Friday, July 6, 2012

Lee's Ferry Fishing Report 7/6/12

Lees Ferry Fishing Report July 6, 2012

July 6th, 2012
Troy Gunn with an average size Lees Ferry trout that we are catching on cicadas 7/5/12
By: Terry Gunn
July 6, 2012
Recent Fish rating
Upriver: 6.5 to 8.5
Walk-In: 6 to 8.5
Spin-Fishing: 5 to 8
Key: 1 = Go fish somewhere else 10 = Rent a helicopter and get here now!
Today’s Weather: Sunny, Low 69 High 93
Cicadas, monsoons, and high water; this pretty much describes what is currently happening at Lees Ferry.
Crowd Rating:
Upriver: 2-3 No Crowds during the week & 3.5 on the weekends
Walk In: 1 Nobody here during the week & 3 to 5 on the weekends
Key: 1 = Sleep late and fish where you want. 10 = Very crowded, get up early
Fly Fishing Up-River:
Our monsoon season has recently arrived bringing clouds, and welcome cooler weather.
The trout fishing at Lees Ferry continues to be better than we have seen in many years. The AZ Game and Fish department has confirmed through creel surveys that fishing is better than it has been in more than a decade. The Trout are in superb condition, growing fast, and we are seeing fish of all sizes in the system which is indicative of a very healthy fishery and should continue that way for the foreseeable future.
The Cicadas are singing and the fish have just recently begun to key in on them. It always takes a while for the cicadas to start flying and getting into the river but when they do the fish will really start to key in on them. Judging from past years I think that this is going to be a good cicada year. I’m not sure if it is going to be one of those banner years where a trout will rise 20-ft to take your fly in the middle of the river; we’ll have to wait a couple of weeks and see. I expect the cicada fishing to last at least another 3 weeks and possibly longer. One thing is obvious; the fish that are eating the cicada flies are overall larger this year. The best cicada fishing is done from the boat, casting the fly into the shore. Our cicada is an annual variety where most cicadas are a periodic variety, which only shows up every 7 or 14 year
Our water levels rose on July 1 as they do every year. There are still a few places to wade, however, this is the season when our most productive fishing is from the boat, drifting. The heavy nymph fishing continues to be productive and consistent. I’m using a very long leader (14-ft from the indicator to the AAA split shot), with a San Juan worm and a size #14 ginger scud. We have been drifting the riffles and runs that we would usually wade. This style of fishing is especially productive and consistent in the higher water. The current high flows will continue through August and it is during these high flows that we generally catch the largest fish of the year. The reason that the fishing is so good and the fish are in such great shape is that the high water flows move the larger food items around (scuds and worms) and the fish are feeding like crazy; it’s when the fish are actively feeding that the fishing is at its best.
The next water flow change will be in September when the flows will drop substantially and remain low through November. The fall weather is the best of the year and usually provides good fishing.
The trout continue to eat midges in certain areas of the river and your best bet is to fish a double midge rig on a long leader with a split shot. Assorted zebra midges are the ticket and the larger sizes work best. I have been surprised at the intensity of the midge hatches in the higher water, I usually associate prolific midge hatches to lower flow releases but that has not been the case.
The streamer fishing has been picking up and will likely get hot since the water flows have increase this summer. The reason for this is that the higher flows move larger food items around (scuds, worms, etc.). Be sure to stop by the shop to see the flies that are currently working. The flies change on a daily basis and every day the LFA guides let everyone at the shop know the top producing flies and how to use them.
Walk In Fly Fishing Report, By Dean Wyndam:
The fishing has been very good the past few weeks. The flows have come up the past few days and this has changed things somewhat but everyone seems to be catching fish. Some of the smaller fish have been showing up especially in the upper boulder area but larger fish in the 17 inch plus range are being caught all up and down the walk in section. Cicadas are just starting to show up in the walk in area so dries are working but not as well as up river. Midges and San Juan worms are working best with streamers doing well in the evening or late afternoon.
With the higher flows the upper boulder field is doing best in the early morning when the flows are at the lowest. Midges and San Juan worms are the best combo here.
From the large boulder down to the Paria River streamers have been working very well. This might be an area to try some cicada patterns with a dropper. Remember with the higher flows wading in this area is hazardous with all of the slick rocks and fast water. The fish here will be closer to the shore that they were last month so most takes will be at the end of the drift.
The point where the Paria River enters the Colorado is also a good place to fish but with the higher flows this can be a difficult area to wade; if you wade here, a wading staff is recommended. Midges and San Juan worms seem to be working well here also. Streamers work well as the water rises in the afternoon.
