There are those fun moments when the trout really just key in on a certain fly. We had one of those moments earlier this week with a Frenchie fly pattern suspended off of a dry fly. Lots of strikes in all the good pocket water, runs, and riffles. I normally have this fly batting second or third in the lineup but I would tie it on first for this weekend if you have some. There are a lot of dark bodied insects that live in the Spokane River and the Frenchie runs a perfect middle ground between mayfly nymphs and cased caddis. The little bit of a hot spot and flashy dubbing also helps it to stand out amongst the insect crowd floating by. Give that pattern a shot this weekend.
Besides the Frenchie, Butano Perdigons in orange, green and purple were also doing quiet well. If you are on a raft/pontoon or up on top of a vantage point (boulder or shoreline) looking down into a glide or pool, this pattern lights up like a beacon. There have been several times that we drifted the fly beneath a dry and watched trout sip the nymph down.
The water temps have been perfect this past week below the Spokane Falls, around 56-59 degrees. With those temps the redband trout are responding nicely and fighting hard once they are hooked. That sort of water temperature will continue to keep them in that faster more turbulent water, so focus on the riffles, runs, and pocket water. Even the skinniest of riffled water can hold some stout redbands, as one of our clients from earlier this week can attest to:
The dry fly fishing was up and down this week, some days better than others. Usually, any bit of cloud coverage seemed to help. Even if you are using dries, suspend a nymph 18-26 inches beneath the dry fly to help connect into some trout. Use the dry-dropper in the tail outs of pools/glides, pocket water, runs, and riffles. For the runs, riffles, and pocket water, the inside bend of the river is also a great place to target with a dry-dropper. Look for that smoother water amongst all the turbulent stuff and tie on a big, foamy, bushy dry fly to suspend a nymph beneath. You will want to go decently heavy with the nymph so it can punch through the water column quickly in order to get in front of the trout.
We did have a couple streamer eats this week as well, but that is more a rarity than the norm right now. On one of the streamer eats, we were floating the raft over a known area that the redband lie in ambush to chase down smaller fish and crayfish. Floating over the water, the zone looks more like smallmouth bass fishing than it does trout fishing: large sunken boulders, good drop-offs, relatively slow current. We casted a crayfish towards the bank, stripped it over sunken boulders, and connected to a hefty redband. When the flows start to come back up, and the weather cools a bit down, we'll be hoping for more of that!
As always, if you are interested in booking a guided fly fishing trip with us Contact Us, or check out our Spokane River Guided Trips page for more information. We also offer Fly Fishing Instructional Lessons here in Spokane if you are interested in spending just a couple hours out on the water improving your fly fishing skills.