Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Season of Small Flies

     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: 


  1. Steve, care to elaborate on your Pinky - specifically the abdomen material? Am finding your words here and on the f forum most informative and enjoyable.

    1. Hey Jim, thanks for reading me! Hope you're having a great season. The Pinky is worthwhile & deserves its own post, methinks. I'll put it on top.

      We be crows.