Summertime Tuts and Tips (Livin’-Enjoying the Moment)

Catch and Release

Slippery when wet release

Not to beat a dead dog but I feel sharing the following is appropriate, especially since it coincides and occurred on the heels of our last month’s blog. Drum roll— just a few days ago we had our very first, 32 years of operations, last minute guide trip cancellation because a customer’s grandson expressed no desire or interest for the outdoors and, according to the grandfather, could not get him off the motel couch playing video games. Wow, bizarre, yet not surprising, especially after what we experienced last month. Oh well, different strokes for different folks. I do feel for the grandfather, especially after purchasing his grandson a new fly rod, making all the detailed preparations and taking the time traveling up here. Is this the beginning of the new generation?

Is there any water? Are there any fishing opportunities? Are fish biting? Questions we are asked daily. The drought alert has obviously impacted vacationing and fishing plans for many this summer; at least on the Westside. Popular campgrounds are suspiciously less than half full and boating and fishing pressure on the lakes has been light. Despite the adverse effects of the drought and the fact it has been smoke’n hot the past few weeks the bright side is the answer to the above is yes, there is water, yes, there are fishing opportunities and yes, fish are hungry and catchable.

Released from the bowels of Trinity Lake, the icy cold tailwaters of Lewiston Lake have been firing off. Damsel/dragon fly hatches have dominated the lower flats early morning thru mid-day. Clear Camo intermediate lines and olive/black bugger style imitations in sizes 8-10-12, have been very effective. Our Mr. Pimp patterns have been deadly! (Remember damsels/dragons have a hollow body cavity, sucking water in their mouth and blowing it out their rear, jet pulsing through the water). Key to imitating them is targeting their habitats while incorporating a swift twitching retrieve. Adult damsel/dragon activity is all but nonexistent; not enough adults on the water. Small soft hackles and midge pupas have also worked well in the film (floating lines) as well as fished in deeper water columns (clear camo intermediate sink lines) mid-mornings and evenings. Quality Lewiston activity should last well into September.

Because of cold water releases, from Lewiston Lake, the upper reach Trinity River (Lewiston to North Fork) is supporting desirable cold water temps and also been supporting some quality summer salmon, steelhead and resident trout opportunities. Despite the heat and minimum flows, 450 cfs., most anglers are having fun and stick’n a few. Salmon anglers, both conventional and fly, fishing the crack of dawn and dredging deep are scoring on the occasional summer chinook pressing 8-12 lbs. Fresh baits and hardware dominate the conventional approach while high speed sink- tips and orange/gold comets and small attractors have been scoring for fly fishers. Most fish are colored however a few fresh fish are trickling through each day. Residual trout are accepting small muddlers (hopper time) and responding to late afternoon-evening burps of PMD hatches. Nymphing with golden stones, burlaps and soft hackles are effective for fish grazing on the bottom as well as emerging aquatics. The occasional summer steelhead is always an added bonus, more often than not, catching the unsuspecting angler off guard and shaking; wondering what was that chrome fish jumping multiple times after an arm-wrenching grab and parted tippit. Streamer and leech patterns are excellent choices for summer runs as well as a few are keying in on evening hatches. Recently Steve Findley got his world rocked, releasing a chrome bright eight (8) lb. native hen. Hats off to Steve, they don’t come any nicer!

In-between fishing sessions here are Top Ten ways to have Trinity fun and beat the summer heat; (even without an electronic device):

Trinity Alps

1) Head to the high country (Trinity Alps)

Lewiston Lake

2) Suck it up and swim the icy waters of Lewiston Lake

Trinity River Falls

3) Hike into the lower T.R falls and enjoy the show

Trinity River Steelie

4) TR summer-runs-Tristan Myan

Stillwater Fishing

5) Get tubed on Trinity stillwaters

Trinity River Rafting

6) Go rafting with a buddy

Trinity River Brown Trout

7) Stick your head underwater and enjoy another world

Trinity River Fly Fishing

8) Push the limits of your guide while wet wading

Trinity Lake

9) Go board’n-Mason Sayre shred’n

December Steelheading

10) Ice down your favorite bevs, sit back in the shade and pretend its winter

El Nino, La Nina or No Ninyo, who knows what the future holds or what kind of weather will occur this fall-winter. So why be concerned about what may or may not happen. Realistically what can you do about it now? Leave the worries to the whiners. Live the moment and get with it have fun in the summertime!