Regional fires have put a constant haze in the air, but small bursts of cool air have kept the fishing good, for the most part. The smoke does make for some rather interesting and colorful sunsets. There are still a few Honey Ants hitting the water and the Callibaetis, PMD and other prominent terrestrial action is keeping the fisherman busy. These are the dog days, so much of the finer fishing happens during the cooler hours of morning and evening. Prospecting, mid-day, with larger terrestrial patterns like hoppers and beetles can pay great dividends. Here’s a report of what to expect if find yourself flinging some flies in this neck of the woods.
BOX CANYON: 680cfs. The Canyon is getting a little boney, but still a great float option. This is a fairly accommodating flow for wade anglers. Hopper dropper rigs are a great option this time of year. Try a high floating dry like a Chubby with a small bead head dropper and target the pocket water around those big Box Canyon boulders. Or, try the more sporting approach of single dry. Tandem nymph rigs always work and cloudy days call for the streamer approach, which will undoubtedly move those larger than average trout.
THE RANCH: It’s getting a little weedy out there with these lower flows. Look for good spinner falls both early and late in the day. Have a selection of #14 - #20 spinner patterns in rust, PMD, Callibaetis and Trico colors. There is still a little Honey Ant activity too, so don’t count out that option quite yet. Under certain conditions, the PMD and Callibaetis hatches can really go gangbusters. A big juicy hopper will often turn the trick on a fussy trout. Bring along some smaller black ants and beetles as well.
WR-A: This stretch continues to fish in a reliable fashion. Double nymph rigs are the norm and produce day in and day out. The Hopper Dropper approach will bring plenty of fish to the net and stripping streamers is a sure fire way to bang up a good fish.
LOWER RIVER: 1290cfs. A tad warm and weedy for great fishing, but good trout are being taken on hoppers, streamers and big stonefly nymphs fished tight to the bank under cover. This stretch will come back to true form as we move toward the cooler temps of September….stay tuned.
HENRY’S LAKE: The Lake is still a tough option. Historically the lake fishes very well through September until ice off, let’s hope that’s the case this year. Fingers crossed.
THE MADISON: Fishing well with small terrestrials and small nymph patterns. The evening Caddis fishing can be outstanding too. Move around and cover as much water as possible for best results. Don’t’ forget the streamers, those big browns and rainbows really love to chase, and crush, a big gnarly meal.
HEBGEN LAKE: Watch for the gulpers to get crankin’ mid-morning and continue through early afternoon. Have a strong selection of Callibaetis life cycle patterns, small terrestrials and big juicy hoppers to play the hopper dropper game. Strip leeches and buggers when surface activity slows.