July? What?   10 comments

Hidy Ho, good neighbors,

Wow, where the heck does the time go? Last post was before fathers’ Day, I look up, and it’s after the 4th. Been working my tail off. Not complaining, mind you, but flat out burnin’ daylight.
Had the distinct pleasure of guiding some great folks from Tomahawk (Middle Fork of the South Platte), to the Dream Stream, to the South Platte below Deckers. Some excellent fish hit the bottom of the net on diverse rigs and diverse bugs.





Mustache fish or wearing a disguise…….?





Pale Morning Duns (PMD’s) have been popping pretty well for the last 2 weeks. I love this big mayfly because it’s easy to fish and the fish really dial into the emergent and adult stages. Several fish were hooked on throwing a size 16 dry followed by a Barrs PMD emerger about 18 inches behind it. Just tie some tippet (6x) off of the bend of the big dry and tie the dropper to it.
I watch for classic fish eating behavior to dial in on what phase of what bug their eating. In most cases, early in the hatch, when the PMD’s are really coming off, the fish will be eating the emergers just below the surface. You’ll see their backs roll out of the water as they eat bugs, but rarely will see their mouth out of the water. Telltale sign of emerger eating. When you begin to see their noses or mouths break water, then that means they are beginning to eat the duns. The beauty of the dry-drop rig is simply being able to fish to emerger and dun eating fish. Like I’ve said before, just stay ahead of the hatch by reading the fish, the river, and the bugs.
Another rig I have been throwing a bunch recently is the “mini rig”. This rig is so versatile and effective. I will throw this in low to high water conditions and from bank to bank. You can effectively fish different bug species, bug phases, and water columns with one rig. Usually, the top bug is a good floater like Amy’s Ant, Fat Albert, or the Foamulator. I will follow that with a soft hackled pheasant tail, and finally the emerger of choice as a point fly. The fish will readily eat the big dry, but most of the action is sub-surface and the big bug acts as a strike indicator. My favorite rig is an Amy’s Ant, tied to a soft hackled pheasant tail, followed by a brown RSII.













Really starting to get into Trico season. Starting to see big columns of mating Tricos over the river, won’t be long before the fish are really onto the spinner fall. More on this later.
As for other business, I have been producing a new powerpoint presentation, giving presentations, and have inked a deal to begin writing the first revision of The Fly Fishers’ Playbook. It’s gonna have a bunch new information, new pictures and diagrams, and a ton of new text. Probably will have it done by November….I hope. Hopefully, folks will like it as much as the first.
I’ll try not to be absent for so long this next stretch, and until then, Fear No Water!









10 responses to “July? What?

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  1. hi Duane,
    Great book and advice for nymphing. Your book did exactly what i wanted to do was teach me the basics and spend more time in the water. I really appreciate it because since i read the book , i have not been skunked at Deckers and am having tons more fun even swinging the rod. Compared to when i used to get skunked all the time. But now I know it will just come if I use your strategies and techniques. The book is very easy to read and simple.
    Thank you,

  2. I tried the mini-rig last night on the S Platte (fishing up from Nighthawk to Deckers) for the first time with good results! I set it up with a size 10 Chubby Chernobyl (no missing that thing), a size 18 caddis emerger, and a size 20 black RSII. I was surprised how many fish went after that huge Chubby Chernobyl. The fish took to each pattern on the mini-rig equally, so the only time I had to re-rig was when one took the line around a rock and broke off. Thanks for the drawing!

    • Hey David. Glad it worked. That Chubby displaces about a cup of water each time it hits the surface! What a great bug. Thanks for the update and take care.

      • You know… I recently switched over to a furled (uni-thread) leader for my dry/dry-dropper rig. It sets down dries VERY gently and “naturally”, so only 1/2 a cup when the Chubby hits the water. Have you tried them? This was my second outing with them and so far the only complaint I have is having to reapply floatant to the leader a couple times in a 4 hour period.

      • Hey David,

        I’ve fished them but only with smaller dries. Haven’t thrown big bugs like the chubby with a furled, so I suppose it would cause a touch more drag and water logging. I’ve had clients show up with furled leaders that want to use them nymphing under indicators, no serious sinking issues that I recall. May require a few more false casts to help dry, but that also opens up the door for more tangles……

  3. What knots are you using to connect everything in the mini-rig?

  4. Duane,
    Caught your presentation last night at the Evergreen TU meeting. Great info. Love your passion for the sport. Can’t wait to hit Deckers again and pick them a part with all my new knowledge. Thanks again.


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