Bring me more please!
It has not rained for over a week. Here are some quickie summaries and questions.
-Are smallmouth bass really wannabe trout?
- Flows continue to come down, fishing is returning to the new normal for this year.
-Subsurface presentation is the game. Short lived caddis activity at dusk continues to be the best dry fly action, it is not happening stream wide. Congrats if you have found one of these locations. Other anglers are hoping you will post GPS coordinates here.
-Trico rumors are running rampant. They should begin to show up…….. Spider web inventories and early morning outings have shown no signs of my favorite mayfly. I am remaining hopeful(for now) that they will,,,,, in some form or fashion, emerge in respectable numbers this year and did not fall victim to High Water Hell 2014.
-I have begun a few weeks back to wet wade. The water temps are perfect and comfortable. Make sure you wear some poly pro long johns under your quick dry pants. You will be safer from the nettles and prickly ash. Beware Wild Parsnip Is Everywhere.
-Gnats have been driving anglers to drink, smoke, loose focus and prematurely end outings. Deet seems to have little affect on them and vanilla extract draws in a bunch of other investigative undesirable insects to sample the taste of your meat. Uvular and Ocular encounters with gnats have been the worst. Choking, hacking, hocking, spitting or rubbing, poking and pulling on ones eye lid does effect presentation of the fly.
-To those with rubber soled wading boots; The rocks have been slipperier than than normal. Is anyone else noticing this? Felt is a bit better right now. Either something is growing on the rocks or they are covered in fine slippery clay silt particles from the settling.
-Was just about attacked by a roving band of river otters this week. The 4 pups continued to swim circles around my anglers, curiously investigating, while Mom barked orders at them to get away. It was awesome! The pups would wrestle on shore and then flop back into the water and come and see what we were doing. Mom Otter was pissed because they were not listening. Kids!!!!!
Go fishing today. It will be hot and muggy the later it gets. TCTU is having a picnic at Glen Park from 12-3. I am stopping by. More words later.
I don’t even know what to say. Predicting the fishability of the rivers in Pierce County has become almost impossible. A snap shot of river conditions one minute, changes the next. As I try to deliver the best information on these streams be aware that all bets are off. Here is what I know. Today waters are high and dirty again. An inch of rain fell in the afternoon yesterday. Your reports are very helpful in providing a wide variety experiences to other anglers. We all thank you. Keep them coming.
- Flows will continue to run well above normal as they have been. Water tables are full and every spring head including ones that were not there previously are pumping water at above normal rates. This makes angling and wading more difficult and challenging. Fish are being caught when conditions are not dangerous. Those who are are angling are having variable results depending on where they are on any given day. Choosing the best locations to fish can be a crap shoot.
-Water clarity has been degraded. The “perfect storm”(look for future post) has happened this year and recovery from every event will be slower as well as different for each watershed. Water clarity and flow rate are the two major factors we all use to try and determine “fishability”. This definition can vary among anglers and experience on the water is the only way to set your own standard. The Kinni has been the slowest to recover this year.
-Adult aquatic insect populations have been greatly reduced. Surface feeding activity is sparse. From simple surveys it appears that caddis populations have fared best as many larva/pupa are anchored rather than free living. Terrestrial insects populations normally entering the stream have likely also been effected by the extra precipitation. The trout still need to eat.
Every outing to the stream is a learning experience. Catching is the intermittent reinforcement that has the greatest power over anglers. Observation is the greatest power anglers have to massage intermittent in their favor.
As of this evening everything is fishable,,,,,, except
-Rain is forecast for tomorrow
-Gnat population is ferocious, bring the bug dope
-Edge water is clear, depth is holding color
Have fun and send me a report. Rush fished a little slow for me this evening. A few fish rising.
Today I guided. It was a treat I had not experienced in a while. At 2pm a wall of darkness came over the Northwest. We hooked an awesome last fish on a dry fly and scampered up and out of the lower Kinni before the rain came. And then it came,,,,again, As much as 4″ of rain fell near Baldwin and blew up an almost healed, crystal clear Rush River,,,,again. An inch here, an inch there. poof they are all mud again.
Happy In day! Hope you all have plans for fun, and the day is filled with explosive drama.
The streams continue to clear and are fishable the last couple days. As I am guiding the same sections of river, I am amazed how they have changed character in many cases. Islands have been formed and swept away, Lumber piles have created hazards and new holes, Once beautiful complexes of braids and pockets are now sand bars. The changes are alarming, and they are cool. Of course, not everything has changed and some of the old familiar trout hotels are the same or even better. As the flows settle down it will be interesting to see what changes will have created good holding water and what will become marginal . Change is, pass the Beer Nuts. I can’t wait to see it all!
“Catching” has not exactly been hot and heavy but fish are cooperating. It nice to begin to see the stream bed once again. The water is staying nice and cool and I can’t remember the last time when flows were high, consistent and cool in July. I hope this bodes well for the rest of the summer. For the short term, make sure you have a good supply of split shot along. Flows are heavy and you won’t get to the bottom without it. I have not seen a rising fish for weeks. Maybe today, I hope.
Go get um now. Rain is forecasted for Sat and Sun. Who would have thought!
Pat paid the goat a nice compliment then asked
Sometimes I find what looks to be an ideal spot. After multiple flies and plenty of casts; no takers.
My question is how much time do you usually spend at a spot before moving on to greener pastures? Some people seem to be constantly moving; others wait out a hatch.
Fished the Rush last night 5-8 pm, with some success nymphing my way to the hearts and mouths of a few trout. I almost drove home without giving it a try because it wasn’t very pretty. I was pleasantly surprised. The water is very stained but the fish were clearly able to see my offerings just fine. The Kinni and the other rivers vary a bit in color but with careful wading and a keen eye for likely fish locations, there are fish to be caught. Further up-stream on these Pierce county rivers, the clarity is generally better but you probably won’t find the normal level of clarity anywhere. The fine particulates clouding the water are probably here to stay for a while, which is fine because the fish are not able to see us as well.
The stream beds are either soft and settling or rocks and boulders that are still jostling for stability. Be careful, you cant quite see them all and it is easy to face plant. The unsettled stream bed is just prime for another heavy rain to mix it all up again into poop. This is exactly what is happening and it is taking longer and longer to for clarity to return.
May I suggest looking for obstructions and soft water edge seams down stream from obstructions. The water can be fast flowing but just find a drift concentrating on the slower current or dead zones down stream from anything that obstructs current flow. I was nymphing both with indicator and without. With an indicator, it seemed that if my depth was not exactly right I was missing the soft takes. When I took the indicator off and was able to feel the bottom through my line and the tip of the rod, I was much more in touch with the bite. Teach yourself to fish naked(without an indicator:), both techniques are equally important to being more successful at catching. Out of 4 anglers surveyed last night, the two who fished slow to medium speed deep water had little success. The two that were fishing pockets and down stream of obstructions in medium and fast water found more fish.
Go now or ride the Ark tomorrow.
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