The summer flows have been making it challenging bouncing from mid 500cfs to low 600s but knowing Putah Creek like I do and with the willingness to do a little hiking I have found a couple of really productive spots so I have been putting in the time this month and getting on some really nice fish. Mostly under ten inches so I brought my 3wt and got schooled by some much bigger fish so I am back to using my 5wt. The bigger fish just shook off my 3wt; its all a trade off- the smaller fish in the riffles are more fun on my 3wt but its too light for anything over 13 or 14 plus inches. All in All I would say my clients and I have caught between 15 to 20 fish in recent weeks. Also with the higher flows come some dangers when fighting fish downstream in fast moving water so you have to pick your battles and let the ones go- its not worth getting in a " Jam " if you know what I mean.
Heres a short list of types of flys I use on a regular basis:
1. the soft hackle /emerger patterns with antron tail
2. any Baetis paterns
3. any Zebra Midges
4. any color San Juan worms, I like the Pink or Flesh-colored ones
5. anything small with wings
My favorite advice is focus on keeping your leader the right length; really pay attention to how much weight you're using it takes time just be patient. Sometimes i dont use any if I am fishing fast and rocky rifles and last but not least, if you can high-stick your drift and minimize the drag the current is putting on your drift you will pick up fish others miss. Also remember no one gets every fish-we all miss fish here and there or spook them as we approach so remember to take your time and enjoy the scenery.
If you do find yourself on the creek this summer, another high point is all the River Otters and butterflies on the creek this time of year- ive seen a lot lately. 2 weeks ago I saw an otter approuching then swim right over my boots and I was able to reach down and touch him as he swam by......!! They are one of my favorite animals on the creek. It was a magical moment.
So my summary is this: yes still, Putah is still fishing pretty nicely; and if you can just bear with the heat and higher flows it's gonna be well worth your summer outing time. Drop me an email or call me up and let's do this! Richard Loft, Napa Valley Fly Guides 707-294-4738, email@example.com, www.napavalleyflyguides.com