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Due to wild-run rivers flooding over, the White River’s catchment dams are on the rise which means we should be prepared for higher discharges. Overall, things have been steady around ... more3000 cfs, but we could see higher levels with the lake continuing to rise above power pool. This may not be the best news for wade fishermen, but it’s good for float trips.
The caddis hatch is strong this season. Right before the last rain we had success with dries such as Elk Hair Caddis and CDC Caddis. We can expect continued success as long as the caddis hatch continues.
Thursday, 27 Apr, 2017
Water flows from Palisades Dam have dropped this week (18,000 to 14,000 cfs) and even though the South Fork is still running slightly off color, the fishing has improved quite a bit. ... moreThe upper reach in Swan Valley and the upper Canyon from Conant to the confluence with Burns Creek have seen the best fishing. Targeting riffles, eddies, seams and banks with double nymphs has been effective. BWOs have also been making an appearing in large numbers, and using mayfly nymph imitations works well. But large stonefly imitations and mysis imitations are also just as effective if not better on some days.
Tuesday, 25 Apr, 2017
We’ve had decent weather this week with temps in the 50s and warming into the 60s. Water temperatures have been reaching the upper 40s on the Lower Snake River below Moose Bridge. ... moreWe are also starting to see the first skwalas of the season, which makes it possible to fish with large attractors along banks, seams, inside turns of riffles, and the current margin of riffle pools. BWO imitations are also doing well most days in riffles and riffle pools along seams. The afternoon is the best time for these flies.
As far as nymphing goes, use either a double nymph rig or a dry/dropper rig. Large stonefly imitations and small mayfly and caddis imitations are working well. Aim for riffles, banks, bankside troughs, seams and confluence lines.
On good days, streamers are really effective, but overall the consistency is low. We’ve been finding success with intermediate sinking tips, 3ips and 6ips tips, and 5 to 7 feet of T-11. The best places for streamer action have been banks and structure, riffle and riffle pools, and seams. Moderate sized baitfish imitations and bigger, articulated streamers are effective.
Monday, 24 Apr, 2017
High water flows right now. The Lower and Upper Canyons are flowing from bank to bank. The best fishing currently is out of the Farmlands or Upper Proper, which both offer access on ... morefoot in high water using islands and channels.
We are currently experiencing hatches of March Browns and Baetis, along with the Skwala hatch. Just around the corner we'll be seeing Salmonflies and American Grannom - Caddis.
Monday, 24 Apr, 2017
Water levels are still high, but not enough to scare off anglers. While not necessarily ideal conditions, the fishing is still pretty good. The river is down 100 cfs to 400 (normally ... morearound this time of year it’s in the 90-150 range). A lot is coming from the Little Deschutes. Once the runoff winds down, fishing should be excellent.
We’ve had success on the river with Jigs and Micro Mayfly Nymphs. Also heard someone caught a decent sized brown with a sculpin over near Tumalo. High angler traffic in the Lower Bridge area due to reports of strong March Brown hatches along with Grey Caddis, Midges, and some Blue Winged Olives.
Friday, 21 Apr, 2017
Spring fly fishing season on the Madison has officially arrived. We have already started leading some guided fishing trips and the ice pack is long gone. The weather is warming up ... morea bit, and overall is nice. Currently, slow nymphing and streamer fishing are getting good activity. Blue Winged Olives should also get some action later in the day. The Madison is living up to its spring potential. It’s also really nice having the entire stretch from Reynolds Pass to Ennis lake open right now—anglers are finding more room to spread out along the river.
Looking forward to the summer, we should see great water conditions on all our rivers, fewer closures, and less crowding on the Madison due to the great snowpack. All of the major drainages in the area are at or above average snowpack levels. This is good news for surrounding streams, where anglers will be able to find their own space instead of clogging up the Madison. On some years with low water (i.e. the last several years), the Madison becomes the only spot with really good fishing in Southwest Montana. That’s because of the cool water coming from Hebgen dam and the fast-moving oxygenated water of the Madison. This should turn out to be a great year with plenty of options for fly anglers to choose from!
