Forest fires. That seems to be the theme the last few weeks and why I decided to name this week’s post Forest Fire Fish.

This is a picture of the day our fire grew out-of-control. That was two weeks ago.

Milli Forest Fire |

As I write today’s post, the Milli fire has grown to over 18,000 acres. The fires have really impacted my fishing as smoke fills our town as well as the river canyon and burns my throat, creates headaches, and gives me an upset stomach. So I haven’t been fishing as much.

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t tried. 

Hatches have been heavier at times with fish rising or not as bugs float down the river. I still don’t understand how the fish refuse to rise when lots of bugs are on the water.

And bigger fish are beginning to show themselves. In fact, some require 2 hands to hold!

2 Handed Rainbow |

If you are a regular reader of RiverKeeper Flies, you know I prefer to fish dry flies. Two flies I carry with me at all times are my RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple and Sparkle Duns. I tie both these flies in sizes 22 to 8 and multiple colors to imitate every mayfly I encounter on the river. In addition, these flies are a great imitation for Callibaetis mayflies you’ll find in lakes.

Here is a RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple BWO (size 19) that a very picky fish ate last week.

RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple - BWO |
Frustration Rainbow |

It was so rewarding to get this fish to rise for my fly.

And the size 16 Sparkle Dun PMD color has been working too.

Sparkle Dun PMD |
Sparkle Dun PMD

I’m looking forward to Fall and all the fishing to come. My wife won’t like that statement, because she doesn’t want summer to end yet.

Please don’t tell her!

Enjoy…go fish!

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  1. Love your posts as always. We need Winter! Way too many fires!
    I am concerned about the impact to the water shed.
    Oh by the way I am betting on another big winter, hopefully it will start after my elk hunt.

  2. Love your pics but do not squeeze the trout. Studies have shown that squeezing in any form is not good.

    Go fish

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