Wednesday, March 12, 2014
My Best Day Ever Dry Fly Fishing on the Sipsey Tailrace
When I left the house today at I knew I was going to be nymph fishing at access five on the tailrace. I also thought I knew the generation schedule, but when I arrived at the parking lot I saw that the water was high. I don’t like to fish high water on the tailrace, but I was here so I thought I would make the best of the trip.
This area today was too deep to wade; it is usually a 10 ft. wide shallow wade through with plenty of room for backcasting. Notice the guy in the shorts, that tells you it was quite warm for March here today at 71. This guy had a buddy up the channel fishing the spin-cast. He and his buddy will play a role in today’s post as I fish through some of my favorite spots up the channel.
I was really surprised to find water I could wade at access six, and even more surprised to find a small hatch just above the water surface. If you look closer you can see some surface ripples in the deeper section of this stretch. As I waded to the huge rock boulder I kept looking to the right and left and discovered I was all by my lonesome. The surface activity causes me to change from my Prince Nymph to a 16
My second cast at produced this rainbow, my first trout after an hour of filtering through higher water. Notice the shoes in the picture, this is the guy at the first access point I met when I arrived. He and his buddy had followed me to this area. They both told me that they were from
and were new to the tailrace and hadn’t caught anything.
They said they were trying to land enough trout for a dinner meal. Birmingham
As the hatch pick up motion the bite did too, so I tied on a smaller pattern in the form of a Renegade size 18 dry. I landed a couple more trout in this same area that missed the camera shot before this image shot. My two newfound buddies fishing above me kept watching as I landed numerous trout using the dry, and one suddenly asks if they could have some of my catch to carry with them. They still had not landed a trout so I agreed to let them have what I thought would be seven or eight trout for the afternoon. So for the next couple of hours, they would come over and remove my trout for me and put them on their stringer. It was not that these guys were not trying to catch fish on their own, using spinners, but for some reason, they couldn’t muster a bite; so I became their ticket to supper, which I didn’t mind.
I worked this trout onshore so my buddies could handle it better. I am amazed at the surface activity at this point.
Another trout made easy for the guys. I am not taking pics of all the trout I am landing as I move slowly up and down a 100 ft. stretch. The guys are now wading out to met me in their shorts to get my trout and carefully remove them from my net; with every trout given they thank me repeatedly.
Now I am seeing more of a hatch and the trout are feeding at a fast pace in the front and to both sides of me. I can’t remember seeing this much surface activity ever on the tailrace. I know I am now well over ten because that is the number I have given my buddies who are getting ready to leave. The limit per person on the tailrace is five, so with their limit, they thank me again and left.
I have now moved closer to the dam where there is more shade, which is where I pick this guy up. I noticed that if I used a delicate surface presentation with my fly I tend to get the take much faster. At this point, I am landing trout about every three or four casts. The hatch is still going strong.
The Renegade is located in the top of part of the trout’s mouth; I notice that all the trout with the fly taken in the top part of the mouth were the ones that really exploded on the surface to take the dry.
I am now down to my last two Renegades, with this trout landed. I have lost 3 two in trees and one on a break off in water too deep to retrieve from a limb. My catch lost ratio is still on the plus side, but is fading with numbers of fish missing the fly.
The hatch at this point is winding down and this was one of my last to inhale the Renegade. I am standing near the dam at and it is really overcast. With the forecast for tomorrow being 10 to 20-mile hr. winds and turning cold with temps in the 30's Wednesday night---could this be why I am having this kind of success???
This fatty was my last trout of the day. It ended with what I like to think was my most explosive take of the afternoon. At this point, the hatch was over for a lot of trout with full bellies.
The water level was getting close to normal as I made way up to the stairs. In 15 minutes the generators would be pumping full blast.
The long walk up these stairs and back to the truck was worth it for me today, because I like to think on an afternoon such as this, the fishing Gods had to be with me.