We’ll have to wait and see how bad the runoff is this year, and that will all depend on the weather. With temperatures in the 80s for extended periods of time (around late May or early June), the river will become jammed with dirt and the runoff will be extreme, but short. On the other hand, if things start slow with a mix of warm and cool days, it could mean mildly clear water and fishable conditions all through the runoff. No matter what, we can always find a great place to fish, it might just mean we have to spend more time in the car!
Monday, 17 Apr, 2017
Spring has sprung and the Blue Winged Olive hatches have begun. Here in Park City, both the middle and lower sections of the Provo River are seeing some nice activity. Though we haven’t ... moreseen any “blanket” hatches yet, we have still seen enough bugs to keep the fish active. Clouds, cool weather and rain will likely produce a decent hatch. Look for stormy weather if you want to experience this. Also, most hatches are occurring in the late afternoon (try 1-4pm as your target window—later is better).
We have found that patience is important, and you should be willing to try various different flies on the BWO lifecycle. If you’re not having any luck with mayflies, we suggest you switch to nymphing when the action is sparse up on the surface. Also be sure to pack cripples and emergers for when the hatch is approaching.
BWO nymphs live in fast moving water and they are great swimmers. When they emerge, they swim straight to the surface and get pushed into slower pools and flats. You may have to explore the river a little bit to find these spots that are perfect for BWO behavior. Look for deep pools, riffles and flats, and don’t be afraid to move around!
This is one of our favorite hatches, and there are a number of reasons why. BWOs mark the beginning of the river coming back to life after the long, dormant winter. They also bring out aggressive feeding tendencies in trout, so the strikes are good. Additionally, the weather is great, and we get to enjoy the wonderful restoration that Spring brings!
We hope you have a great start to your Provo River fly fishing season!
Tuesday, 11 Apr, 2017
Like many things, when it comes to assembling our tackle for the rigours of a day’s fishing there are some rights and wrongs. Often too, we’re in a hurry, especially when ... moretrout are rising nearby. In our haste it’s easy to overlook one or two of the fundamentals that lead to frustration and ultimately, disaster.
The basic guidelines outlined here will help beginners avoid unnecessary pitfalls and longer term should prevent potential damage or wear to fishing equipment.
Smooth and polished, the brass ferrule fittings on old cane rods and the like could simply be pushed firmly together for a secure fit. Furthermore, being metal they were nigh on impossible to damage by hand, so even a forceful fit was rarely an issue. However, the female joint on carbon fibre or glass rods can be breached by hairline cracks if joints are rammed into position, so make a point of never pushing these rod sections together.
Instead, when assembling modern day blanks, it’s better to misalign the rod joints by some 30-40 degrees and gently snug them into place by twisting until the guides/eyes align. As for dismantling rod sections, all that’s required is to twist the sections in the opposite direction while firmly easing then apart.
FITTING THE REEL
It sounds and looks simple enough to fit a fly reel onto your rod. Generally speaking, you simply locate the foot of your reel into the openings and using the knurled ring, lock said reel in place. Why is it then that occasionally a reel drops off during mid cast, which is obviously worse if you’re afloat?
Often, we rush and don’t completely lock the reel in place. Consequently, with the repeated action of casting, our so-called locking rings can work loose. It’s vital to secure the reel properly so no play is evident and if there’s an additional locking ring (as above), make sure this is firmly located too.
STRINGING UP THE ROD
Nothing appears more straightforward than actually stringing up a rod. Yet beginners are often confused by a number of things. Firstly, they assume a fly-line exits the reel spool from its uppermost edge to remain in line with the rod rings (picture 1). However, as we ultimately use the reel for line storage, such an arrangement causes the line to wrap around your hand or rod handle when casting or retrieving. Far better control is achieved when the line exits your reel from the spool’s lower surface (picture 2).
Another common mistake sees beginners threading fly-line through the keeper ring near to the cork handle (picture 3). As seasoned rods know, this is there to accommodate our fly when moving from spot to spot (picture 4).
