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How to catch big fish on the WB in July.

Posted on July 09 2019

There is no question that the WB has more and bigger fish than any other part of the river system. During the big bug season anglers flock to it in hopes of catching that elusive twenty incher. Upwards of forty boats a day were on the river most days from mid April into early June. Due to the high water and the flotilla of drift boats most wade fishermen didn't even attempt to fish the WB during the major hatches.

Last week I said the fishing was poor. Why? There are a number of reasons.

1- The reservoir releases have been cut back making the river flows much lower.
2- Anglers that couldn't fish in the high water flocked to the river last week.
3- The bug hatches are now concentrated in the upper few miles of the UE and WB.
4- The freestone parts of the system (BK BE and BR) are too warm to fish.
5- High concentrations of both drift boats and wade anglers into a few miles of river means nobody catches fish.

Fortunately things have a way of working out. It seems by the reduced numbers of boats and wade anglers on the river this week that most anglers who fished last week would agree that the fishing was poor. This week it's a different story. Drift boat and wade fisherman numbers are way down. You can find a place to fish and only a few will boats go by.

So how is the fishing? If there are normal numbers of summer participants the fishing can be very, very good (it was today for me). There was a modest hatch of sulfurs (fished today between Deposit and Hale Eddy) and a very good spinner fall. Started at about 3:30 in the "No Kill" and spent two hours unsuccessful hours trying to get trout to eat my fly in a spot where every drift boat stops and where every wade fisherman
goes if there is no drift boat there. Were there fish? You bet. Did I catch them? Nope. When I moved to the other side of the river my fortunes changed. On a side of the river seldom fished I found bank sippers and other fish happily eating sulfur duns. Later I moved to another spot below an island where all boats go on the "river left" side. Fished "river right" during a good sulphur spinner fall and cleaned house!

It's there if you are willing to think and fish "out of the box".


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