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I have to admit, that the water is almost unfishable or so I thought. After going out on numerous occassions I am amazed at the resilience of the rainbow trout in the Columbia River.
Conditions: Most of the fishable eddies and pockets, as I call them, have been eliminated with the extreme high water, but the areas I did fish along with debris and logs and colored water, I found the fish were still there and very accommodating. Lots of action, even more so than when the river is clean and clear.
To fish away from the debris I found if I put on an indicator about five or six feet above the fly, added a split shot a foot above the fly I caught fish.
Flies: The fly usually was a bead head of some sort, starting from a copper john, prince nymph, pheasant tail to a simple chironomid. All were successful.
Now I am even more amazed that the caddis hatch is trying to happen, with the high water and temperatures down from run-off and rain the normal enormous Columbia River caddis hatch is still trying.
It’s still not as abundant as normal but the fish are expecting it and are up on the surface like any year. Just before dark the hatch happens, and the fish are very actively feeding on these small morsels.
Technique: Before any surface action starts I like to fish the pupa patterns, sometimes with a bead and sometimes without.
When the action starts on the surface I change to a dry fly and enjoy seeing the fly taken off the surface, as do all fly fisher persons.
As darkness approaches, the higher and dryer the fly – the better it seems. So don’t forget the dry fly stuff, ie. gink, moose snot, aquel, repel, shimizaki dry shake or the old stand by mucilin.
All do the same thing, float the fly.
Fly Patterns: For you fly tyers a couple patterns below will give you an idea as to the flies I am using at this time of year.
Double Wing Caddis Pupa
Hook – Mustad R70 or Dai Riki 305 size – 12 or 14
Thread- 8/0 uni or size 70 utc blk or brown
Body – dubbed wapsi slf squirrel nymph-thorax #SLDW01
Shuck- Ice dubbing uv shrimp pink #343
Wing- two speckled brn soft hackle – cut into V shape
Wing- 4-6 strands of cdc
Wing- 2 strands of crystal flash pearl
Wing/Legs- 1 wrap of hungarian partridge
Head- SLF spikey dubbing # SLFS06 dark brown
Elk Hair Caddis.
Hook- Dry fly Mustad R50 (94840)
Size- 12 or 14
Thread- 6/0 uni or 70 utc blk or brwn
Body- uni stretch brown, olive, black, tan
Hackle- small to match hook size (palmered)
Wing- elk or short/fine deer
Till next time, tight lines and bent rods.
Columbia report is submitted by Rod Zavaduk, avid fly fisher and owner of Castlegar Sports & Fly shop.
The lake is still at high-water mark and the trout are loving it.
The rain and water levels have helped keep the temperatures down for July, but frequent storms make fishing the surface difficult trolling through the gauntlet of debris.
Nevertheless, lots of dollies (bull trout) are being caught on plugs in water from 40 to 85 feet.
Bulls beef up on Kokanee as they make their way to the tributaries to spawn, so troll the mouths of streams for some great bull trout action.
Rainbows are still hitting hockey sticks (black and silver have been productive) and bucktail flies near the surface, but extreme warm weather will drive them deeper eventually.
Put a little weight on your bucktails or try the new line of fish-skull bucktails that tied with a weighted fish head to get it just below the surface and avoid debris.