Colorado River Salmonfly Update Sunday Evening – May 26, 2013
May 27th, 2013
After several days of good nymph action with hardly an adult to be found, the first real major wave of adult Salmonflies emerged Saturday night and into early Sunday. The banks this morning in the Gore Canyon down to Radium area were teeming with adult Pteronarcys.
Conditions were as good as any angler can hope for at this time of year. Clarity in the morning started off around 20 inches and improved as the day went on to a good 2 feet, at least until you hit Sheephorn Creek where it dropped it back to about 12-15 inches. Traffic on the other hand was far from ideal, with the hatch emerging smack dab in the middle of the holiday weekend, that was to be expected. While the majority of boat traffic was indeed pleasure boaters, there were still a good number of private float anglers on the water as well. Wade fishing was quite heavy in the Pumphouse area but, that thinned out with in a very short distance downstream and was almost non-existent all the way to Radium. From the looks of parking at the trailhead, there appeared to be some mild foot traffic upstream into Gore Canyon as well.
As is typical of this hatch, the morning was most productive on nymph imitations. It was just about noon when a noticeable amount of adults started to take flight and that intensified as the afternoon went on until about 3 pm when it tapered off again. It was during this time that the dry fly action picked up and there were some great splashy rises. We recommend fishing during this time with a dry-dropper rig, as the majority of action was still on the nymph, with just enough smashing of the dry to keep it interesting. (We should also note that it did cloud up at about the same time as the numbers of adults diminished.)
There are still a large number of nymphs staging along the banks and the hatch should continue with varying intensity over the course of the next week or so. We had a number of boats out today and noticed that there were some areas where adults were distributed in good numbers and then others where we saw no adults Salmonflies at all. Keep this in mind if you get out there. Whether wading or floating, if you aren’t finding adult insects where you are at the moment, change your location slightly and see if they are more prevelant elsewhere.