Sun. Rain. Gale force winds. Snow. The weather has been all over the place and so have I. I’ve been driving around trying to find a regional river that has some bugs and rising fish. It’s been challenging.
My local tail-water river is running real cloudy…not good. Water management has also been drastically reducing flows resulting in several significant water drops. I found some stranded Parr (juvenile trout) in a puddle 20 feet from the river and transferred them in a plastic bag back to the river.
This tail-water river usually fishes very well in inclement weather. No dense baetis hatch occurred and therefore very few large fish up. However, I covered a lot of water and managed to find a couple.
Another tail-water river I’ve had some success on this summer also had few bugs even on cloudy days. I did manage to hook up with a few great fish. This rainbow took a foam beetle.
I decided to rocket down to the Missouri river for two and one half days. The first day (the half day) was incredible. Cloudy, little wind and tons of bugs. Trout were up everywhere on tiny baetis may flies. Opportunity knocked and although I didn’t fish well, I did fool a few on size 20 olives/baetis. The next morning the sky sort of cleared (Chinook Arch) and high winds came in. I tugged down my hat and gave it my best but got blown off the river and all the way back to SW Alberta.
I fished a lot in the past two weeks. I was on holidays for one of them and managed to get out most afternoons. I hung in there with the varying conditions, put in my time and made some connections with dry flies.
River paths. For an angler on foot early morning on a river path is always about the promise of the day. With each step one thinks about all the possibilities.
When returning late afternoon or evening on the same path there is always a review of the day. A recalling of great trout seen, those caught, and missed.
A river path takes you in and brings you back out…
” The horse I bet on was so slow, the jockey kept a diary of the trip”.
It’s late summer. Not much happening. Things are dry. No real rain in months. The grass crunches under foot. It’s almost the same sound as brittle snow in January. Forest fires are burning west of here. They have been burning a good part of the summer. The air has been smoky for weeks. Fresh, clear Rocky Mountain air is a myth.
Hatches on my local rivers are weak. Eventually we will run out of Weak and then enter the Strong realm again as things cool and BWO’s (may fly) make an appearance.
Surface eating fish are hard to find during the day. You have to fish real late, on the edge of darkness, or real early. When the sun is up it means prospecting with terrestrial bugs: grasshoppers and beetles or their creative derivations.
I missed a great fish the other day. Its rise was slow and it ate my impression even slower than slow. It lingered and I struck too fast pulling the grasshopper fly out of its mouth. I’ve been doing that a lot this year. Hmm…have to pause longer before I strike…got go slow.
Some photos from past couple of weekends.
I went down into the canyon. It’s a fairly long walk. I haven’t been there in several years…beautiful place, eerie at times, especially when you’re alone. I took Abby with me.
The angling was a bit slow. We are kind of between hatches: the Pmd’s are waning and the hoppers (not really a hatch) aren’t doing the “hop” yet. The canyon can be a good place for terrestrial fishing as bugs get blown off of the cliffs and fall into the river. The trout eventually clue in to this.
They weren’t looking up on the weekend, however, I did manage to fool a few fish in the shallows that were willing to rise: rainbows. I was on the hunt for brown trout. Some fish took a good look at my fly but were skeptical and turned away. I saw several nice ones on nymphs but they wouldn’t budge from the bottom. The good thing is there were fish around and I spotted some.
Sight-fishing in the canyon can be challenging as the light-coloured cliffs reflect sunlight casting an intense glare on the water.
I’ll go back when the grasshoppers are more prevalent (hopefully soon) and the fish are on the lookout for them and showing themselves by rising. Then my terrestrial fly impressions will be more productive.
River levels are dropping. Most are pretty clear. Insects are hatching and trout are starting to rise. Long days. Feels like summer…