By the end of July we find ourselves immersed in the season of small flies. Every day is different. The river changes, rising & falling. Though evening sedge hatches are a constant, they are in flux. Hubcap bright days of 100 degree temperatures push the emergence, & the fishing, right up against dark. Mild, cloudy days are golden. Low light brings everything on, & in low light the trouting can be good all day. The major hatches of drakes & PMD have passed, though there are still some around & the bigger trout have good memory of them. There are some olive stoneflies. Smatterings of small mayflies. Several species of small sedges in all stages & in numbers beyond imagination.
|Pinky - an all-purpose soft-hackle - when wet it looks like everything.|
There are a lot of spent insects, & many kinds, present in the water.
Trout are grazing the top of the water column & finding all they want.
This is, simply, the best time of year to swing small soft-hackle flies. Now is when the flies & the method really come together with the natural condition of things. This is a good time to fish those new designs we’ve been wanting to try out. And old stand-by, all-purpose simulators like the Hare’s Ear, Pheasant Tail, Turkey & Starling, Leisenring Black Gnat, Partridge & Orange, or any of the old Partridge & Whatever combinations in #16 will turn the trick.
Or maybe two to a cast will turn the trick even better.
You can put away the bobber & jig. Time to flyfish, in the classic sense. High summer & it's time to swing.
Flyfish NE Washington with Steven Bird: http://ucflyfishing.blogspot.com