow, Lynch’s DD, and Johnson’s Sluggo. Terrestrials can work here too, especially in the fast broken water.