I couldn't be more optimistic about the health of our trout right now. I spent a lot of time on the water in the past week and fished many new and old areas, including fishing with in a friendly half day tournament with a bunch of local guides and fishermen. The entry fee: Beer. I was so encouraged by everyones results and what it means for the rest of the year and beyond. One team of two anglers headed into the mountains and landed 51 trout mostly brookies from 3-6" but wild native fish none the less. My partner and I took advantage of the perfect river temps low to id 60's and fish both a mid sized and large river. We landed 50 trout mostly wild rainbows from 7" to 16" the majority were 13-15" and were incredibly healthy and fat. They really put on a show, with many fish making multiple leaps 2 or even 3' out of the water. In one roughly 250 yard stretch of a mid sized stream we landed 1 Brook Trout, 3 Browns, and 12 rainbows, plus fish missed and lost. I believe that every fish was wild!!! We fished another spot on that same river near where they stock fish, we caught two stocked fish and 4 wild ones! The stockies must have been caught or washed down and even killed in the floods a few weeks ago. That is good fishing no matter where you are. Another group fished the same areas as us and caught a good number of fish, around 20 or so, while a few other groups fished a river not known for its trout population and landed all three species and were in double digits.
I was so encouraged by these results. I had previously thought my local wild rainbows seemed a little lower in numbers but it may have been that I could not get through the stocked fish, or that the wild fish some of the wild fish were keying into different flies than most stocked? Not sure. One thing is for sure that we are looking very god going into the dog days of summer. While we will likely see some intense heat at some point our fish are very healthy right now and ready for the stress. After surviving last summer, this one should be a breeze. Additionally, the rains have kept ground water levels very high and springs are pumping cool water at spring like levels which helps our river flows and temps.
I have seen a fair amount of bugs with some large golden stones, lime stones, small black caddis, sulphers, Light cahills, and a huge yellow #8-10 mayfly, I guess it must be a golden drake. I have not seen this bug much before, but trout were keying into them at high noon under bright sun. I was a bit surprised that they were hatching in warm weather during midday as opposed to evening. The trout had actually moved from their normal deeper run and the into shallow clear water adjacent to the riffle and were taking them off the surface. It would be nice if that hatch happened more often!
The remainder of the week looks warm, but then we cool back down with below average temps forecast. Perfect.
Im booked this weekend, but have some availability next week and the following sunday afternoon. Please look me up if you'd like to get out.
Ben Wilcox Owner/Guide Maple Country Anglers