Perhaps you saw last week’s post entitled Fishing the Lower Deschutes. I drifted the river twice last week. My fly box was full of Salmonfly and Golden Stonefly imitations. So I returned to my home river today and found many more PMD’s hatching and thought I better get my June fly box in order.
Where you fish will determine what should be in your fly box, but we are all after the same thing…
Are you fishing lakes? I haven’t been to a lake yet this year, so I haven’t worried about what flies for that fishery. You can use my East Lake Fly Box as a start to develop you own lake fly box.
Remember that I fish dry flies most of the time because I am fortunate to live very close to my favorite river. My definition of fortunate is I get to fish over 100 days a year. Most of those days are on the Metolius and I time my arrival to the river when I think the insects will hatch.
I realize you may not be as lucky as I am, so I’ve added a few nymph patterns for my friends who fish a couple of fly patterns below the surface. At times, I do the same thing. But as much as I’m able to fish, I need to pace myself!
So here we go with a few flies I’ll be sure to carry in my June fly box.
PMD’s have started hatching and will continue to hatch through September. You might be lucky to catch an epic hatch at times when the river comes alive with bugs hatching and fish eating. It’s happened to me a couple of times and can be an incredible sight. For more information the PMD mayfly, see my PMDs Hatching Again post from last year.
Be sure to carry flies for all phases of the PMD life-cycle: nymph, emerger, and spinner. Here are a few flies I wouldn’t be without. I’ll carry them in sizes 14 and 16, but 18 are common later in the season. If you only choose one size, use a 16.
I caught a fish using a PMD Sparkle Dun earlier this week.
My RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple is a standard I use to imitate every mayfly hatch. Here’s my PMD version.
A Rusty Spinner is a must for this time of year and the fly I use the most is a Rusty Spinner Biot Body fly.
If you are fishing faster water, you may want a fly with a little hackle to help float the fly. The PMD Mayfly Cripple and PMD Parachute are a couple of patterns I’d add.
If I’m anxious to fish and get to the river early before the hatch begins, here are a couple of simple nymphs that have served me well over the years.
Pheasant Tail Nymph (size 14 – 16)
Copper John Nymph (size 14 – 16)
$3 Dip (size 16)
Of course, there is still Green Drake fishing to be had. I’ll use a variation of the Sparkle Dun and RiverKeeper Soft Hackle for these flies.
There are a variety of mayfly cripple fly patterns I might add, but go to my Mayfly Fly Patterns page and pick you favorite.
There have been a lot of #16 little olive stones flying around. I’ve tied a olive CDC Caddis to imitate them. They are similar to this fly and the fish seem to like them.
Caddis have been out for quite awhile and I’ve caught fish with one of my favorite caddis fly patterns – the Iris Caddis (sizes 14 – 16 in amber, tan, and olive).
Here are a few options to imitate the caddis as it swims to the surface to hatch.
Silvey’s Caddis Pupa (sizes 14 – 16 in tan and olive)
LaFontaine Sparkle Pupa (sizes 14 – 16 in tan and olive)
LaFontaine Emergent Sparkle Pupa (sizes 14 – 16 in amber, tan, and olive
The X Caddis (sizes 14 – 16 in amber, tan, and olive) is a great dry fly pattern and in my opinion is effective because it is a transitional fly.
And don’t forget the classic Hare’s Ear Nymph in olive or tan.
There are many other terrific fly patterns to choose from. Here is a link to my Caddis Fly Patterns page. I’ll probably have a few of these fly patterns in my box as well!
I’ll be concentrating on mayfly and caddis fly patterns, but depending on where you fish, stonefly patterns may fit into your box as well. I had them in mine last week.
For rivers where the stoneflies haven’t hatched yet, here are a couple of nymph patterns I use.
For more stonefly patterns to add in your fly box, be sure to check out the Stonefly Fly Patterns post.
I’ll close with a picture of a Deschutes River rainbow taken on a Clark’s Stonefly – Salmonfly.
And before I forget, you really don’t want to see any of these when fishing!