Lees Ferry Fishing Update: Bigger Fish This Week!
As we move into Labor Day weekend, fishing has been very good and I’m seeing more big fish landed!
Dry dropper combinations for fly fisherman continue to produce. The cicada hatch is mostly over, but I still had clients landing a few on cicadas this week. Because the hatch has slowed we used more droppers below the cicada, using 3-3.5 ft 5x/6x tippet before using a zebra midge. Both silver and copper zebra midges worked well this week. As mentioned last post, the cast can be challenging as the cicada will tend to spin if too many false casts are used. Good casters can make a 40 ft cast with one back cast, and it makes a difference in how well the top fly sits up. I also had client success using a Royal Wulff as the top fly.
Long leaders (12-14′ ) and extended drifts from the boat have worked very well this week, with ginger scuds over a zebra midge working best. Make sure your flies are getting down; using an AB split shot should do it, but you can also use multiple BBs. This combo produced many large fish this week which is always fun with the wild trout we get to enjoy on this river. The fishery is in great shape now with both large fish and many small fish that are growing rapidly. I believe the recreational flows (also known as ‘bug flows”) have helped with increased food for the fish. My clients and others I talked to landed many 16-18″ fish, with many having ‘big shoulders’; thick, slabs of rainbow fun!
Spin fisherman also reported a very good week with rubber worms and Panther Martins (black with yellow dots) producing well. I talked with several anglers that landed 17+” fish and several reported breaking off large fish!
This week’s tip: Updated weather
I mentioned last week about the monsoon storms we’re experiencing this month, and they have not abated. We had a torrential rainfall on Tuesday that came early afternoon. Keep your eyes and ears open on the river as you’ll see clouds building and may hear thunder in the distance, as well as increased winds. If you run into high winds and hear thunder, move your boat to a beach or anchor along a wall that’s protected from the wind and wait out the storm. Most of these monsoon storms roll through in less than a half hour, and it’s much safer and comfortable to wait them out rather than fight the wind on the water. If you wait out the storm the odds are good you’ll see some amazing waterfalls all along the river!