- Jay Walden
It is the epitome of hope, that iconic image of a dry fly fisherman standing mid-stream, fly in hand, staring at a long slick of glassy water, waiting for a fish to rise, waiting for—the hatch. Wishing, with expectations and aspirations centered where faith and desire collide, that it's gonna happen. Maybe in a moment, when that cloud blocks the sun, maybe when the temperature drops another degree or two, maybe when the wind dies down, maybe, just maybe. There is never a lack of hopefulness for his ilk, as long as a shred of daylight still remains; only wishfulness, for what may be. I too, belong to this clan, this band of brothers who refuses to give up, refuses to give in; who as of late, has adopted St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, for our convictions. Build it, have patience, show up, and they will come; it's the thing that keeps deer hunters on a freezing stand for those long hours, it's the same thing that keeps the dry-fly guy or gal suiting up another day with only a small box of fur, feather, and a tube of Gink in their pocket. We are; without doubt, a group of crazies.
Lately, it's the Blue Winged Olive hatch, that's had me going; or perhaps, the lack thereof. I know we're getting into that right time of year. I'm checking the temperature outside, I'm watching the cloud cover on the weather radar, I'm going to the places where I know they'll be, I'm watching the water. There's one, there's another, it's happening, it's happening. No, no, no it's not. Okay, come back tomorrow, come back next week, check again. I'm like a six-year-old waiting for Christmas at Thanksgiving. I want those bugs. In the meantime, I fish the tiny stuff, the little midges, the Fore and Afts, the Morgan's Midges, while visions of size 22 Olive Comparaduns dance in my head, hoping, praying to St. Jude, that nature will soon provide.
It's not all gloom and doom out there, there's lots of feeding fish, although most are on midge emergers for the larger part of the day. There are occasional heads appearing, sporadically, for dries. Enough, to keep me into the game. Without doubt, your better fishing would come from fishing midge larva and pupa patterns earlier in the day, and rigging up shallow to fish emergers from about 11:00 to late evening. In fact, I feel pretty confident that you could have some fantastic results with some size 26 and even 28 black emergers with just enough weight (like a size 8 or 9 split shot) to get it just under the surface. Think Ju-Jus, Crystal Flash, and Scintillas.
The water is still crystal clear and the flow is right around 400 cfs. Expect to see dorsal and caudal fins for the larger part of the day. These are some emerger loving fish right now and they seem content to make those lazy emerger rises just under the surface, eating a seemingly endless supply of tiny, dark, midges that are in their must vulnerable stage to feeding fish. Most, are not gonna move very far to chase down a bug, they don't have to, so your drifts need to be spot on with the leader and fly line upstream out of sight. Look for the feeders that are holding in a bit of current, it'll give them less time to inspect your imitations, than those fish in the slow stuff that take for ever and are as about as picky as they can get. 6x fluorocarbon is a good idea for the nymphs and 7x is a must for the small dries. Check and clean your flies often, there's a lot of moss and didymo out there and none of these fish are going to eat your fly when it's covered in crap. If you plan on fishing from the Texas Hole and downriver, have some RS2s and chocolate, and gray foamwings, as the baetis nymphs are present; although it still remains to be seen when we'll see a substantial hatch of adults.
Maybe tomorrow's the day. If you would like more information or would like to book a guided trip, give us a call at 505-632-2194.