The proper Dog Days of Summer are finally upon us. These are long, hot, caddis-filled days on the big river. The fishing can be really tough. The fish are there and the bugs cover everything and yet get a hookup can take a lot of effort. As much as we want to be knee-deep wet wading in the riffles, often times the best chance for a fish is working the banks with great stealth, hunting for cruising fish in the eddies. Some of these fish are breathtakingly large and just as spooky. My favorite technique over these fish is a dry-dropper, with a Juju Baetis under an X-Caddis or Foam-Bodied Caddis. The dropper is a #18, the dry a #16. And I put the dropper on 5 or 6X Fluoro. We’ve hooked some massive fish on this rig over the last week.
As for the classic riffles, runs and drop-offs, a multi-fly nymph rig with #18 Olive Anato-May, PT, Spring Creek Geek, Split Wing PMD, black Two-Bit Hooker and then Olive Caddis pupae with a little Hare’s Ear Soft Hackle has been the most consistent. I use a smaller bobber this time of the year, less weight and longer leaders with the fluoro tippet in 5 and 6X. The action is sporadic. An hour will go by with nothing and then we’ll get ten eats over the next fifteen minutes. Doesn’t really seem to matter what time of the day, although I’ve been getting off the river by four when the winds tend to kick up. The last light fishing has been spotty, completely dependent on the wind knocking down. If it gets calm, the last hour or so can be really good.
So get down there are find your fish! Take a good hat, sunscreen, and glasses. Look out for snakes!