Bumping Browns

Bet you can't spot the huge brown territory in this shot. This butter belly turned on a hopper tossed tight to the wood and trailed it for twelve feet into the deep water before gulping it down. Let them ride and wait for it.
Bet you can’t spot the huge brown territory in this shot. This butter belly turned on a hopper tossed tight to the wood and trailed it for twelve feet into the deep water before gulping it down. Let them ride and wait for it.

The dog days of summer. While rivers seem to be “between hatches” with hopper activity moving fish one day and small nymphs getting eats the next, there is still plenty of season left and the fishing has still been solid. If you’ve been frantically tying (or buying) up hopper flies, you can probably take a break for a bit- your boxes are full and the fish are getting picky- a great drift is going to get eats, but the days of wantonly tossing size eights to the banks are dwindling. The rivers got a little bump from the rains last night, which might change the name of the game to streamers for those anglers looking for big browns to move. Whatever you choose to toss at them, watch for the big browns to bump and tail-swirl flies, and wait for the solid take. It has been paying off to let flies ride after a fish initially refuses it, so resist the urge to yank it from the water with the big set, and let them see it for a while. How many hopper patterns are these fish seeing? The amount of foam and feather hanging from the brush should be a good indicator- looks like a hipster earring factory in some of the honey holes. A realistic drift, letting your bug swirl under, and a drowned hopper can trigger the turn and chomp of a big fish and helps up your chances when they’ve seen it all. Let ’em ride.

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