July 13, 2016
July 13, 2016
Return of the Hoppers!
I fished Beat 10 this morning. As I walked back to my truck I spooked a half dozen grasshoppers, the first I’ve run across this season. I was surprised that they were full sized grasshoppers because I haven’t seen any immature hoppers to date. The hoppers are early this year; you usually don’t see them fully grown until August. So, on windy afternoons, or any afternoon for that matter, you might want to throw a grasshopper imitation against the bank or in front of fish which show themselves out in the middle of the creek. My favorite section of the Ranch water to fish hopper flies is from Beat #1 (‘The Cabin”) down to Highway 20. My preference in terms of patterns when the water surface is “glass” is “Dave’s Hopper” in size 10 or 12 rather than something larger which I confine to windy conditions.
On this cold morning the White Miller Caddis dominated the field water and I landed 3 trout by swimming my #14 Pheasant Tail soft hackle in front of fish bulging underneath hovering caddis. When the caddis started to “dap,” meaning they were on egg laying flights, I switched to my #14 Callibaetis Hatch Matcher and had 5 or 6 strikes but no hook ups. There was a modest Trico hatch in the upper field water but most of the trout seemed to be on the caddis. I finally did put on a green bodied Trico spinner and had a few fish strike without a hookup. With the daily high temperatures returning to the mid-80s over the next several days I would expect the Tricos to regain their supremacy over other aquatic insects.
By now you Members have received the email Nick Purdy and I put together regarding the Members’ Barbecue and the dredging project we are proposing for this winter. I was moved by Nick’s comments about the Mexican community here in the valley and on the Ranch. In the years that I have served as Stream Keeper I have developed friendships with some of these ranch hands who (in past years when my back pain was worse) were always willing to rescue me when I became stranded out on the creek all alone and a good distance from my truck. These are the guys who have built all of the access structures we use along the creek, who maintain the beautiful landscaping of the Ranch, and who control the brush at our designated beat entries. I tend to take their work for granted but sometimes I remember to thank them for all the little stuff they do for us.
Doug Andres, Stream Keeper, Double R Ranch