Fishing Report, Spokane River, August 27th 2021
Updated: Mar 22, 2022
This last week was good...cooler weather, trout rising to big dry flies, tons of smiles, it all shaped up to some fun fly fishing on the Spokane River. With the cooler weather the trout seem to have become more active and when they get hooked they are fighting like crazy! Nymphing was working, dry-droppers were working, a few took some heavy jig head streamers, tightline nymphing was a success, pretty much any technique used could produce a strike. It is not always like this! So be sure to head out onto the river before the colder weather eventually sets in.
Talking about cooler weather, a few of the trees along the river have already started to change colors which is wild to see given that it only seems like last week that we were sweating under scorching temps...oh wait it was just last week. We may not have had much of a great summer at all, but things have finally started to look up.
The river levels are still incredibly low, and with the moderate weather, cloud cover, and grasshoppers still jumping along the banks the trout are responding nicely to dry-droppers. We've had success in the tailouts of pools and glides, on the inside bends of runs/pocket water, and over sunken boulders that have some decent current going over top of them. Big buggy dries like Stimulators (and Foamulators), hopper patterns, Amy's Ants, etc. have been doing well. It is also worthwhile to attach and float a nymph under the dry. Aim for 18-28 inches of tippet (less tippet if you are fishing the shallow riffles).
It has been great to see some larger redband trout rise slowly up to the dry, almost as lazily as a cutthroat would. But, we have also had a few that rocketed up and took the dry in a flash, so always watch your drift! Proper drifts and line management are crucial, the trout are holding in tricky water that has a lot of conflicting seams and current. During each cast, try to land your dry and nymph into the same seam, mend often, and high stick the fly rod to keep as much line and leader off the water.
As much as the dry fly action has been heating up, I still was compelled to target the heads of runs with some tightline nymphing. The water is really turbulent near the heads of runs but some of the stoutest redband will sit up in that water. The conditions forced me to use some really heavy jig head streamers that plummet quickly to depth, and a strike can happen right as the fly impacts the water. Even under sections of water that practically have standing waves (if you can get the fly down in a flash) you can hook into some great trout. Being a sure-footed and confident wader is an absolute must, so don't venture out into these areas unless you have the right footwear and practice.
Under a set of standing waves, I noticed one subtle bucket of "calmer" water and knew there had to be a large, submerged boulder under the surface. It took several casts and tightline drifts before connecting to a couple trout that gave spirited runs. At times I just love to fly fish this way to find out where some of these trout are holding, and it is amazing what you can discover (it's also mind boggling that the trout can even hold and feed in some of these zones).
So, enjoy this weekend by getting out onto the river if you have time. After such a hellish summer, I think we all deserve a bit of some good fly fishing on the Spokane.
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.