I made it out to the river recently on the 2nd and the 5th to hit the salmon fly hatch. Fishing the holy water on the 2nd was great and it seemed that the hatch was at it’s peak. Around 7pm I looked up at the sky and it was black with Salmonflies. By that time I had banked a good 6 or 7 fish over a couple hours and from 8-9pm when there were the most bugs on the water, the fish had pretty much stopped eating. I was fishing the Sage Circa 9’0” 5wtwith a Ross Cimarron II 5/6, lined up with a Rio Gold 5. When dusk rolled around there were bugs washing up on the bank by the hundreds, I couldn’t stand in one spot for five seconds without having 10 bugs crawling up my legs.
On the 5th, I floated with Jon Hazlett and Dax Messett from the Hatchery down to Takelma. There were very few bugs to be seen and very few fish rising. The morning was slow but things picked up around 1 or 2pm. Dax got a couple really nice rainbows and a couple cutthroats.
When we stopped for lunch I decided to line up my new Pieroway Renegade 10’6” 6wtfor a little trout spey action. That rod lined up with Scientific Angler’s new Spey Lite series is a match made in heaven, the 330 grain was perfect for that rod. I threw a Rio Spey Versileader 2.6IPSon there with a Blue Goblin Fly and I was able to throw 60-80 foot casts with no problem at all. I couldn’t keep the little guys off my fly and a landed a couple nicer 10-12” trout. I was hoping to find one of those early Summer Steelhead (there’s been around 20 at the hatchery so far) but it’s still really early to start targeting those fish.
It seems we had a shorter window this year to fish Salmonflies compared to most years. I’m sure you could still go out and find a few fish but the peak of the hatch has passed unfortunately. Hopefully you got out when it was hot, if you didn’t, get out there! There’s still fish to catch and this hatch only comes once a year.
Timing the Salmonfly hatch is always a crap shoot. This week we scheduled a film day (with special guest Dax Messett) hoping to capture the whole “experience”. It seemed like it was going to be a bust, as the morning was very slow. We pulled over to shoot a couple of instructional videos in the late morning since fishing was underwhelming.
During one of the segments, I noticed fish rising below me. After finishing up a few shots, I grabbed my Redington Hydrogen 5wt, tied on a Chubby Chernobyl, and proceeded to get 4 grabs in 4 drifts. My excitement level rose, as did Dax from his nap, and we commenced our float down the Rogue. Dax was in front, and he enjoyed the productive fishing for a couple of hours. When it was all said and done, he hooked dozens of fish, with a handful of nice ones. By the end of the day, we all (including camera stud Chris Myron) had a chance to huck around some big dries and enjoy the hatch.
What looked like could have been a slow day turned out awesome. We finished the day swinging flies with some trout Speys. I had my Sage One 4116 (11’6 4 weight) paired with a RIO Scandi Body 350, a RIO Versileader and a Perpetrator. I literally got a grab every swing. The Perpetrator just gets bit! That was the perfect way to end the day. And if you haven’t cast the Sage One 4116, trust me, it’s a weapon!!
It’s hard to say how long this hatch will linger on. So get out there folks and raise some trout!!