So I hit the river a few times this week. For some guide trips and some personal time. The upper river was slow with water temps still hovering below 44 degrees. Warm sunny days are better for bugs but the fish are still in winter mode a bit so nymphing has been the most productive method. While bugs need warm air temps and some need sunshine, fish need warmer water temps to get active and we are still not seeing a lot of that in the upper river yet. We have a big set of systems rolling in off the Pacific bringing us a bunch of moisture and possibly snow up high around 5000 feet. This will be followed by warmer temps if the forecast is accurate, which means some higher water potentially later next week.
I fished the lower canyon on Friday and we had an epic day. Large fish caught, lots of rising trout, blue wing hatch that was crazy and finicky fish that were keyed into the naturals and refused flies all day long. We had several instances where fish would track flies and then hit them lightly. Lots of large trout being selective which is always fun to watch. We had several instances where fish were podded up around boulders sipping on BWO’s as they floated by. Fun to watch and fun to try and trick them. One of those days where flies are switched a lot, leaders and tippets extended, and presentations worked on, just a fun day of fishing and guiding.
The lower river is in spring mode for sure with hungry and eager fish. With the way the flows are the fish are spread out all over with some deep in the runs and some on the boulders. As the hatches get better and the temps both for air and water rise those fish will move into faster water and tuck into the boulders and seems even more making for some great fishing.
I did witness one of the largest trout ever, I was doing a double boater, we coasted by as they were playing this huge trout. Ended up being around 26 28 inches and weighing in around 5 to 6 pounds. Not steelhead just a big ass trout. Took the dry fly. Was amazing to see such a wild specimen. Get on the river if you can and call me for available dates for guided trips.