Report #7 (July 6, 2021)
St.Mary River Report; lots of cutthroat trout are being caught on the dry!
It’s the first week of July and the rivers are shaping up nicely. The St.Mary River has been dropping daily and has completely cleared up. The Elk is also dropping and clearing up steadily, as are the Bull and Skookcumchuck rivers. Things are rounding into form.
Presently we are focused on the St Mary River, guiding it daily with our eager clients!
The guides are still running two sections of the Mary on each float, as the flow is still moving along fairly quickly. Today the guys floated from Wycliffe down to the confluence with the Kootenay River.
The temperatures started out elevated at 25°C (77°F) and reached a high of 35°C (95°F) by mid-afternoon. The skies were blue and the scenery was absolutely beautiful. Thunderclouds formed in the afternoon and by later in the evening a storm had cruised through. It’s very warm for this time of year!
The anglers dry fly fished all day with their 4 and 5 weight rods setup with dry lines and 9-foot leaders. During the day they hooked into many wild Westslope Cutthroats, as well as a few cut-bows. The cut-bows always jump like crazy no matter their size. So, if you hook one of these fish on the surface it is a great rush! They averaged 20 fish apiece with the average size in the 13 to 15 inch class.
Fishing big terrestrial patterns at this time of year is so much fun. You cast upstream, mend the line so you have no drag on the fly, then give it a pop on the surface to look like it is jumping around. The cutthroats can't refuse these bugs as they look so realistic… just like a stone fly!!
The anglers used a wide variety of flies including; Stimi Chew Toys, Foam Patterns, Chernobyl Ants, Fat Alberts (in red, black or tan), Purple Haze, Royal Wulffs, Parachute Adams and Caddis patterns.
The guys spent most of their time fishing the runs, behind rocks and along the bank edges. At the lunch spot the guys needed to cool down so they jumped in the water for a swim, and that did the trick. You definitely need to hydrate and cool yourself down in this weather.
The wildlife along the St.Mary River is abundant now with deer and their fawns roaming the bank edges and lots of bird life. The ospreys are now busy in their nests with their chicks and seem to pick the best fishing holes as their territory.
We are already cruising into summer so make sure to get out and fish and enjoy the backcountry as much as possible.
Before you head out to fish your favourite stream in our corner of B.C., drop into our flyshop in Cranbrook to check out the latest products. Also, be sure to ask what is working on the various rivers and streams as we have a lot of knowledge to go along with a wide selection of flies to improve your chances of success.
As for our American clients, we miss you and hopefully the borders will open soon. We should hear more on July 21 when the current regulations are revisited. We are still in Stage 3 of the B.C. reopening plan and we will let you know right away if anything changes.
See you on the water soon.
Kelly and Karen
PS Stay cool!