Thinking that the PMD’s were nearing the end of their peak, I arrived at the Provo River at 8:00 in the evening armed with plenty of caddis pupa, dries and emergers. As I neared the area that I intended on fishing, the mouths and backs of several large trout were breaching the surface of the water sipping in, what appeared to be pale morning dun mayflies. These slow yet deliberate rises were not as aggressive as those that I am accustomed to seeing when fish are taking caddis flies which are often splashy and fierce.
After sampling the water and making a few observations, it became very evident to me that I needed to change the caddis fly that was already tied to the end of my 5X tippet. I had violated my own rule of sampling the river first, before determining which fly to use and had prepared my caddis offering in the parking lot.
Five minutes or so later, I had re-rigged my leader and placed the fly in the target zone of a feeding trout that I wanted to catch and a few minutes after that I was holding the fish in my hand and listening to my fishing companion laughing and in good humor, scolding me. “Just because you fished the river yesterday Eddie, doesn’t mean that you can short cut your own system.”
Nonetheless we enjoyed fishing the incredible hatch and eventually switched over to caddis pupa as one hatch faded away and another commenced. We fished into the darkness until the river went silent. Both of us caught and released quite a number of good-sized brown trout and I remember at one point, chuckling to myself as I was reminded of how much I love this game.
When the insect activity subsided and the fish stopped feeding, we were in total darkness sitting on the banks of the Provo River when the inevitable question was asked. “Well… should we head home or do you want to fish for some big fish tonight?” Without any words, we both turned on our headlamps and began re-rigging our rods with sink-tip fly lines as if we both knew the answer to the question.
As per normal, we did not catch a lot more fish, but the fish we caught were very large. I returned home a few hours behind schedule but the night was a firm reminder of how much I enjoy fishing this time of year. The weather is still very pleasant and although the hatches are changing, the river has plenty to offer. Caddis and PMd’s are still very abundant, the moss is beginning to grow providing the ideal environment for shrimp and sow bugs to flourish. Large trout are beginning to experience hormone changes in preparation for the upcoming spawn and therefore becoming more and more aggressive with every passing day…