It has been quite a few years since we have had such a wet month of June. The unusually cool and rainy weather has affected fish and fishermen. Both have had to deal with rapidly changing weather and water conditions. There were a few days last week when water levels increased by over 700 cfs and water temps dropped ten degrees in less than 48 hours. At this time of year these changes affect the fishing primarily because of the impact they have on insect activity. Between rain and hail storms we have had some very good hatches of PMD’s, caddis, golden stones, yellow sallies, green drakes, gray drakes and flav’s. For those anglers who have hunkered down and patiently endured the periods of foul weather they have been rewarded with some very good dry fly fishing. With stable weather patterns predicted for the upcoming week we should expect excellent fishing up and down the river.
Box Canyon: In spite of the unsettled weather and changing water conditions the “Box” has continued to fish well. The only thing the weather has really affected has been the dry fly fishing. There have not been many opportunities to fish adult golden stone imitations or dry dropper rigs. Double nymph rigs dead drifted slow and deep under an indicator and streamers dead drifted or stripped have produced well. For nymphs I recommend golden or brown Sexy Stones, black or coffee/black Rubber Legs and olive or tan Zirdles with brown or purple Zebra Midges, red Copper Johns, Jake’s Double Bead Red Worm, Jig Head Beadhead Pheasant Tails or purple Holo Princes as droppers. A few of the better producing streamers have been olive/black Lead Eyed Marabou Leeches, olive Meat Whistles and Gaffney Sculpins.
Last Chance/Railroad Ranch/Wood Road: The key to success on this section of the river has been to be on the water before and/or after the storms have come through. We have had PMD’s, caddis, baetis and green drakes hatching. If you have been lucky enough or patient enough to be on the water when the weather has cleared you have probably experienced some decent dry fly fishing. A few of the patterns I have had some luck with include PMD Improved Sparkle Duns, PMD Splitsville Spinners, Hi Vis BWO’s, olive EZ Caddis and Peacock Spent Partridge Caddis. The green drake hatch has been a bit of a mystery to most of us over the past week. The bugs starting hatching around the opener on the 15th but there have not been enough of them on the water to really get the fish feeding on them. I have had a report or two of fishermen taking a few fish on green drake imitations mostly up in the Last Chance area. I predict that this hatch will get much stronger over the next couple of days providing us with some good dry fly fishing opportunities.
Warm River to Ashton: This section of the river continues to produce good fishing. Dry flies, nymphs and streamers are all producing fish. Good hatches of PMD’s, caddis, green drakes, yellow sallies and golden stones have the fish on the move. If you are not hung up on catching big fish and you are just looking for a relaxing day of fishing with plenty of opportunities to catch fish this is the perfect section of the river to explore. If I were heading to this part of the river I would be fishing a dry dropper rig with a Henry’s Fork Foam Golden Stone or a Golden Chubby dry fly with a beadhead King Prince or a beadhead Flashback Pheasant Tail as my dropper. If I was hooking up with too many whitefish I would cut off the beadhead droppers and fish double dry flies using a Royal Coachman Trude or a tan X-Caddis as my trailing fly.
Ora to Chester and Chester to the Fun Farm: These two sections of the river have been the guides choice for the past couple of weeks. Excellent hatches of PMD’s, caddis, green drakes, golden stones, gray drakes and now flav’s are producing outstanding fishing. If you are looking for that opportunity to catch a 20+ inch fish, especially on a dry fly, this is the time and the place. A number of such fish have been taken down here mostly on golden stone or gray drake patterns. A word to the wise. These fish have been worked over by some of the best fisherman in the area so the fish are getting a little selective. It’s starting to be A game time so come prepared.