Location: Lower River
Weather: Sunny, highs in the 90s, slight breeze
River Conditions: ~2500 cfs @ Umtanum 2-3 feet visibility River conditions HERE.
Hot Flies: Elk Hair Caddis (#12-16), La Fontaine Sparkle Pupa (#16), Purple Chubby Chernobyl (#6), PT Cripple (#16)
Bug Scene: Fish are looking for the big bugs
The caddis hatch on Wednesday evening was the strongest it has been in the last couple weeks. Fish started looking up for adults and emergers around 8 p.m. and continued until about 10 p.m. There were a few grasshoppers and beetles in the parking lot at the boat launch and fish were eagerly swiping at larger surface attractor patterns. There are some Baetis popping off, as well as PMDs midday.
Fishing Forecast: Shadows = Caddis
Once the sun dips below the canyon walls, it's time to hit the caddis hatch. It's worth pulling over in the boat or taking a break on the bank and waiting for fish to start popping off at dusk. Hunting risers is a good bet and anchoring or focusing on pods of fish is going to be the most productive way to fish the hatch. Fishing two flies is productive, with an adult caddis like and Elk Hair Caddis (#12-16) or a Fluttering Caddis (#14-16) trailed by an emerger like a PT Cripple (#16) or a LaFontaine Sparkle Pupa (#16). Even fishing a larger attractor pattern like a Chubby Chernobyl (#-12) as a point fly was productive now that there are larger insects on the river.
If you're nymphing in the morning and midday, focus on heavy water with a bit faster current. Fish are looking for smaller flies imitating mayflies or caddis as they begin their journey from the bottom of the river to the surface. There have been some Baetis, PMDs and of course caddis hatching, and fish are keying in on those life stages occuring subsurface. Flies like a Gold Lightning Bug (#12-16), Jighead Frenchie (#14-16) and a TB Hare's Ear (#14-16) are all great patterns right now. Fishing these under and indicator 4-6 feet with or without weight and accompanied by a Coffee Pat's Stonefly (#6-12) has been productive.