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It's time to adapt to conditions - or - take up golf.

Posted on July 08 2019

We are now into early/mid summer fishing. It happened rapidly as we had high water and drakes 'til the end of June. With the lowering of the releases came hot sun. The lower BK and the BE should not be fished. The water temps have been consistently above 70 and the fish are migrating to thermal refuges. The Big River is day to day. The river from Buckingham down is too warm to fish. Above Buckingham it depends on the amount of WB release, cloud cover and the BE warm water input. At best it is an evening and rainy day option.

That leaves you with two options.

The Upper East (UE) : At the present time the flow is a little above 200 CFS. It is not floatable without spoiling the fishing for every wade fisherman you row by. Ethical guides took their drift boats elsewhere when the flow dipped below about 450 CFS. The river was crowded with wade anglers last week. At 7:00 this evening I drove from East Branch to Downsville and saw but two anglers. Either spouses have tightened the reins or the fishing last week wasn't worth coming back to.

At the present level the entire UE is wadeable. The current flow level requires careful approaches to fish. A wake from an angler walking through the water puts fish down. If two anglers try to fish the same pool no one catches fish. Don't ask to "join" someone who is fishing in the pool you planned on fishing. Go to a pool with no one in it, no matter which pool it is there will be fish there. It will be you vs the fish, the way fly fishing was meant to be.

During the summer there will be sulfurs, olives, tricos, isos, midges and an assortment of terrestrials on the UE. Conditions require long, finely tapered leaders, well presented flies and a world of patience. There are good fish to be had but it's like getting you PHD, it takes a lot of work.

Tomorrow: How to fish the WB during the summer season.


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