I can’t believe I am sitting down to write the fishing report yet again. It seems like I was just here a day or so ago. The week has flown by in a fast and furious fly fishing frenzy. Each day starts with drinking coffee and looking at the weather radar, and ends 10 hours later with a beer and a study of tomorrow’s flow projection. Memories of what happens during the day tend to blend together into a blur of rain, wind, or sun beating the river’s surface, caddis flies, tangled leaders, leaping brown trout, and big grins. It all happens so fast and then it’s on to the next day. Tie more flies, make more sandwiches, fill up that gas tank again. Is it really May already?
On the water it’s been a momentous week. Some truly big fish were caught. Some interesting wildlife were spotted along the banks including red fox, bobcat, and an albino deer. And the weather has certainly been eventful as well, with some thunderstorms dropping heavy rainfall, muddying the waters temporarily, interspersed with sunshine and pleasant temperatures and periods of more than adequate water clarity. The caddis continue to hatch daily, if not always at the same time or place. A lot can change in an hour if not a few minutes – the water clarity, the depth and speed of current, the caddis activity. Anglers that are quick to adjust and roll with the rapidly changing conditions can stay on quality fishing.
The water is up and down a lot right now, but baseline flows are generally between 2,000 and 4,000cfs, with short bumps up to 8,000-11,000cfs. There is a lot of debris and loosened algae in the water, making its way downriver, but conditions are improving rapidly, and the upper river where water is clearest is fishing very well in the mean time. Caddis flies in all stages are the staple right now. Locally designed patterns like Davy Wotton’s Caddis Emerger Hares Ear, DW Skating Caddis, and the ubiquitous Sunday Special are tearing things up. E/C and A/C Caddis are working as well for dry fly presentations, and various bead head caddis pupae are working for nymphs.
Flow has been minimum most days until noon, allowing for a good morning of wade fishing, and then boating in the afternoon. Caddis pupae and midges are strongest, particularly Sunday Specials, Green Copper Johns, Root Beer midges, and Wotton’s Super or Whitetail midge. Dries and soft hackles are fun when the hatch is strong – try Elk hairs, E/C caddis, and A/C caddis for dries, Dally’s Tailwater Soft Hackle or DW’s Skating Caddis on the swing.