Water Levels (Below Akers) :
5/23 - 3.2 Water clarity - slightly muddy
5/24 - 2.85 Water clarity - off color / clearing
5/25 - 2.65 Water clarity - off color / clearing
Despite the heavy rains the week prior and the high water I decided to pack up and head down to the Current for a 3 day trip on Sunday morning. While I knew the dry fly bite would more than likely be off , I had the urge to throw some meaty streamers for a shot at a few Current River Browns. I hoped that a little off colored high water would do nothing but make the streamer fishing better.
After getting my camp set up at Eagles Park and slamming a cold one with a sandwich made the night before, I headed down to the river , although a little off colored and dingy it still had about 12 inches of visibility.
I started fishing right at the access and had my first take in the first 5 casts. Although I didn't hook up with the fish I saw the follow and strike and that's worth the price of admission by itself. I continued throwing big streamers all afternoon into the evening and caught numerous browns between 14 and 17 inches and a couple of stocker bows as well. I called it a day before I really wanted to so that I could pick up some firewood before heading back to camp. The evening was beautiful and I was the only camper in the park which made it even better. A roaring fire , a good Macanudo and an IPA or two finished off a nearly perfect day.
I had good intentions of being on the river by sunrise the next morning but my lazy ass overslept ( the beer always tastes better sitting around a fire and I might have had one or two too many) so I was about an hour later than I wanted to be. Being a Monday morning I found the parking lot at the access empty even at that time of the morning. Good.....undisturbed fish. The first thing I noticed was the hordes of bugs everywhere up and down the river. The Trico hatch was in full force , but were the fish eating? I took a few minutes to check some prime areas for rising fish but saw none. I still had the same articulated streamer on from the night before and began working my way downstream at a fairly quick pace. I don't like to waste a lot of time in one spot when throwing big stuff like that as I figure the first time the fish sees it is your best chance of triggering a strike. This spot didn't fish quite as well as the area the day before but I still took 6 or 7 average sized browns and a couple rainbows in about 2 1/2 hours. As is usually the case when I fish streamers I probably missed as many or more than I caught. Some I only got to feel slam the fly while others I watched chase it downstream and swipe at the fly once or sometimes even twice.
After deciding to stop and head back upstream I switched out my sinking line for a floating one and put on a two nymph rig with a rubber leg stone as the point fly and a red sj worm as a trailer. I fished this same rig most of the way back upstream and caught close to a dozen fish, all but one being average sized rainbows. By this time the heat was becoming noticeable and I decided that a trip to camp was in order for some r&r during the heat of the day.
Got back on the water about 5:00 and started throwing some smaller pine squirrel sculpins for a while. Caught several rainbows and missed several more but nothing of any size. Just as I witnessed earlier in the morning the river came alive with bugs towards evening. There were caddis , little yellow stones (only saw 2 or 3) , and some genus of mayfly. Still saw very few fish rising but put on a EHC and fished it for 1/2 an hour or so. One or two small fish were tempted up before I decided to look for bigger and better things. As the light started fading I switched back to a larger streamer and began working through the best water , pounding the bank every two or three feet. By this time the water had cleared enough to really see the fish chasing the fly in most instances. I caught several browns that evening , one of them slightly over 20" just before I called it a night.
As is usually the case , the day you have to leave offers up the best water conditions and fishing of the trip. I fished an area I hadn't hit yet and lost count of the 14-16 inch browns caught on an articulated yellow/olive bugger pattern. I stuck with the streamers and was still having takers at 11:30 when I decided to head back and take camp down. Of course I had to go through the whole one last cast thing with myself for about 100 yards of river first. It always sucks to see a good fishing weekend come to an end. You just never know when that next one will happen.