Fishing Report, Spokane River, July 15th 2022
There are some summer days that I feel like I really don't have to rub sunscreen on my skin. After days of being out in the sun, applying, and re-applying sunscreen I would think my body could just ooze it out at this point. But, I keep on rubbing it back on less my wife scold and remind me again of the dangers of skin cancer. She's right, and as the summer sun continues to intensify I'll keep coating myself down.
While floating underneath that big orange ball, we have casted the full arsenal at the trout this week. Those redband trout have been in a bit of a funk and even though we're happy to bring them to the net they are making us work for each and every catch.
At the start of the week, the river flows dropped over a 1,000cfs (cubic feet/second) from 4,800 to 3,300cfs. Although a drop like that is not significant when the river is flowing say around 15,000cfs, it can be a considerable change in conditions when the river is lower. This drop in water flow might help explain why the trout are just a bit sluggish for the time being. As conditions shift, it takes a few days for trout to adjust and find their rhythm again.
Water temps (below the Spokane Falls) have been in the low 60's this week. In those temperatures, the trout are right in their prime metabolic rate and definitely looking for food. Focus most of your attention on the runs, riffles, and pocket water for this weekend. Most of the aquatic insects are centered around these areas and you can think of them as the trout's food conveyor belt.
Arrive at the river either early in the morning or late in the evening and be ready to change tactics up. Indicator nymphing, tight line nymphing, dry-droppers, streamer fishing, and single dry fly fishing have all produced this week. If one tactic is not working then re-rig and move on to the next. Also, it is important to keep your eyes peeled to other areas of the river. In back eddies below runs and along glides there have been sporadic rises to caddis. If you find a pond of rising trout make sure you have a couple size 14 or 16 tan caddis patterns in your fly boxes.
This is also a good time to brush up on your pocket water fly fishing skills. As summer marches on this skill set will become ever more valuable. Take a look at our instructional articles about how to read pocket water and locate trout in these river sections:
During the early mornings this week we also had some surprise thunder and rain storms pass over. Anytime these storms roll through it can encourage the trout to feed a bit more and rise more confidently to the surface. Enjoy those morning showers as well, because within a few hours it'll be back into the high 80s and low 90s.
If you are looking for a really fun way to get involved with looking after the Spokane River this summer check out the Spokane Riverkeeper's Crayfish Monitoring. It is a volunteer event where you can join the Riverkeepers to collect crayfish in the Spokane River which will be used to test mercury levels in the river. Honestly, it is super enjoyable and you can learn a ton while you hunt around for crayfish, it can also make you a better angler by understanding this important trout food source. Not to mention kids have an absolute blast with it so bring your family with you. For more information and sign-up dates check out their Crayfish Monitoring page.
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 pages 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.