Wow, August already. How did that happen?
Wow, August already. How did that happen? I suddenly get the feeling that summer is slipping away and I haven't fished enough. Maybe it had something to do with that hiatus during the late spring/early summer high flows on the Juan; maybe a longer than normal runoff in Colorado, when I usually get away to fish different waters— work, life, who knows how it really happens? Now I see myself cringing when those back to school sale ads come on, or hear people already talking about football season. Summer is my favorite time of year here on my home waters, I plan to do everything I can to salvage the rest of it and be the fishing maniac I was meant to be. There is nothing worse than regret in life for not pursuing your passion. The good news is that the river is in great shape right now with flows around 800 cfs, crystal clear water conditions, and the fish are fatter, stronger, and healthier than I have seen in years. There's good midge hatches that start around 11:30 or 12:00 and last until it's too dark to see a fly anymore. There are reasons, many reasons, to fish. If you're planning on joining me in the next couple weeks here's what you can expect. Although, the quality of fishing on the big terrestrial patterns like hoppers, ants, and PMXs (that I so dearly love to toss during this time of year) is not what it was during the drop of the high water, there are still lots of opportunistic fish out there that will eat a big dry, just don't expect to stand over a run and catch fish after fish, like you can when you're nymphing. To be successful at it, you'll have to adopt the old Muhammad Ali tactic of stick and move, stick and move. It's a combination of hunting and fishing, looking for fish that are holding in shallower water or higher in the water column, or cruising in frog water or back eddies, waiting for an opportunity to crush a big meal. It's a hard thing to explain, really, but after you do it for a while, you'll be able to tell which fish are most likely to fall for it before you even make the cast. Anyway, you're probably not gonna put as many numbers on the board during the course of an average day, but seeing a big set of jaws slowly close around a size 10 dry fly is something you won't soon forget. Once the midge hatch gets really going around mid-day and you're seeing risers, you're living in a parallel universe if you think you're gonna get these fish to continue to eat the big stuff. If you don't want to change your fly choice you're going to have to move and find some fish that aren't sipping size 24 and 26 midges. If you stay, you'll have plenty of eats on fore and afts, and size 26 black adult midge patterns with 7x tippet. If you are seeing clusters and the fish are on them, you'll be able to bring some fish to hand with some Griffith's gnats in sizes 22 and 20. For the nymphers out there, it's pupa and larva patterns in the earlier part of the day with special emphasis on darker colors on the pupas—the smaller, the better. Around 11:00 expect to see some fins and tails on the surface, and then it's time to go to your emerger patterns like scintillas, crystal flash, and ju-jus. Keep 'em small 24s and 26s and go light on the weight and move that strike indicator down to keep your flies in the upper water column. 6x for your tippet size will get you into more fish, and I don't have the time here to go into the big debate over fluoro vs. mono, so I'll just say this: It's just like chicken soup for a cold—it may or may not work, but I want every possible advantage working in my favor. If you're too cheap to spring for the extra 10 bucks for a spool of tippet after dropping all that extra money on a fishing trip, or spending 800 dollars on a fly rod, then you probably deserve what's coming to you. Okay, that's enough about that, summer is flying by, get out there and fish. If you would like more information or would like to book a guided trip, give us a call at 505-632-2194.