Monday, May 27, 2013
This past weekend was a lesson on how everything revolves around aquatic insect activity and dictates how well the lake will fish. The number one factor here was an approaching late season cold front. On Saturday my guests had a very productive day, the wind was there but air temps climbed to the low 70's and water temps ran 57.8 to 61.2. Perfect conditions. Blood midges were out in big numbers and carpenter ants were being blown from the lush coniferous forest on the west shore onto the water. The trout were taking the ants with the most aggressive rise forms you'll ever see for a Lake Davis rainbow. The indicator rig presenting flies 3-4 feet down was the most effective, and Loco Ants on top got some love too. The ant patterns were really hard to see in the chop and took the eyes of a red tailed hawk to be successful in locating the take. Effective flies for the day included UV2 olive mayfly bead head nymphs #16, Sheep Creek Specials #12, Loco Ants #10, and Blood Midge Pupa #12.
I often say every day is different on a still water and on Sunday it proved my point from the previous day. First off a big wind was forcasted and with this wind came a slight cold feel to it; the wind chill effect. This brought water temps down to 55.1 to 58.3 degrees and air temps in the high 50's. The hatches never came off, and the fish really never came into the shallows in big enough numbers to produce good fishing. As the day grew the wind chill lowered even more and I knew it was going to be a tough day. Luckily my guest wanted to learn about the lake and her habits, access points, techniques and tactics. I've been getting a lot of fly anglers who seek this approach and are not so concerned with numbers of trout caught. Educating the masses and sharing the knowledge makes me most happy, and having students who appreciate that makes it even better.
And what about the damsels you ask? They're late to the party as cool water and air temps combined with slow weed growth is stalling things a bit. I will say this the most active hatching damsels I have found have been in the north part of the lake. Even on Sunday I saw fresh flyers on the shore. It's time to pray to the fish gods for warmer weather to ignite conditions at Lake Davis!
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Special days on pristine waters float around my mind for years on end. We all have those cherished memories that we play and rewind over and over, each time picking out a singular action, word, or feeling that makes us smile even during the toughest times that life can throw at us. Today was one of those days. The ancient bug was out, the fish were rising, and there was just us out there taking it all in. Laughter, smiles, sharing the knowledge. I'm rather glad the masses think this river is just mediocre I'll gladly take the small wild fish on dry flies anytime, the dipper behind the waterfall in her moist moss lined nest, and the overhead fly by of a male merganser. The lupines talked to us today, we couldn't understand a word of it but the glow they gave us enriched the day. Sunshine and water; life is grand.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
I had a fantastic weekend of guiding and taking in the local flora and fauna at Lake Davis and the Middle Fork Feather River, I kept having to tell myself that it is not the month of June because it sure felt like it! Lake Davis is really starting to happen as water temps continue to climb. Today's reading ranged from 58-62 degrees. The blood midges are still hatching and the rainbows are rising for them when conditions allow (no wind). We had game today but by the time we were ready to present some dry flies to the fish the wind came up big and shut the dry game down. Bummer. Fishing blood midge pupas and Calibaetis nymphs under an indicator is still king in water depths from 8-15 feet. Flies should be presented off the bottom in the morning and 4 feet down in the late morning as the hatch intensifies. Damsels are beginning to show but in very small numbers, we'll have to wait and see what they have in mind as far as a decent hatch in the weeks coming up. The above picture above says it all as this young fly angler caught and released her first Lake Davis rainbow, it was quite the battle on her little 3 wt. rod!
The MFFR is getting very low in the Graeagle area just as I predicted earlier in the month. Most the fish are on the move downstream to higher flows and colder water. There is still some decent fishing to be had and best of all the wild rainbows are taking artificials off the top; dry flies are now producing! On Saturday my guest and I fished many access points from Clio to Sloat. The water below Two Rivers is a tad high but very fishable. We had rising pods of fish in the tail outs of major runs. Water temps ranged from 57-64.4 degrees. Lots of hatches including March Browns, Gray Drakes, BWO's, Little Green Stones, a few Golden Stones, Carpenter Ants, and a smaller black flying ant in a size 14. Effective flies for nymphing were tungsten bead head Hares Ear #12, olive UV2 Mayfly Nymphs #16, and Deep Sparkle Pupa in brown and pale yellow#12. Effective dries; BWO Cripples #16, Parachute UV2 Adams #16, and Emergent Sparkle Pupa in olive #14.
We had some anglers pass by us in Pontoon boats, there is plenty of water to do this as of now but the rowing is a bit technical. I've done this in the past from Clio to Sloat in three separate floats, it can be a blast!
Fingerling wild rainbows from this year's spawn can be found in the idle pools of the side water, It's so good to see that the MFFR has a healthy new trout population for the future.
If you want to fish the MFFR, you better hurry, increasing water temps and lack of snow runoff will shut this fishery down until mid September. Note: Forget the waders, wet wading is just around the corner here!