The weather has been fantastic here in Central, WY. Aside from one rainstorm last Wednesday evening (8/4/11) that left the river off color for a few days from Government Bridge down, the river has been looking good. The upper river from Grey Reef to lusby has some weeds but it is by no means unfishable. A lot less weeds from Government Bridge to Casper.
As for the fishing, the hoppers are still a little slow to develop but if you are willing to commit to it, they will eat. It should only be another week or so. If you know how to fish small dries, the morning trico fishing is nothing short of phenomenal on the upper river. I just finished a morning fun float and absolutely hammered them from about 7AM to 10AM on tricos. This means you must make perfect drifts in the slack water and be able to fight Grey Reef size fish on 5x. Even if you’re not the world’s best dry fly angler, the only way to get good is to practice. This means you will have to sacrifice some fish that you could pick up on nymphs, but there is nothing as rewarding as catching a Reef trout on a dry.
Other dry fly action to speak of is in the evenings. Caddis are out everywhere and if you commit to it, you will pick up some fish throughout the entire river. Mid day surface fishing has been spotty, but there are plenty of sallies out. Try a #16 crystal stimi behind a #14 Amy’s Ant along the edges and you’ll find some fish.
As for the nymph fishing, here is what I have learned the last few days. My instincts always told me to pull of the edges and work my way down broadway by fishing deeper, heavier and shoving a worm/leach rig in their face. What I learned today was the exact opposite. Instead of trying to dredge fish off the bottom on a river that you can rarely find the bottom of, I shortened my rig 4-6 ft. fished bugs (tricos, sallies, caddis, midges) instead of all junk (worms, leaches, scuds). So today my nymph rig for Reef to Lusby was 4-6ft (indicator to weight), rusty pine squirrel or mohair leach as the point fly on 3x, #12-16 Little Yellow Sloan as the middle fly, and either a black RS2 or black split foamback as the third fly. This rig hit A TON of fish today when the fishing got tough as opposed to the triple worm/leach rig that until now has always been my fail safe. That’s whats great about fly fishing, everyday is a new learning experience. For all I know though, tomorrow they could be all about worms. Long story short, it’s fishing, not catching…enjoy the process!
Quick Word on the Miracle Mile. I fished it last week and we caught a bunch of fish on the upper stretch above the bridge and far less on the lower. The water has been coming out of the dam brown ever since runoff and should remain that way for a while. Not ideal, but the fish don’t seam to mind.