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Fishing/Conditions Report - 9/4/2016

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Just wanted to give a quick report on the water conditions and fishing on Sunday, 9/4/2016. 

The water conditions were much better than I anticipated after reading about the "chocolate milk" in some of the more recent forum posts. It seems that the water is clearing up quite a bit, though it does still have a little bit of stain/discoloration. While we were there they did not generate, but the flow seemed higher than what low flow normally is. I talked to a couple guys that fish there a lot and they mentioned the flow was a little bit higher than low flow normally had been. 

As for the fishing, it was decent, but not great. Having said that, I went to the river to try out some European nymphing techniques that I have never done before. To help teach me the euro technique, I went with a local guide Donavan Clary. We started the morning around 7am at the 2nd parking lot below the dam. Early in the morning, we could see a few fish rising, but not a ton of activity. While I threw the euro rig setup with midges, Donavan alternated between midges and a wooly bugger. We caught maybe 3-4 fish between the two of us before 11... so not a great start. One fish was caught on the wooly bugger, the other on dark (brown or black) zebra midges. Maybe what was more interesting, was that Donavan pumped a couple of these fish to see what the were eating, and they had only 1 little midge a piece in their stomachs. Donavan fishes the river a lot, and he said that was really strange - to not find food in their stomachs. Maybe that could explain some of the slow fishing. He said a couple of times that we should be getting more takes than we were. It wasn't just us, there were quite a few fly fisherman on the water that morning, and I didn't see any of them bring up a fish. The bait guys had a little better luck and would reel one in every now and again using powerbait. 

After lunch, we fished below Watts and had a little bit better luck. We had to dodge the swimmers but managed to catch 10-12 in the afternoon below watts... all on zebra midges. A couple other guys down there were throwing wooly buggers in the deeper/slower water, but they weren't having much luck. 

Overall, I guess it was a good day. The water conditions seem to be improving, and I did catch a few fish. Maybe by winter, things will be mostly back to normal. I'm sure I would have done a little better had I not been out learning a new technique for the first time. I think maybe the water temp was a little up for them, and I think the stripers may have them up in shallower water. Most of the fish we caught were in 1-2ft of water. 

FWIW, there was one gentleman there that did say he caught 20ish fish up by the dam that morning... using an olive wooly bugger with a gray hackle. 

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