SMALLER TRIBUTARIES & LOCAL STREAMS
I've been out doing research recently....hitting up a number of smaller streams in the area in order to report back to my fellow fishing enthusiasts and I have some good news...at least for a few of the streams. The fishing has been outstanding!!
One stream in particular that I fished with my employee Fred yesterday was absolutely on fire! Fairly typical for this time of the year, the water clarity is still a bit off color, but that didn't slow the fishing in the least. We probably landed 50+ fish between the two of us in several hours.
I'd probably classify this type of fishing as "dirty water" fishing. I find that as long as you have at least 8" or so of water clarity the fishing can be really good and I don't usually see anyone else out there fishing. And in the case of this stream and several others, water clarity is in the 8"-16" range right now.
As for fly selection goes...I would highly recommend carrying stone fly patterns right now. The best sizes are in the 6-2 range. Black, olive and brown are the colors of choice. I would also be sure to have some foam flies on hand or large stimulators in the same size range. Circus Peanuts, Double Decker Golden Stones and Stimulators in orange and olive. Yesterday I counted quite a few stoneflies drifting down the current and saw a fair amount of fish rising although I was having so much fun stripping stoney's and streamers that I didn't bother trying a dry. I would also suggest trying out some streamers. Both Fred and I switched to streamers after a couple of hours and in some of the longer runs we were getting bumps on every single cast.
Presentation....I am not the most technical of fly fisher-people when it comes to fishing nymphs or streamers. I don't like to fish indicators and I often cast almost directly upstream which makes it challenging to get a good drift without dragging the fly through the water. But I have been doing this for a while and have figured out a technique that works for me, where I can get the fly down to the bottom without too much slack in the line and I always let my fly go into a swing at the tail end of the drift, giving it short strips on the way back in. And it works for me! In a nutshell, you want to get the flies down deep and you want to keep the flies moving as slowly as you can.
Water to target...almost every trout that I have caught over the last month and a half have been in slower water, usually adjacent to some moving water. Drop-offs, seams and any little pocket of slack water seems to be where the fish are holding right now. I find that fish stack up in large pockets of slower water. In fact, Fred and I caught well over a dozen trout out of one small hole yesterday and we probably missed the same number. It's not quite winter water, where the water is still, but close to it. Also, I fished another stream further south a few times in the last two weeks and every single fish that I caught hit the fly in the middle of the stream, right along the edge of a seam.
So my advice to you all would be to get out there and explore. Feel free to stop into the store and we can advise you on what flies to fish and answer any other questions you might have, but get out there now. It's on!!.
I don't update this report very often throughout the summer as the fishing on these smaller streams tends to stay fairly consistent, with the exception of later summer when the hoppers begin to emerge. If you like catching smaller fish (on average) and would rather fish waters with nobody in sight, there are plenty of these little gems around the valley. Bear in mind that later in the summer many of these streams begin to dry up a bit, so a small stream that was fishing well a month ago might be a bit more difficult to fish because of water flows.
I won't be naming any names of trib's here in the valley or along the Greys River, but rest assured that if you pick one with fish in it, you will have success! If you like fishing tiny streams you should check some of these out, mainly because nobody else does.
If you'd like better info on where to go, I suggest that you drop into the store and I may be persuaded to give you some tips ;) Otherwise, get out there and try your luck.
Fishing the smaller tributaries in and around the area can be very productive and fun to fish, especially for those of you who prefer to fish "a la fly". I'd highly recommend trying out some of the tiny streams. You might be very pleasantly surprised at what they can produce. Although I know very few people that ever fish any of these little waterways, most of these have fish (some very surprisingly large, for such small streams). For those of you who like to fish 4WT's or smaller, or those of you who fish a la Tenkara, these streams are meant for you. Get out and give 'em a try, you might be surprised at what you catch.
Firstly, these tiny streams get very little pressure year-round. They might not always be the easiest bodies of water to fish, but if you are selective and target specific waters, the odds of you seeing fairly consistent action is pretty good. Secondly, I am almost always surprised at the size of some of the trout I catch in these often overlooked gems. If you have never tried a Tenkara rod, now might be the time to experiment. Tenkaras are perfect for these smaller bodies of water and the length of the rod and manner in which they are fished allow you to spend more time getting the perfect presentation of your flies, as opposed to snagging tree branches, bushes, or worse yet, the back of your ear lobes.
Small nymph patterns work well in these waters. Try some small pheasant tails, hares ears, copper Johns, San Juan worms and the like if you aren't seeing any rises, but if you see a fish poke his/her head out of the water, go with a hopper, sparkle caddis, ant, small mayflies or Adams and enjoy the solitude.
Good luck! And if you need any advice on what trib's to fish in the area, stop on by the store. I'm not going to list all of the local favorites on this site, or my buddies might want to hunt me down and give me a beating.