Finally, as we often thread our rod up using the leader, often a rod ring can easily be missed with this invisible link, especially if we’re flustered due to hurrying because fish are rising. One surefire way of ensuring the rod is strung up properly is to double the end of your fly-line over as you’re now able to spot if any rings have inadvertently been bypassed, see main image (on page left).
ADJUST THE REEL DRAG
A question that always crops up is “how light or heavy should my reel drag be set”? Before discussing this, it’s as well to touch on reducing any drag on your reel between trips. This prolongs the life of mechanical parts in any reel’s braking system.
Obviously, prior to fishing we now need to adjust the drag so it’s not in free run to prevent the spool repeatedly spinning, which in turn causes fly-line to ball up and tangle (left).
Conversely, if you overtighten the drag, the chances are that your tippet will break when a trout charges off. Ideally, your drag should be tensioned so that – if you pull on line close to the reel – the spools turns freely enough without overrun occurring.
CONNECTING YOUR LEADER TO FLY-LINE
Many prefer the loop-to-loop method of attaching leaders to fly-lines as this offers a degree of versatility by allowing changes from floating to sinking tapers. While this form of connection appears trouble-free, there is a correct and incorrect way of forming this link.
The correct method is to pass the loop of your chosen leader over the fly-line loop before pulling the narrow end of your leader through the fly-line loop (right, top), which ensures the two loops are seated by interlocking them.
By mistakenly passing the leader loop through rather than over the fly-line loop, a noose is formed (right, bottom) that can cause hinging and subsequent poor energy transition between fly-line and leader, resulting in poor turnover.
HOW TO JOIN LEADER TO LEADER
When it comes to creating a leader, or adding tippet sections, several knots exist for joining lengths of monofilament to one another. One that remains reliable and is easy to master has to be the three-turn water knot (see below).
Offer up two lengths of line that overlap by several inches. Note, if you prefer a longer dropper leg then take this into account by increasing this measurement.
Using both these lengths of mono, form a loop. Pass the downstream ends (those in the direction of the fly/tippet end) through this loop three times before drawing tight. Remember to pull on all four ends to draw the knot up evenly.
Having tightened, cut off both tag ends for a mono-to-mono connection. However, if a dropper leg is required, leave the tag end pointing towards the fly (downstream leg) long to act as your dropper.
Frustratingly, dropper legs have a habit of wrapping themselves around the main leader to create a tangled mess. A simple overhand knot (see below) makes dropper legs stand at a definite right angle, which in turn goes some way to preventing unwanted tangles.
Create your dropper leg using the three-turn water knot (see above).
Throw an overhand loop around the main line and take the tag end through this opening.
Dampen the knot and pull tight by tweaking the tag end forwards, towards the fly-line end to lock it in place. The dropper now stands at a right angle.
ATTACHING THE FLY
For knotting on a fly perhaps the best known of all knots is the tucked blood knot (below). It’s vital not to take shortcuts here and make sure you include the extra tuck for a much more secure knot in all types of monofilament. Remember to take care when using fine tippets as this knot snugs down on the main line a fraction of an inch away from the hook eye and, when drawn tight, can cause an unsightly kink here that might even weaken your tippet.
Pass loose end through the hook eye before twisting this round the main line four times.
Double back tag end and take it through the opening between hook eye and the first twist of the knot.
Now take the tag end through the large loop created when line was doubled backed.
Moisten then draw tight by pulling on both the tag end and main line. Finally, snip away surplus end.
For more information, go to my blog <a href="https://lifeundersky.com/">https://lifeundersky.com/</a>.
Tuesday, 4 Apr, 2017
Fishing is good along the Miracle Mile, especially in the mid-to-late morning. It has been very windy though. Be prepared for winter conditions on roads. One option for great spring ... morefishing to avoid high winds is the Bighorn river (about 2 hr drive from Casper). We have fished well with a variety of flies. Try red San Juan, orange eggs, and brown and natural leeches.
Fishing has been good on the Grey Reef with a mix a low wind and high wind days. To get away from the wind and find great spring fishing, also try the Bighorn. Fish are biting on purple ... morerock worms, orange eggs, and natural leeches.