Still plenty of trout to be caught both inside & outside of the permanent Catch & Release (C&R)/TMA. Check out this impressive 25" rainbow caught & released last week on a nymph. I forgot the customer's name (sorry), but he said it fought like a steelhead (it's almost as big as one!). Fishing conditions remain excellent, with medium flows & nice cool water.
Water temps from the dam in Riverton down
through New Hartford are still cool, ranging from mid/upper 50's to mid 60's lately (coolest
upriver and in mornings, warmest downriver and later in the day).
Dominant hatches are still Needhami #24-26 & Summer/Winter Caddis
#18-24 in the mornings, Isonychia #10-14 in the latter part of
the day (5pm 'till dark), and small Blue Wing Olives (BWO's) #22-26
& Cahills #12-14 in the eves- stay until dark & beyond for the
best evening dry fly action. Remember that Isonychia are a fast water
bug, so look for hatching activity there. Nymphing is still mostly
smaller flies in the #18-22 range, exceptions being Stoneflies #6-12
(brown, golden/yellow), Isonichia #10-14, and Caddis Pupa & Larva #16.
Ants, Beetles and Hoppers have been working well in the afternoons during the when
hatch activity is low
The best evening f. If
you're out in the evening, stay until dark if you can or you will miss
out on some of the best hatches.
Isonychia are a fast water mayfly, so look for them in
riffles, pocket water & pool heads- you generally WON'T see them popping in
the slower speed pool water. Hatch time can start as early as
late afternoon and go as late as dark, typically peaking in early/mid
evening. Both the nymph and the dries fish well for this hatch. The
nymph is an unusually good swimmer, so try both dead-drifting &
swinging it, and at moments I've done better making short strips and
retrieving it like a small streamer.
Summertime bugs are smaller on average, so when nymphing
make sure to downsize your flies. #18-22 nymphs are often the key to success, with
fly size more important then the exact pattern (although I prefer either a
little flash or a fluorescent hot spot in my small nymphs). Some days
small flies are the difference between struggling to hook trout versus
catching a bunch. The two main exceptions would be
Isonychia nymphs #10-14, and big Stonefly nymphs #6-12. Iso's are
typically active later in
the day, say late afternoon through dusk. The evening Cahills are also bigger at #12-14, and can be nicely imitated with either a Fox Squirrel or Hare's Ear nymphs. The big Stonefly nymphs
emerge by crawling out onto rocks overnight and in the early mornings, making early/mid mornings prime to fish their large imitations for larger trout.
If you do have a big fly on, make sure you also have another
pattern in your rig no bigger than a #18, it's more in line with what
they are seeing this time of year.
Top Dry Flies: Blue Wing Olives #22-26,
Needhami #22-26 (mornings), Summer/Winter Caddis #18-24 (mornings in
permanent C&R/TMA), Sulfurs #18, (Riverton only), Cream Cahills/Light Cahills
#10-14, Beetles & Ants #14-18, Summer Dark Caddis #16-22, Tan Wing/Olive body Caddis #16-18, and an all Tan Caddis #16-18 .
The best dry fly activity has generally been in the riffles and the upper end of pools including Pipeline,
Roberts, Whittemore, People's Forest, Church Pool,
Greenwoods and the Boneyard. Try also blind-fishing with attractors such
Chernobyls #12-16, Stimulators #10-16 & Hippy Stompers #16-18.
Nymphing has typically been the most productive method from late morning
through early evening (when the insect activity is sparsest) and is
accounting for the lion's share of truly big fish, using patterns like
Pupa #14-18 (tan, olive-green- Caddis pupa are especially active in the
mornings), Antoine's Perdigons #16 (various colors), Attractor nymphs
#14-18 (Frenchies #14-18, Egan's Red
Dart #14-16, Rainbow Warrior #16-18, etc.), big Stoneflies #8-12 &
Pat's Rubber Legs #8-10
(especially in the mornings), Quasimodo Pheasant Tails #14-22, BWO
Isonychia #10-14 (mid afternoon thru eves), Fox
Squirrel Nymphs #12-16, and Zebra Midges #16-22.