A Bug Parade and Dry Fly all the way!
The first month of our season has passed and we were amazed by the hatches! It started with giant golden stones mixed with some lesser-sized variety and this mixture ran daily on the Elk. The guides had easy days putting clients on big numbers of chubby fish that ate on the surface all day long. Once the weather changed and we had intermittent showers, the Green Drakes exploded. The size of the Western Green drakes that popped after these showers was surprizing. Fishing foam drakes as well as size #8 hair wings allowed even the blindest of angler to see them on the water. Again the fish were willing and eager to eat on the surface as the parade of bugs floated by. Another welcome sight was the caddis, which notably have been less common in the past few years. Olive and dark bodied Granum filled the evenings on many occasions.
It is now the start of the third year after the spring flood of 2013 and I would have to say that Free Stone Rivers, such as the Elk, greatly benefit from such an event. The new woody debris and the turned rocks have become new and improved habitat for the invertebrates and terrestrials that the native fish love to chow on. Add in a mild winter, and we have plenty of chunky West Slope Cutthroat and Bull Trout making Elk River Guides look like heroes. Not that our crew does not work hard, it was just nice to have this gift this season and we are glad many of you were here to enjoy it!
For the weeks to come we have excellent water levels as the rain has been a welcome contributor to the hatches and flows. Very few days have seen precipitation so intense that water clarity is affected and on a positive note, our forests are green with low chance of fires. There is a lot of "season" ahead so we wil keep our fingers crossed that our good fortune continues.
If you haven’t booked yet, now is the time as we are filling our limited rod days for all classified waters. There are a few Wigwam trips left as well as some on the St Mary’s river and we expect to run out of Elk and Michel days as well. Don't Be disappointed, Book your guided days soon.