After being on the road for 41 days, and mostly sleeping in the back of my truck, it's nice to be home. My own bed, my home computer, and a hot shower anytime I want one. The last week at Lake Davis has seen the fish wise up to artificials when fishing the damsel hatch. It can be frustrating to have boiling large trout in front of you, yet not get a grab. There is a few tricks you can do during this time, which happens every year after the lake gets pounded by fly anglers. During the damselfly hatch the rainbows are way up in the water column, and also in some very skinny water. These two factors combined give the resident trout a very small cone of vision. putting the fly right in front of them is everything. But when they refuse your fly, or worse, grab it and immediately spit it out, you need some different tactics. Try fishing a rubber leg ant pattern, like the Loco Ant. You'll have to have some skill to put it in front of them, and don't forget to twitch your fly. Another tactic is to use a high floating snail pattern with a 12" dropper to a callibaetis nymph, or a blood midge pupa. Other anglers in the know use sparse streamer patterns to entice a take.
There has been a pretty good indicator grab in the afternoon until about 4pm. present your flies 9 to 10 feet down in 13 to 15 feet of water. Albino Winos, red Copper Johns, flashback Pheasant Tails, and snail patterns have been working really well. Use 3x in this situation as the fish can take you into some thick weed beds and break you off. Hexes are still coming off all over the lake, and some fish are on them. Keep in mind the hatch will go through July but warming water conditions will put an end on fish taking them off the surface.
The Middle Fork Feather looked like her old self this spring with plenty of water. Even during my last trip guiding below Two Rivers on the 26th, I marveled on how much water was still flowing, thanks in large part to Jamison Creek. I was surprised on my trips this spring because well, we caught fish. After three years of low water conditions my expectations were low. Nothing big for my guests this season, just wild bows 8 to 14 inches long. Hatches have been great and currently there are a few salmon flies and golden stones still left. There has been a thick Trico spinner fall in mid-morning, and caddis, yellow sallies, and pale evening duns rule the evenings. It's a morning and evening game now.
The river from Two Rivers upstream is done except for making presentations to carp and bass, for those fish this is prime time. Concentrate where feeder creeks enter the river, and cool shady areas for rainbow and brown trout. Water temps are currently 61 to 65 degrees, and fishing pressure is light. this fall should fish well with the annual BWO spinner fall that last for months. Let's hope we see another decent winter so the resident wild fish can excel, and aquatic insect populations can continue to thrive.
Yesterday my first guide trip of the summer season commenced on the North Fork Yuba River. I had the pleasure of teaching four members of the Tahoe Truckee Fly Fishers the finer points of fishing pocket water, pools, and short line high sticking dry dropper rigs. I took them to one of my more remote beats, and with first tracks of the year the fishing was really good for small wild bows. The river was still a little too high for my likes, and water temps started out at 55 degrees at 8am. The usual flies worked, but presentation and location placement was far more important. The river should be in prime shape in the next few weeks. I have some available days left in July and August, and would love to guide you on some special sections of the river where even during the dog days, springs pump in 42 degree water.