Well life has been a bit on the crazy side around here. Summer seems to suck up your time like none other. A few weeks back I was able to go meet up with good friends Dan “Rooster” Leavens and Gray Edmiston for a little salmonfly fishing. With no trips booked it was time for a couple personal days on the water. The word was that the bugs were popping off and I quickly grabbed my fishing gear and camera and began trucking east to meet the guys.
That night I got to hear of the carnage that ensued under that day’s cloud cover. It seemed that the fishing would be red hot, but with a week full of sun headed our way we’d see if the trout would keep up the feeding frenzy. The next morning we were up at 5 and on the river by 7:30. It was cool and we were the only guys on the river. We began floating, hammering the banks and waiting for a take. Well it wasn’t long until we had smacked up a few good browns.
The big bugs were out but as the day progressed it appeared the fishing was slowing down. The main river was only giving up some of the smaller fish and we quickly pulled over for a short lunch. Strategically, Rooster had put us right at the bottom of a usually lucrative side channel. After hitting the main current with no luck, a slightly longer cast bounced off the far bank, and ten feet into the drift was attacked by a hungry brown. The camera was rolling and Rooster had a great fish in hand.
The rest of the day was beautiful, but less productive than the previous days onslaught. It appeared the bulk of the hatch had moved upstream. Bugs were out but it appeared the fish were full and shy of the bright sun.
Day 2 we rose again by 5am. Our plan was to move upstream another 10 miles and test some new waters. Again the day started off big early with Gray hammering a nice one off the sunny side bank only 20 minutes into the float.
The bugs were out thick on the bank, but seemed to be loving everything but the water. We slowed down and hit a few side channels to let things warm up a touch.
Gray put the new Scott Radian 6wt to work and quickly fooled a brown sitting under the foam. We got some shots and then kept the train moving. Another rest stop showed the bugs were out in mass. Gray decided to load up and give a Lebron chalk celebration with salmonflies in hopes that it would bring in a big one further down river.
Around noon the big bugs started hitting the water and the fishing quickly picked up. Soon risers began to emerge in the deep water. The fish were picky and didn’t want much to do with bugs that weren’t skittering on the water. As we progressed downriver, a 20+ inch fish refused the bug and we quickly pulled over downstream. After a dozen casts, the salmonfly finally found his feeding lane and Gray had a big boy hooked.
After a long run downstream he found the net and we had a hog in hand. Everyone was stoked and life was good.
The two days were pretty killer despite the bright sun and fishing salmonflies is always a blast. Chucking the big bug to big trout is hard to beat. If you want to check out the salmon fly hatch next year be sure to get in touch with Rooster at the Stonefly Inn and prepare for a lot of fun and a bunch of nice fish. Check them out at http://www.thestoneflyinn.com/. Both days they had zero trips booked and it turned out to be a good thing for us. Laughs for days and plenty of nice trout. Life is good folks. God bless!