July 2021
Updated 7/08/2021

Heat of the summer fishing is upon us after the departure of the Salmon Fly hatch.

There are still fish to be caught but they are going to make you work for them. Many fish have been gluttonous pigs over the last few weeks gorging themselves on the abundance of stonefly nymphs and salmon flies. With that being said, fish are in no hurry to go out of their way to eat. This time of year is definitely quantity over quality. You can still catch a bunch of fish but they are going to be much smaller fish (lots of dinks) but a big bruiser can still be caught.

Caddis and PMD’s are still out in full force with fish sipping and rising on them. It seems it has to be the right time and place during the day to actually see heads rising for these flies. We’ve been able to consistently bank on having great dry fly fishing in the evening time with fish actively rising for the smaller bugs. Chubbys have been great patterns during the day with fish showing some interest. Dropping a smaller nymph such as little mayflies or perdigons or just using the dry as an indicator has been very effective. Nymphing the middle seam of the river out of a drift boat has been another effective strategy. Most of our success has been using bigger flies as the top fly such as a larger Prince Nymph or Girdle Bugs and then dropping a size 16 or 18 nymph as your trailer fly.

Yellow spots, PMDs, Silver Spankers and Psycho Olive May’s have all been producing fish. The usual suspects such as Flashback Pheasant Tails, Gold and Silver Lightning Bugs and Hare’s Ears can all work.

Streamer fishing on cooler overcast mornings has also produced some good fish. White, olive and black seem to be the go to colors. Streamers that have consistently been getting crushed are the Laser Legal, Single Screamer, Mini Dungeons and the Sparkle Minnow.

With the abnormally hot weather we are hoping to see some grasshoppers earlier than what is normal. Smaller hoppers have been spotted all around town. Reports have come in that fish are beginning to key in and take notice of grasshoppers along the bank. With the hotter weather not going away anytime soon, the hopper bite could be coming sooner than we usually anticipate it!

PSA: Remember to practice safe fish handling and keep them wet. Water temperatures are high and these fish are worth a lot more than just a photo. Let's all be good stewards to the river and its inhabitants!

- MRFC Guide Tyler DiMeola