The leaves are starting to fall, the revolution in seasons to come is evident. I do love winter and welcome the remodeling of the landscapes; but this year it seems to be happening far too fast.
For now we are enjoying the hectic but fulfilling days of the guiding season, sharing our passions for the valley and fly fishing with our guests. Couldn’t imagine doing anything else in life and like most guides thrive on the excitement and energy each new day on the water presents.
So with August coming to a close we have had an interesting season thus far.
It appears that we are not seeing the abundance of hatches that usually paint the Elk River skies. The green drakes and flavs that we have seen are a bit banged up; some with stumpy tails, some missing tails, one leggers. On the other hand we’ve seen some pretty sweet stonefly hatches. (those stones are tough!!!) The small creeks that were not affected by the flood have better daily hatches.
Droughts and floods have been occurring since water began flowing to the oceans and being that this is a wild fishery it has seen it’s fair share of both. It just took some time to settle down. This last week the mornings have been a little chilly and throwing on a small spinner or caddis usually brings up a few hungry hogs that missed their share of last nights hatch. The warmth of the sun stimulates more bug movement and the gray skies tempt the mayflies; always my type of weather. Once the bugs start doing their thing then there is always happy fish.
Fishing methods were altered and there was more of a combination of streamer, nymph and dry fly fishing that was taking place for most of July and for the better part of August. All producing beautiful fish; healthy looking and fat! Streamer fishing has been particularly exciting ….bully bully bully….but the dry fly this last week has been really productive.
There are big fish willing to come up and eat and here’s a few suggestions on some of my must haves.
Caddis, Caddis, Caddis – always try em; they are abundant in our stream and the cutties love em! Sz 14 – Black or Light Tan, October Caddis – sz 12, October Caddis Emerger sz – 12
Terrestrials: Ants – mmm cutties love ants…..so you should have a few of them – I like ones with a sparkle post or a bright orange post, the smaller they are the harder they are to see; so find one with a bright indicator. sz 14, sz 16 black.
Stoneflies – Big Chubby Chernobyl with a green body (can’t find them in a green body, buy light and sharpie the body green) sz 10 , 8 . These are good from a drift boat; popping into pockets.
Mayflies – Green Drakes sz 12 (Standard Western Green Drake), Split Wing Parachute Adams sz 14,16, Mahogany cripple sz 16, bwo emerger sz16, H&L variant sz 16, PMD Spinner sz 14
Presentation / Reading Water:
If you can’t get them to come up remember it’s not always about your fly selection as your fly presentation. If you see a fish rising…cast way above him and try to drop your fly in his feeding lane, they like a good long look….dead drift, dead drift, mend, mend, mend, mend…if they are feeding and you present it to them; they’ll take it!
[Elk River Fishing Report]
If nothing is rising – throw out an ant or a big stonefly; they are hungry and willing to come up for a good meal even if there is nothing happening. Foam is home baby!
If all else fails and you just can’t get them to eat your deliciously presented dry; try a nymph……sz16 copper john, sz 12 prince nymph, sz 10 squirrel nymph, sz 14 red copper john. Chczech nymph style!
Streamer fishing is always a blast – I use home ties and they seem to be pretty effective for both the cutties and bullies. Green Sculpins, White Double Bunny with dumbell eyes and my fav. Copper Zonkers. Use a dry line with a really long leader; gives more of a natural effect; especially when swinging it and dead drifting it through a cross current…….
Remember this time of year – “happy hour” for bears starts late afternoon and believe me there are a few special ones hanging out on the Wigwam / Ram / Lodgepole area.
Don’t forget to read the regulations – Come September. 1 some of the creeks (Wigwam / Lodgepole) have closures! Don’t want to be caught fishing a closed area!
Have fun, be safe and if fishing is still tough alone…call us; we’d be happy to take you out! Beckie
Don’t forget to get your fishing license