In three days on the water I have broken an outboard motor, splintered four fly rods, and lost an anchor plus its rope. Granted, anyone who makes fishing a part of their lifestyle knows that equipment failure is unavoidable, but still, that is an unbelievable amount of bad luck in a very short amount of time. I am calling it ‘bad luck’ because that makes me feel a little better than acknowledging that all three instances could have been avoided with a little more focus and attention.
‘Learn from your mistakes’ is an expression that comes to mind, and, clichéd or not, the lesson applies to fishing as much as any pursuit. Many of my mistakes happen when I’m hurrying, and therefore losing attention to detail.
Whether you’re re-tying after a tangle, navigating a shallow river with a prop motor, approaching the water for a wade session, or practicing a new cast, it’s probably smarter and more effective to take your time. You’ll notice more, have better awareness of your surroundings, tangle less, and lose/break fewer items of your equipment.
I’m totally writing this as advice to myself. But seriously, slow down dude.
Read on for specifics on flows and flies.
Flows are usually around 2,500cfs give or take a couple hundred, but bump to around 5,000cfs for a couple hours daily. Fishing eggs and bead head nymphs under a strike indicator is likely the most productive technique right now. Orange and pink eggs both work. Jigged pheasant tails, Devil Jigs, and other compact heavy flies are good for ensuring contact with the bottom in fast shoals. Super midges, Redneck midges, and Micro Mayfly nymphs are excellent for a more subtle offering perhaps in the calm, flat water. Stripping small streamers like Slump Busters, Sparkle Minnows, and various Buggers around logs and boulders can sometimes trigger a more aggressive strike.
Flows are at minimum or just a couple inches more around the clock most days, which is keeping most motorized craft restricted to the first and last quarter mile of river. The entire catch and release area is currently only accessible on foot or by personal watercraft, and yielding good results most days. Eggs are a great attractor to be trailed by a Root Beer midge, Huchback Scud, or Medallion midge. Sunday Specials, Micro Mayfly nymphs, small natural colored worm flies are also effective. Parachute Adams, Griffith’s Gnat, and Dally’s Tailwater Soft Hackle are good when fish are rising on small insects.