June 16, 2014 – Well, after a week or more of warm and windy weather our snowpack is disappearing rapidly and river levels are dropping every day. The Taylor River peaked at 1560 CFS on June 3 and since then has been steadily dropping and clearing. Today we are at about 900 CFS and I look for the flows to drop into the 600 range by the beginning of July. River temperatures are still on the cold side with daily highs in the mid – forties and overnight lows in the low – forties.
Fishing has been steady with deep nymph rigs as well as Streamers. Most fish seem to be still holding under heavy currents and the biggest key for the fisherman is to get your fly down to where they are for as long as possible on each drift. Remember that when your cast hits the water, it will take a certain amount of time for your nymph rig to get down into the target zone where the fish are. As soon as your line begins tensioning up at the end of your drift, the flies will rise up in the water column and your chances are over until you recast. The more time that your fly is dead drifting in the target zone the better your chances are of hooking fish. Efficiency is the name of the game, covering the water thoroughly and paying attention to the slightest little bump. Watch those mid drift mends that can ruin a good drift by pulling the fly up off the bottom. Maintaining a dead drift is more critical than what fly you use so choose your casting angle to maximize your drift and minimize mending.
At this point in the season, the fish are pretty opportunistic and will eat a variety of different nymphs including Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ears, Stoneflies, smaller Mayfly nymphs and Caddis larvae. The exception to this is the early afternoons where strong Blue Winged Olive activity can make the fish extremely selective for the Emergers and Nymphs. I have recently watched Trout migrate from deeper water to suspend and eat the BWO Emergers in fast, riffly water. These fish are best fished with a Dry/Dropper set up. I like a large Golden Stone Dry on top which they will occasionally eat but the important part of the equation is a size 20 BWO bead head that if well presented will be eaten like candy.
Aside from the BWO hatch mid afternoon, the River is pretty quiet hatch wise. This will change soon and within the next week or so we’ll be seeing lots of Caddis and Smaller Stoneflies throughout the daylight hours and Dry Fly fishing will be the most productive.
We have also been fishing well with large black Streamers, swinging them slow and deep through the runs. Typically, Streamers produce the most action but result in fewer hook ups than nymphing as short strikes are common. A trailer hook is a good solution for this and Streamers with long tails and no trailer hook should be avoided.
Rarick Creek is fishing very well right now with good flows and hungry fish. These fish are a lot more active than the fish in the River at this time of year and good fishing can be had with a Dry as well as a Dry/Dropper combo. Make sure to approach each hole carefully and quietly as you may find a pod of fish sipping greedily on the surface. If you see this, slow down, check your terminal tackle as some of these fish are bruisers and determine how you can make a nice soft cast without spooking every fish in the hole. A few moments spent “sussing” up the situation can lead to a nice Rainbow on your first cast.
All six ponds are also fishing well and the fish are very surface oriented, eating lots of Midges throughout the day. Calm days are best for a dry and large fish can be taken by sight fishing with very small dries.
I’m pretty excited as today we received an order of over 2,000 flies, specific to the fishing that we offer here at the Wilder. As we all know, fish can be selective and change their diet frequently during the season from the tiniest midges to the biggest Grasshoppers and Stoneflies. After guiding on the Taylor and screening numerous samples of the bug life underwater for the last several years I am looking forward to trying out some new “bugs’ that I hope will be productive for both our Homeowners and guests.
Wildflowers are out, the grass is green, the River is clear and any day now the Taylor is going to begin kicking out the biggest hatches of the year. If you haven’t had a chance to experience our world class Dry Fly fishing at the Wilder, be sure to make it a priority this summer. Hope to see you on the water.