Summer Time, Fly Fishing Time
Summer is here, and early summer is one of my favorite times of year to fly fish. I can ditch the waders and wet wade. There’s nothing like a beautiful 80 degree day on a mountain river wading waist deep in 55-60 degree water. It is also the time of year where some epic hatches occur.
Green Drake Hatch
One of my favorite hatches is the Green Drake Hatch.
Green drakes can be up to an inch long in some cases….and they have some relatively small wings for their body size. This means they spend a lot of time in the film trying to take flight. Just as a shark is attracted to commotion on the surface (it is shark week after all), trout notice of these tasty morsels on the surface.
The spinners return at night to lay their eggs, long into the evening. I’ll pre-rig a couple of patterns in this situation. A Wulff-Spinner combo is quite effective and the Fanwing-Missing Link combo can be deadly. The last thing I want to do is turn on a headlamp and spook the fish, stealth is key here.
Golden Stonefly Hatch
One of my other favorite hatches is the Golden or Yellow stonefly. The Golden’s don’t get the publicity of the Salmonfly, but for me it is one of my preferred hatches.
The Golden Stone is about 1”-1 ½” long, significantly smaller than its 2 ½” cousin the salmonfly, but still plenty big. It’s the perfect fly to do a hopper dropper rig off of, and still very castable.
Also, during this time period, sally stones and pmd’s come out…….all yellow in color. The trout really seem to key in on the yellow/gold color pattern during this period of time.
Like the salmonfly, these bugs crawl up from the riverbank and into the bushes. Fish these flies tight to the banks with overhanging bushes and trees. The trout will hang in deep runs right to the bank and just pound them.
In the morning I will use a nymph or emerger pattern typically of a mayfly. In the evening, I switch up to a caddis. Both bugs like the swifter water and the trout just smack them!
Of course, caddisflies are coming off like crazy too. Black, Brown, Tan, Green and seemingly everything in between. I love me some caddisflies!
This time of year, the fish start to spread out and move from the deep pools into the riffles to get some cool, oxygenated water…..perfect for caddis!
As fish become more educated, you’ll need to switch from your traditional elk hair caddis to more lifelike patterns. AC Caddis, EC Caddis, Headlight caddis all work very well. I’ll also throw an emerger pattern early in the day. I really have had fantastic results with the parachute caddis emerger.
Be sure to look out each week for our Sizzling Summer Savings promotions. Each week we feature 4-6 flies where you can buy 2 and get 1 for a penny. The sale runs for a week for those specific flies.
Fish hard, fish often, fish on!