Summer is here in full force and so is the realization that August is upon us. Guide trips have been busy lately and the fishing has been good, so long as you target the right stretch of water.
With the lower flows and higher air temps, the water temperature has been rising quite a bit throughout the day. As you are all aware, trout are cold water fish, so these rising temps play into your tactics quite a bit. A good rule of thumb is to carry a pocket thermometer with with to check the temp while you are fishing. Trout will typically eat as the temp gets closer to 68, and will occasionally eat when it is higher. The problem that results is that with the higher temperatures, there is a lower dissolved oxygen concentrations which lead to very stressed trout. Do everyone a favor and hang up to rod and move up river when the temperatures reach the 69-70 degree mark. Not only will the fish will be much more active in lower temperatures, but you should increase the number of hookups as well. If not, you may be releasing some floating fish.
That said, early the is the name of the game recently. Plan your days so you can be on the water earlier rather than later, and you can get off the water during the heat of the late afternoon. Also, think about the colors you are wearing before you head out. You may have been able to get away with the red hat or orange fishing shirt while the water was higher, but those fish are boogieing as soon as they see something unnatural now.
On the lower river small mayflies, terrestrials and attractors have been the ticket for dries. For nymphs use small stone imitations such as a Salvation #16, or Pat's Rubber Legs in lighter colors. Mayfly nymphs such as a Iron Lotus and Oops have both been productive as well. If you find the fish still refusing your offerings, throw some smaller emergers such as Barr's Emergers, and Flashbang Midges.
Below the Meadows: This pocket water has been fishing fairly well recently. We have been using a dry/dropper set up almost exclusively with the excepting of nymphing deep in the plunge pools. There are many smaller adult mayflies that are hatching throughout the morning. PMD and BWO patterns #16-20 are effective. Yellow Sallies are also fluttering around and coaxing some fish to the surface. For the nymphs, bring s wide selection of both attractors as well as natural imitations as the fish seem to change their minds often on which they prefer.
Meadows: Fish early and break out the 6X. These fish have earned some college credits this season and are onto the 5X game. Precise, delicate casts and slow movement through the water will keep these spooky fish from fleeing. Small mayflies and some small hoppers are taking fish on top. Underneath try using some Zebra Midges, Flashbang Midges, Tailwater Tiny's, and other small midge larva.
Hope that helps, let me know here in the shop if you have other insights. As always, I love getting reports from you all so stop in the shop after the trip and let me know how it went. -Joe