Guide Chronicles: A Mid-Summer Perspective with Dean McNaught

Guide Chronicles: A Mid-Summer Perspective with Dean McNaught

From May until early August, East lake fished very well… it has been a great year so far.  The fish were hungry early this year and were eating nymphs, leeches and other streamers with gusto in the early season.  From mid-June on, the Callibaetis hatches on East have been strong and sometimes epic!  We landed many large Bows and Browns on dry flies during the hatches and nymphing before and after was also strong.  For me, there is nothing quite like the anticipation when a large trout is eying your dry fly from 12 inches below and the thrill when it makes the decision to eat …and then closes its large mouth around the tiny offering.  It truly is one of the greatest moments for any fly fisher!

Right now, the fish on East are still feasting on the daily Callibaetis hatches even though they have thinned some compared to the peak.   The fish have also learned to avoid bugs that don’t look right…but just last weekend we landed two of the larger rainbows of the season while fishing longer leaders and emerger-type dry flies during the middle of a bright, calm day.   In addition, fish are being caught on nymphs and Chironomids in 10-15′ of water before and after the hatch. These opportunities will likely last for the next several weeks and Chironomids will likely become a greater focus for the fish as the Callibaetis gradually wind down.

By September, with fish urged to eat by the normally cooler weather, I am looking forward to fishing actively hunting larger prey like leeches, minnows, and crayfish.  This is typically a great time of year to target larger fish since they are aggressively feeding in areas that can be fly fished effectively.

As a side note, Crane Prairie fly fishing has been improving over the last few weeks and fish are spending more time feeding in the river channels as the rest of the lake warms…with food sources also plentiful there.  Callibaetis and Chironomid activity is also increasing and I’m looking forward to an increase in dry fly opportunities.  We are truly blessed to have world-class lake fishing in our backyard and I encourage you to get out and experience the fun and excitement they offer us!

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