Sunday Afternoon I was finally able to get out on the river for an extended period and enjoy some time on the water. Lately the Owyhee has been a PMD Factory. Fish start out nymphing in the riffles in the late morning and early afternoon, then slowly you will find more and more fish up eating emergers, and duns as the hatches progress through the day.
Sunday Evening I didn't arrive out on the river until nearly 5:00 pm. The first location I set up shop at the bottom of a riffle hoping to break in the Blue Halo rod I built over this past winter.
As I stepped into the river at first glance there didn't appear to be much happening, but suddenly I noticed a rise out in front of me in a seam. The PMD's were hatching fairly steadily so I went with the PMD CDC Wing Sparkle Dun and delivered the fly to the feeding fish. I call that fly a dun, but really I most often use it as a later stage emerger. The profile on the water really does a good job imitating the later emergence stages of a mayfly. Immediately the fish rose confidently to gulp the fly. Fish on, and the rod was officially broken in! It sure felt good to bring that one to the net.
It wasn't a large fish, but it put a good bend into the 3 weight fiberglass rod.
Soon after catching this fish I noticed four more fish feeding nearly side by side out in the current, sipping regularly. Feeling confident in the fly selection I again delivered the CDC Sparkle dun to the nearest fish. Once again there was no hesitation and the fish sipped the bug. Five minutes later all four of the feeding fish had been picked off one by one. It sure feels good when things work out just like you picture them.
The final fish in the run though was were I truely fell in love with the new rod. Wading up the riffle I spotted a fish rising across on the far edge of the fast to slow water transition. The river flows fairly deep in this particular spot so there was not many options for sneaking in closer. I took a breath and decided it was time to test the range of the short 7' 6" fiberglass rod. Sliding more and more line out with each false cast I finally let the fly settle where I thought it would land in the lane of the sporadically feeding fish. I was very happy when the fly lit exactly where I wanted it, very pleased with the ease with which the rod had threw a few extra feet of line than I would normally throw, and how easy it was to cast with such accuracy. The fly drifted into the strike zone and the fish rising snout first porpoised completely out of the water while eating the fly! Such an amazing sight, and the fight was on.
That evening we moved down to another spot on the river where three more fish came to hand all caught on the PMD Duck Butt Dun. Earlier in the evening the fish were really keying on emergers, all be it, later stage emergers like the PMD CDC Wing Sparkle Dun that caught all of the fish in the first run. When we arrived lower on the river the sun had went behind the hills and the fish there wanted nothing to do with the CDC Sparkle Dun that had worked so well earlier. The fish were in full on dun mode. I tied on the Duck Butt Dun and caught a fish almost immediately. The lesson is, don't fall in the rut thinking that what worked in one location at one time is going to work in another. Sometimes it doesn't take a large change, but just a slight change in the profile of the fly on the water is all it takes to turn the tide.
So the river is fishing well, and it's time to keep all those stages of PMD flies at the ready in your fly box.
If you are headed up let me know and I can give you the latest information!
See you on the river.