Big Dries, Laughs and Hungry Fish
It all started out with a text message from fellow guide Bryan Eldredge asking me if I wanted to go check out a nearby stream the next day to see if the bugs were hatching. I looked at my schedule and saw that I had a morning full of things I needed to get done before I could even think about leaving to check rivers. But we had a group of fisherman coming in, so I needed to get the most current fishing report first hand. I woke up early the next morning and hurried to get my to-do list done, so I could make my way to the river. As soon as I sent my last e-mail, I texted Bryan to let him know I would be meeting him on the river.
His text back to me said “I’m already here and the bugs are out!!!” I drove the short 30 miles to the river and began looking for his vehicle along the section where we had agreed to meet. I finally found Bryan’s truck and began walking down the road to find him in the river. I came upon the only person in the stream, but I couldn’t tell if it was Bryan because he was wearing a buff that was covering his face. I yelled “Bryan!” He replied, “Get down here!!!!” I stumbled down the steep bank and made it to the river. Bryan had already been there for an hour and had caught a half a dozen fish although the hatch was just starting. I had my video camera in tow to catch the action. It was a good thing I did because I looked upstream and saw small explosions in the water.
Stoneflies began filling the sky and were coming from every direction. They were crawling all over our waders, hats, shirts and even inside of our sunglasses. Every once in awhile in the cloud of stoneflies we could see green drakes, caddis and PMDs. As I watched Bryan move upstream covering every inch of water I began looking in my fly box for a big dry fly that would imitate the stones we were seeing. I put on a big yellow stimulator, and it turned out to be a good choice. My first fish of the day was a hefty guy that turned and sped right past us on his way downstream forcing me to give hot pursuit and finally pull resort to an open field tackle that would have earned attention from NFL scouts.(see video below)
Bryan started the next run off by tossing a size 4 Stimi Chew Toy upstream in a narrow stretch that had rising fish. After a few refusals a big brown came to the surface fully committed and smashed his ginormous stimi. We ended up taking turns working runs and riffles because it was narrow and it’s usually the most effective way to fish this stretch of river.
We tossed big dries all afternoon. As soon as the stoneflies stopped, the PMDs came on in force. We looked at each other with excitement and immediately tied on parachute Adams and parachute PMDs. The fish didn’t skip a beat. They were surfacing and chasing our dries all over the river.
We ended up fishing all day and finally got off the river at 9:30pm. We turned a day of checking out the river into a totally relaxing and fun day full of laughs and great fishing.