The Columbia River rewarded me on Easter Sunday with a few beautiful rainbows.
Golden stonefly nymphs and a green/brown woolly bugger were the flies of choice as I waded out into the Columbia near a small tributary.
The sun was shining and a few midges and small mayflies were coming off the water, but no surface action.
I went with a fast sink tip and the woolly bugger, and had a violent hit as soon as I stopped the drift of the fly and it started to swing. It was a good sign and sure enough on the very next cast I was into a beautiful silver doe, close to 20-inches in length.
I caught and released a couple more ranging in size from 16-18 inches, and lost one that had to be on the healthy side of 22 inches.
|Jim with rainbow on.|
The warm weather certainly kick-started the stonefly hatch, but recent rain and cooler temperatures seem to have slowed their migration to the shore and eventual mating process.
I was out on Friday in rainy and windy weather, and while I did hook up once, and had another slam my nymph without sticking, the rainbows seemed a bit sluggish.
|Rainbow release from Columbia.|
More warm weather in the forecast, should see more big adult stones on the water, and rainbows rising to them. From what I hear the black ants aren't too far behind, so get ready, hopefully we can still get some good days in before the freshet runs in earnest from the mountains and muddies the water.
Also, local lakes such as Rosebud, Box, and Summit are good to go for chironomid fishing. I have yet to get on the lakes, because the Columbia has been so good, but hopefully in the next week I'll get out for some stillwater fly fishing.
So much water, so little time.