Location: Lower Canyon
Weather: Sunny, highs in the 80s, slight breeze
River Conditions: ~2700 cfs @ Umtanum 3-4 feet visibility, mid 60s for water temp. Find river flows HERE.
Hot Flies: Elk Hair Caddis (#12-16), La Fontaine Sparkle Pupa (#16), Purple Chubby Chernobyl (#6), PT Cripple (#16), PMX (#6-12), Lightning Bug (#12-16), Coffee Pat's (#6)
Bug Scene: More Big Bugs
We're starting to see a few Summer Stonefly shucks on the banks of the river. The caddis hatch is still going strong, picking up in the evenings when the shadows are on the water. PMDs and a few Baetis are moving around, hatching later in the day. We are seeing more and more grasshoppers out and a few beetles, so get those terrestrial patterns ready! Fishing subsurface during the heat of the day and switching to dry flies in the evening is the way to go to match the hatch.
Fishing Forecast: Smart Trout, Smaller Flies
The dry fly bite is still strong in the evenings, but fish are beginning to fear the Chubby. While this is a great high-riding dry, fish will begin to ignore presentations that are too big and bulky. If you aren't picking up fish on large profile flies, try switching up to something that sits lower in the surface film, like a PMX (#6-12) in darker colors. This looks more natural and is better for fishing over pressured fish.
The same goes for caddis. If you aren't picking anything up on large adult patterns, try fishing a small emerger, like a Lafontaine Sparkle Pupa (#14-18). These sit lower and trap a realistic air bubble in the body. Fish dries close to the bank in soft water, and in foam lines behind boulders.
A Coffee Pat’s (#6) has been getting in done fished 4-5 feet below an indicator with no weight. Smaller flies like Blue Lightning Bugs (#12-16), Frenchies (#12-16) and TB Hare’s Ears (#16) have also been productive.
The river is slowly starting to rise and we are starting to see our summer flows. Fish are going to start feeling more comfortable and holding in traditional summer water. Look for fish in seams, along structure and in a bit heavier water where they have plenty of oxygen. Do be aware that higher flows mean a bit faster current which could be dangerous for some anglers and pleasure floaters.