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Ronan's report

Thursday 11th August, 2011

An hour away from the water, and I can still feel them. They're on me! Crawly legs, itchy little legs on my neck and in my shirt. Fluttering wings in my ears and around my face. If I hadn't escaped through the tall grass, willows and thistles, they'd have eventually consumed me. The headlight barely saved me from stumbles on the hike out as my hands still scuff up my hair and ears to brush them off.

It's finally come around. After the long delay of huge water, the river, still twice its average, is amazing for the 'dog days' of August. Typically this month the water has dropped and warmed with hatches that are brief and thin. The fish too, are tired and lethargic. I've never thought of the summer hatches as major, but the last couple weeks have been something else. The evenings have been full of yellow sallys and saddle caddis (ignoring the tricos and mysterious mayflies). With twice the flow, the riffles and rapids have to be 4 times wider, and I think the bugs have exploded and filled to fit much akin to the behavior of Paul's socks. It's all fascinating in a vulcan way and a little terrifying in a human way. The trout are going absolutely psycho for the last couple hours of the day.

When I first got onto it, I was picking up fish, but nothing to match the intensity of the feeding. Something odd was happening, a caddis would work for a bit then stop then eventually work again. A yellow stone would work ok, get hammered then just flat quit during the height of the rise. Took a couple days to sort it out but the caddis are sub-surface doing their thing, then the stones start coming down the rapids refocusing the fish. As the stones start to pop the surface rise goes ballistic, until the upcoming caddis draw the fish back under until another berserk surface frenzy just minutes later. I've never seen such a hard shift in feeding.

Tying experiments, fly switching, multi-fly rigs... it's been well worth figuring it out! Just have your headlight and be ready for the switch!


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