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The river dropped to just above 300 yesterday and was gin clear then the bitch hopped back up to 400 overnight and has lost a little clarity but is still at like 50% visibility, maybe more. You gotta fish where you think you should be standing as a lot of the fish in the northern part of the river, along Trumbull and Sugar Creek, are going to be in the shallow water right along the banks. Taking a few minutes to survey the river from the bank should allow you to see these fish if you wait long enough for one of them to give himself away with a flare of the gills or a mouth opening. If you stomp into the river without giving the close water a fair shake you can plan on missing the opportunity to catch a lot of fish. Don’t believe me? Go stand out where you think you should be and look right down river in the riffle you’re legs are making and you’ll probably see 4 or 5 big fish. You can approach the water a few ways. Hopper dropper with a #10 amy’s ant with a caddis emerger or a Pat’s tied 12- 16 inches off the back will bring fish near the banks, both on the caddis and the big ugly bastard. Fish further out in the shallow riffles were eating the Pat’s or really any stone in a 10 or 12. You’ll want to fish a pile of weight in the riffles and get it down and in the fishes face quickly. Pat’s, caddis, and bigger blue wing olive nymphs 18 or even 16 if you wanna bobber fish.
11 Mile Canyon
The flows are up but the water is still clear. Since its high we saw quite a few fish hanging right off the banks. Dry flies are always the way to go. 20 and 22 midges in the morning. Sprout midge in grey or a ginked up Rs2 caught fish until the Blue Wings started to come off. Those were a little bigger like 18 and 20. Thorax BWO’s or Parachutes for the BWO’s. Obviously a dropper is never a bad idea, some kind of small soft hackle like a Starling Softie or a tiny soft hackle PT 16 on the big side as small as 20. Fishing was consistent all day despite the heat and I think we caught as many on top as we did on the dropper so it’s not a must but raising your chances is never bad. More files in the water usually means more chances at fish. We fished most of the Canyon and caught more fish towards the top but that could of been because we got up there right as the Blue Wings started coming off which was around 10. No love on streamers though we tried to force feed them to the bigger fish we saw.
Spinney and 11 Mile Reservoirs
Callibaetis are still popping off all over the res up at Spinney. More fish actively eating top water in the morning hours for sure. The best way to approach it if fish are rising is a dry dropper or even a double dry Calli rig with no floatant on the trailer fly. You could also drop a 12 or 14 Chironomid off the dry. Droppers about 14 inches off the point fly and same size in the Calli’s as the Chironomids. We fished the eastern shoreline for most of the morning and it seemed productive for everyone we talked to. You don’t need a belly boat to catch fish as we only had one pontoon so me and my buddy were trading off. While you don’t need a boat it seemed like if you were just about 25-40 yards off shore you started getting into bigger fish and catching fish more consistently. When the fish stopped rising we switched to sink tips and streamers. We got a lot of follows on the articulated shit but only a few would eat it. This is when the boat was key as you got twice as many hits if you were casting at the bank and stripping it away from bank. Eleven Mile res was a rougher day. Lots of wind and very few rising fish and we didn’t get any to actually eat the dry, a few on a chironomid dropper. We moved to the inlet of the dream stream and caught a few nice browns with an articulated streamer in black with a white pine squirrel/slumpbuster looking thing. Fish took the big boy and the leech. More on the leech.