Lot’s of bugs and many ways to fish them – 7/18/2016
The S. Platte river below Deckers is fishing very well with the caddis hatch in full swing along with consistent PMD and Trico hatches. If your fishing in the late afternoon, you may even be seeing some yellow sally’s coming off. We’re finding rising fish predominately in longer runs with dark gravel bottoms, but keep a sharp eye on banks with some overhanging shade or around logs and boulders in the water. Keep in mind, the splashier the rise the better chance those fish are chasing adult caddis.
Your morning will probably be best spent nymphing a combination of larger attractor flies (stonefly, san juan worm, caddis soft hackle) followed up with a (Pheasant Tail, soft hackle caddis, prince nymph) and for a small point fly (black RS2, buckskin caddis, Chocolate Thunder etc..) Try and set your hooks on every movement or pause of your indicator as takes can be very subtle especially in the slower water. With the caddis hatches this time of year swinging your fly’s in the water column at the end of your drift can be a very effective method of hooking fish.
Once you start seeing rising fish, it may be time to employ a dry dropper rig or go straight to a tandem dry fly rig. I would recommend a large elk hair caddis or golden stone imitation for your first fly then follow it up with a small weight and a nymph or two ( Pheasant Tail, caddis, hare’s ear) I would run the dropper about 20-30” from your dry fly. My Tandem dry fly setup would consist of a tan caddis followed up by a trico and I would set on any rise close to my point fly since a strike on the size 22 trico will be nearly impossible see. Try employing the swing and hang method with the dry fly setups as well, you’d be surprised at how often it elicits a strike this time of year.
If you find yourself on the river in the late afternoon, try running a tandem streamer setup, (a black streamer followed by a small lighter colored streamer) targeting shadowy banks and dark faster moving water…you’ll mostly likely be pleased with the results.
See you out there,
Minturn Anglers Guide