It really is that time of year, when you can find fish eating everything. Runoff hasn’t really hit, but the warm weather has brought bugs. BE PREPARED with your flies when you go out, and be able to act fast. This is the time of year where I start carrying two rods. One setup for dries, and the other ready to go with streamers.
Just the other day I was at a spot pretty famous for sippers and picky fish. Henry’s Fork is notorious for smart fish. My favorite kind of fishing, is targeting a specific fish that you see working and then going to catch that particular fish. I love it. Anyway, on this day the wind was not howling, but it was definitely there, the water was pretty rough (which can be advantageous sometimes). Usually in this kind of wind, there will be no action on top, but I pulled up and watched from my truck to see if I could see any consistent action. Over and over I would think I saw something, but then convinced myself, it was a wave caused by the wind. Finally I got out and walked down to the water. Sure enough there were fish, and they were active. I got geared up and head back down. Within this amount of time the wind had picked up even more and its blowing right into my face. This really is only an issue because I am throwing 5x fluoro with a size 18 BWO. These are not the kind of fish that allow for a crappy cast or presentation, so I was struggling. I would try to get closer so I didn’t have to cast so far, and I would put entire pods of fish down. I tried casting way below the fish to let the wind take it above for the drift, and i’d pile my line up. It was ugly. Then I hear an eat behind me. Literally between me and the bank. I turn and watch and see this fish eat two more times. I could see a bug on the water and watch it drift into his feeding lane, and boom, there it was…. I can actually cast this direction, so i put one about 10 feet in front of him and let it drift. Then the funniest thing, the fly literally just disappears. No sip, no gulp, no real movement in the water at all. It disappears like it just sank. I lift my rod tip, and fish on.
Now the next experience is from a few days later. Fishing some water just above where I was at before, and so I am expecting similar results. It was pretty slow for a minute, then the hour of power hit with vengeance. There were fish everywhere. Rising, Jumping, rolling, sipping. Every which way a fish can eat, we were seeing it. There were two of us there, myself, and Patrick from the fly shop, and we threw everything at them, dry fly wise. Patrick had landed a couple nymping, but we were both trying everything we could on top. He finally put on a weird looking big BWO type fly that had a bright yellow body. Not PMD yellow, but stimmy yellow. He had a couple hit, and then landed a decent one, but the frustration continued as we could not really figure out what they were really eating.
In my frustration I clipped off my dry dropper dropper setup (yeah i roll with 2 droppers sometimes) and put on a famous articulated motard in the black variety. This is a killer streamer tied up by Bender. First cast, long smooth strips and boom. this guy.
So be prepared with your flies people. I want to go try this water again and try some new ideas to get these fish on top. I will keep you posted.