September 8, 2019
Don't even ask me, because honestly, I don't know anymore. On Wednesday of this past week, the day I returned to work, the BOR dropped the water 500 cfs. So, if you're one of those people that are wondering where the flow is going to be on your next outing, I'm really not gonna be too much help. Maybe if "Carnac the Magnificent" were still around we could consult him. All I can offer is my educated guess that it's going be somewhere around, or slightly above, 1,000 cfs until November. I mean, I guess. It seems every week, I'm out there trying to figure out where the fish have relocated to, which I guess keeps things interesting and adds intrigue to the process—if you like that sort of thing—which is something akin to getting older and being able to hide your own Easter eggs. Not to worry though, it still fished pretty good at 1,750 and I hear it's even better now at 1,220, so the worst case scenario is that it's like you get to fish a different river every week, without all the extra driving and all.
So, how are things, you ask? Well, things are good and getting better. For one, the Labor day crowds have left and things are a bit quieter around here. BTW, what does Labor Day have to do with mattress sales anyway? Can anyone out there explain that one to me? But anyway, there's less people fishing here for the next couple weeks, so if you don't like crowds, you're in luck. And the weather is getting better as well. For the last month or more it's been as hot and sultry around here as a Tennessee Williams play, but the 10 day forecast has the daily highs dropping down into the low 80's and even into the 70's on a few days. That's perfect fishing weather. And yes, you can still wade about anywhere you want to go at this current 1,220 cfs level—in fact it's gonna open up a lot more water for waders and I suspect more dry fly water where the fish are more exposed and looking up for bugs. As far as hatches go, this river is cranking out some pretty consistent midge hatches on a daily basis with lots of cluster action in the afternoons. There's a lot more rising fish out there now than there has been for quite some time, if you know where to look—which is basically around grassy banks and behind exposed structure. It's still niche fishing at it's finest—you won't find may rising fish out in the deeper, faster stuff just yet, but midge cluster patterns, like the Bloody Butcher and Tav's Griffith Gnats in sizes 22 and 20, fished on 6x, will get 'er done for you if you're willing to walk around a bit and find fish. We might even see some BWOs start to show up soon in the lower river with the cooler weather, if we get a little cloud cover during the day. (I see a couple of nights coming up where we'll hit the low to mid 40's.) As far as the nymphing goes, well, that's been pretty consistent too lately, and I suspect it'll only get better with this drop in water opening more opportunities to sight fish and fish some more productive runs where you can actually see fish holding. Yeah, you do actually have to fish those small flies that everyone gripes about—24's and 26's in dark colors for the midge pupa and emerger patterns, you might be able to get away with a size 22 for your larva patterns, though. The water clarity has improved somewhat, to around four feet or so, and given that and the increased fishing pressure of summer, I would suggest 6x fluorocarbon for your tippet, if you're nymphing. Lest you think this is all fishing Nirvana right now, just know that into every life a little rain must fall, I'm talking a full on mosquito invasion that started this past week of biblical proportions, unlike anything I have seen since I lived in the Alaskan bush country. There have been reports of small pets and children being carried off. Put INSECT REPELLENT at the top of your packing list in all caps and red ink. I mean it. Fortunately the fishing here is worth it, though. Hope you can make it out soon. If you would like more info or would like to book a guide, give us a call at 505-632-2194.