After a period of extreme heat, the Bow is finally getting the reprieve it needs. Recent rain and lower air temperatures are returning things to where they should be this time of year. Trico’s and hopper-dropper rigs have been bringing the most fish to hand. Streamers have been hit or miss but are certainly worth a shot on overcast days or after a good rain.
Pods of fish have been sipping Trico’s consistently. After this period of rain ends, fish should return their focus to these little mayflies. Dead spinners lying on the water are often what these sipping fish are after. A Trico hatch occurs incredibly fast. As a result, it can be tough to fish adults/emergers reliably. However, spent spinners will lay dead in the surface film for hours after mating and laying their eggs. These spinners can float downstream for kilometers. This means that a hatch a few k’s upstream can provide spent spinners for a few hours to downstream trout. Keep in mind that Trico hatches typically occur in the morning. Consquently, fish will normally stop consistently rising around 12-1pm.
Trico patterns can be hard to spot on the surface of the water. Try fishing an indicator spinner pattern. Another way is to use a bigger dry and tie your spinner off the back as a dropper. Often an elk hair caddis serves this purpose well. You could also try using a bright yarn indicator like the New Zealand Strike Indicator system.
After the Trico happenings of earlier in the day have concluded, switching to a hopper dropper is the best play. While hopper fishing hasn’t fully picked up yet, fish are certainly looking up for them. Further, it is still early in the season, so naturals will be smaller. Consider fishing imitations in the size 10-12 range where your dropper permits. When it comes to droppers, fish don’t seem to be as interested in leeches as of late. Smaller nymphs in the size 14-18 range are the ticket. Flashback Pheasant Tails, Black Widow Weevils, and Fast Water Prince are good go-to patterns on the Bow. If you’re on foot, it’s important to keep in mind that fish are often mere feet off the bank. This means that your dropper length shouldn’t be too long. Three feet will often get it done. However, if you come across deep pockets or buckets it’s critical to take the time to add extra length. It isn’t uncommon to use 5 feet of tippet for buckets and pools. Using nymphs with tungsten bead heads and thinner tippet will also help your dropper plumet to the bottom of those deep pools.
As mentioned, streamer fishing has been somewhat hit or miss. Nonetheless, fish have been coming to hand with the recent higher flows and overcast days. As they say, make hay while the sun doesn’t shine… We are getting to the time of year where trailing flies start to pick up more fish. Rolled muddlers are a favorite.
Dries: Indicator Spinner (18-20), Polywing Spinner (18-20), Juicy Hopper Tan/Olive (12-8), Elk Hair Caddis (14-16)
Nymphs: Black Widow Weevil (14-16), Tungsten Flashback Pheasant Tail (14-16), Fastwater Prince (14-16)
Streamers: Rolled Muddlers Gold or Silver (8-10), Bow River Clouser Olive (8), Bow River Bugger White or Black (8-4), Boots Booty Call Black or Olive (6)
Due to the high-water temps on the Bow prior to the recent rain, mountain streams have been seeing more action from anglers the last couple weeks. Get out there early in the day if possible. The dry fly bite has been consistent along with the weather until recently. However, overcast days can provide some incredible Drake hatches, so make sure you have a few in your box. Trina’s Carnage Drake is an excellent Drake imitation. At this point in the season Cutties have seen the entire circus when it comes to flies. Size down your flies and consider fishing lighter tippet. Longer leaders in the 12ft length also tend to help provide better drifts to picky fish.
Now is the time to transition to smaller Ants and Beetles. Flying Ants are out in smaller numbers this year. Nonetheless, fish are willing to rise to them. Arrick’s Parachute Ant is a great go to pattern. Try the black/cinnamon color for the best of both worlds. For beetles, give Big Foots in smaller sizes and Para Humpy’s in dark colors a go.
Dries: Arricks Parachute Ant (14-16), Big Foot Olive (14-16), Trina's Carnage Drake (14-10), Purple Haze (18)
Nymphs: Bead Head Pheasant Tail (14-18), Brown Prince (14-16), Ritt’s Tung-syn (14-18)
Streamers: Sparkle Minnow Gold/Silver (4), Dali Lama White or Pink (2-4), Mennage a Dungeon White or Brown (1)