Can you say ants? Gotta love terrestrials on the surface. It’s just way too much fun to watch a fish take your fly off the surface. Oh! the excitement and anticipation is addicting. June has been an exciting month and July is starting out the same way- ON TOP. Well at least when the flows allow.
Morning generation has been starting out with a unit or two and a few days with some minimum flow. A little generation has been good with terrestrials in the AM before the water levels really kick up. During June once the water reached around 2 units the surface action pretty much was over so we then switched to PT’s or eggs and worms and stayed near the dam. The other option was to stay in front of the water with terrestrials or even sulphur may flies in riffle water. The sulphur bite as of this writing is pretty much gone now.
As we get into July and the hoppers pick up the surface action should work on higher flows. Of course the peak time for hopper action is August and September. Our annual cicadas will also start peaking at that time and crashing or splashing those bugs pretty close to the bank can be very productive. Black seems to be the color so far this year but; as far as foam goes it wouldn’t hurt to carry the following colors: brown or cinnamon, pink, purple, and tan. I often fish two different colors at a time to try and figure out which color and size will draw the most strikes and then just fish with one. Less trouble when it comes time to net the fish and less twist in the line when casting. If you are going to fish a cicada type foam terrestrial a grey or frosty bottom foam fly can produce and draw more strikes. Our annual cicadas have a whitish underside to them and a paint pen can be a good way to transform some of your black foam flies into cicada looking terrestrials with out tying up more of them. As the summer progresses this pattern of hoppers should improve and especially on lower flows.
Lake fishing with terrestrials has also been pretty good with #10 foam ants. Have been taking a buddy and my nephews on the lake in the mornings to get my fix of surface action. The action is great with tons of takes from pumpkin seed, warmouth and an occasional smally or panfish. Pretty much every cast seems to get some action. A 3 or 4 wt would really be a good idea on this type of fishing (catching). Especially if there is a youngster or novice fisherman involved.