Those of you watching the USGS flow gauges probably noticed all sorts of ups & downs with the flow from both the dam and the Still River. The Still River increase is due to 1" plus of rain on Wednesday/Thursday- we needed it and could use a lot more. The low & dropping release from the dam is due to low reservoir levels due to drought, plus a downward adjustment due to more water temporarily coming in from the Still. They are trying to conserve water as the reservoirs are low, well below normal. The MDC is shooting for a combined total flow of 120-130cfs for the next few days, we are a low (but fishable) 127cfs total flow this morning (83cfs from the dam, 44cfs from the Still River). 8am water temp was 62 degrees at the Rt 20 bridge (Hitchcock) in Riverton, water temps will rise as you venture downstream and also as the day progresses (peak water temps are in late afternoon).
Mornings you can start somewhere in the permanent TMA/Catch & Release, then work your way upriver as the day progresses to stay in colder water, and that will give you better fishing and be easier on the trout. By afternoon, I'd be somewhere upstream of Church Pool, and the closer to the dam- the cooler the water, the more active the trout will be.
We have a pile of Solarez colored UV Resin in stock now. The first batch went in a blink so I ordered a bunch this time, and expanded the color range out. Now they are doing black, so I loaded up on that color, it's the classic color to do a wingcase on a Perdigon nymph. Also traditional is to use black nail polish, but then you have to wait for it to dry before you can coat it with clear UV Resin. This UV Resin speeds up the process and is more durable. Got a bunch of other colors too, including various shades of fluorescent colors such as orange, pink, chartreuse, red, etc, and other colors like brown, grape, and shimmer copper. All these colors make a good wingcase, or in the case of the fluorescent ones, a good hotspot. We also have the ultra thin Bone Dry formulation in black now. Solarez is hands-down the best UV Resin on the market: cures the fastest, cures rock hard/durable, and it's not tacky. It's also way less expensive than the other brands, despite it's superior performance.
Early to mid mornings & eves remain the peak fishing times, with dry fly fishing arguably better/easier in the evenings (more & bigger bugs), however water temps are coolest in the mornings and it's a great time to nymph the fast water then. Although Isonychia hatches are light now, you can blind fish them in the riffles in late afternoon/evening and bring trout up to them, even if you don't see them on the water. They are a big bug that hatch all summer long here, and the trout get used to them and anticipate the hatch. And BIG trout love them.
Fishing broken water (riffles, pocket water, faster runs, etc.) with some current speed gives you an edge because you can approach the trout closer, they don't get as good a look at your fly, and they have to make a quick decision before your fly "gets away". You can also go with flies a bit bigger than you can in flat water pools. Fast/broken water is also more oxygenated in the summertime. A lot of small brown trout (many appear wild) are showing up in angler catches, especially when you are nymphing the faster water. As I've mentioned before, a good summer strategy when putting in a 1/2 to full day is to start first in your most downriver planned location, and then move upriver as the day progresses and water temps increase. This will help keep you in optimum water temps all day long, and you will have better fishing. If you have a thermometer, look for water temps under 68 degrees, and optimally 65 or less. Currently you should find these temps in the mornings from about Church Pool & upstream, by the afternoon I'd be working my way up closer to Riverton.
The dry fly fishing on the flat pools can be very technical this time of year: most of the bugs are small, and the fish have been worked over hard for months, so bring your "A" game, a bunch of tiny flies, and a long leader with a long/light tippet. Fishing terrestrials like #14-18 beetles & ants before you tie on the tiny stuff, means sometimes you won't have to go super small. Fishing riffly water in the eves can give you an edge, as the trout have to make a quick decision, the bugs are bigger in the faster water, and the trout don't get to inspect your fly with a magnifying glass there. It's also the same water both Mayfly spinners & egg-laying Caddis are active in. Win-win. 6x will suffice for most of the evening bugs. Think 7x on the smaller dries.
Dry/Dropper can be a fun way to fish now: use a bigger buoyant dry (like a Mini Chernobyl, Chubby Chernybol or big Isonychia) and drop a #16-18 tungsten bead nymph 1-3' below the dry. Most fish will take the nymph, but you will get some bonus fish on the dry also. Tie the nymph off the hook bend. Run it closer (12-18") to the dry during insect activity or in shallow water, run it further apart (2-3') in deep water and during non-hatch periods. It's like the fun of dry fly fishing, combined with the consistent effectiveness of nymphing. Plus it allows you target fish at distance and not spook them. If you wanna target big trout on the surface after dark, try a short/heavy 6-7.5' leader (0x) with a deer hair mouse pattern- make sure to bring a BIG landing net with you...:)
We have a great assortment of custom tied soft-hackles in our bins by Dick Sablitz, they are both fun & deadly to fish. We have flies to imitate all the current hatches, the most effective way to fish them is 2-3 at a time on tag-end droppers.
FYI we are now in our extended hours: 8am-6pm weekdays, and 6am-5pm on weekends.
We have Devin Olsen's hot new book "Tactical Fly Fishing", and it's really good. Its based upon what he's learned from years of the highest level fly fishing competitions against the best trout fly fishermen in the world. It covers things in an extremely detailed way, and has some great "Case Studies" where he shows you different water type pictures with photo sequences of how they were able to successfully catch fish in them, and what adjustments they had to make in their rigging, approach, presentation & flies to find success. It's a good new option that does NOT duplicate George Daniel's two books on nymphing, but rather it compliments and adds to them.
From April through October we are open 7 days a week, 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday, and 6am-5pm on weekends.