Location: Lower Canyon
Weather: Sunny, slight breeze, air temp in the 70s
River Conditions: ~2400 cfs at Umtanum, ~3 feet of visibility, low 60s water temp. Water flow information here.
Hot Flies: Coffee Pat’s (#6), Lightning Bug (#14-18), Frenchie (#14-16), Soft Hackle Caddis (#12-16), LaFontaine Sparkle Pupa (#16)
Bug Scene: THe Caddis are out, the stones are making a presence
The caddisflies are hatching late in the mornings and the hatch grows throughout the day. Fish start keying in on the surface in the early afternoon and begin to feed heavier around 7 p.m. or when the sun gets close to the canyon rim. Fish are eating caddis nymphs and emergers fished subsurface before the hatch. There are a few golden stones hatching higher in the river, as well as a few Yellow Sallies. There are some fish looking to the surface for larger bugs, but most of the stonefly game is going on subsurface right now. We are starting to see a few grasshoppers and drakes as well, so make sure to start packing a few larger dries!
Fishing Forecast: Nymph the mornings, focus on dries in the afternoon and evenings
Nymphing in the mornings is going to be your best bet. A Coffee Pat’s (#6) 4-6 feet under an indicator trailed by a Gold Lightning Bug (#14-18) and a Soft Hackle Caddis (#12-16) has been producing. Focus on a bit heavier water, but play around to find where the fish are holding if you aren’t finding them in a certain water type. Look around main currents and where there is structure.
The dry fly bite has picked up again in the Lower Canyon. Fish are looking up for caddis starting around 7 p.m. and are feeding heavily until dark. You can look for feeders during the day and anchor up to fish them, but it will not be consistent until later in the evening. Fishing an adult caddis like a Fluttering Caddis (#14-16) and trailing it with an emerger like a LaFontaine Sparkle Pupa (#16) has been productive with fish mainly eating the emerger. There are a few fish eating bigger bugs, so fishing a Purple Chubby Chernobyl (#6-10) trailed by a caddis emerger can be a productive rig as well. Larger attractors can also help you keep track of your smaller flies when it starts to get dark or when there are a lot of naturals on the water. Look to fish your caddis CLOSE to the bank. Fish are often eating right along the grass and trees that dip into the water. Fish will also look for caddis in foam lines and in soft pockets of water near heavy current. Anchoring on actively feeding fish is the best way to take advantage of the hatch. Be prepared to bring a few extra flies as you might be sending some into the trees!