I would rate the walk in a solid 8 for the past few weeks. Hope to see you on the water.
Walk in Spin Fishing Report:
Spin fishing has not been really good at the walk in area. The best spin fishing has been of off Paria Beach. However, with the higher flows everything will be changing for the better. As the flows come up it is easier to get a good drift with the spinner and not be dragging moss off of the bottom. There is still quite a bit of moss in the water but this will become less of a problem as the flows stay high. Kastmasters and panther martins are the best producing lures here at the Ferry.
The only area that is really productive for spinners is Paria Beach or the area where the Paria River enters the Colorado River. There are some deeper holes here and some really nice seams where larger fish have been taken. Just a reminder be very cautious when wading in this area, a wading staff is recommended. Also you will need to have new line on your reel, we recommend 4lb test. If you see me at the river please come by and say hello.
I would rate the spin fishing at 6, rising to a 7 with the higher flows.
Whirling disease detected for 2nd time at Lees Ferry.
This is the 2nd time that WD has been detected at Lees Ferry. The first detection was in 2007; this was the year that Lake Powell dropped to its lowest level and as a result, the discharge temperatures from the dam were more than 60 degrees. This past year the discharge temperatures increased again, this time it was a result of the huge inflows into the lake which caused another 60 degree discharge. There has always been the thought that it was our cold water that prevented Lees Ferry from being infected with WD and I find it an interesting coincidence that both detections were made during periods of warm water. Water temps returned to normal (48 degrees) last December.
Fishing here this year has been off the charts good and most all the fish that we are catching are in prime+ condition.
Like the Green and San Juan, I’m not expecting this WD detection to have an impact on the Lees Ferry fishery. The one thing that it should impact is our awareness to make sure that we all take the necessary steps to clean our gear so that WD is not spread to other waters in AZ or elsewhere.
Here is some great info:
PHOENIX – The parasite known to cause whirling disease – that can affect trout but is not harmful to humans – has been reconfirmed at the renowned Lees Ferry fishery within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in northern Arizona, advised Arizona Game and Fish Department officials.
“Although the parasite has been confirmed in fish samples from Lees Ferry, to date no trout have displayed any disease symptoms such as the classic whirling motion,” said Fisheries Chief Kirk Young. “In fact, just the opposite is true; the Ferry is currently providing some of its best fishing in more than a decade.”
Young emphasized that there are no human health implications for this fish parasite.
Whirling disease is caused by a microscopic parasite that damages cartilage and compromises the nervous system of trout and other salmonids, but no other fish species. The disease takes its name because it can cause fish to swim in an uncontrolled whirling motion.
This is the second detection of the whirling disease parasite in trout at the Ferry; the first was in 2007. While the parasite was detected in 2007, it did not become established in the trout population and until now was absent from annual samples taken since then.
“It’s pretty clear from the recent tests that this parasite is back again in the trout population at the Ferry,” Young said. “What we don’t know is how the parasite got to the Ferry, nor do we know how it may manifest itself.”
There have been no fish die offs detected due to the whirling disease parasite at Lees Ferry. “Its presence can, but does not always cause significant trout population losses and typically affects young or immature trout the most,” Young advised.
The whirling disease parasite is found at hundreds of waters in 25 states across the nation, including Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. “We have been very fortunate in Arizona – we don’t have this parasite showing up anywhere else in Arizona. We want to keep it that way,” Young said.
It’s critical to have the conscientious cooperation of boaters, anglers and other recreational users along this stretch of the Colorado River and at other waters as well.
“The life cycle of this parasite, which involves both trout and tubifex worms along with microscopic spores, results in this parasite being readily transportable unless anglers and boaters are conscientious about cleaning and decontaminating their equipment,” Young said.
Anglers and boaters are asked to:
* Never transport live fish from one body of water to another – anywhere, not just from the Ferry;
* Do not dispose of fish heads, skeletons or entrails in any body of water, this can spread the disease-causing parasites;
* Do not discard entrails or heads of fish down a garbage disposal. The whirling disease parasite can survive most water treatment plants and infect areas downstream;
* Carefully clean mud and vegetation from all equipment, such as boats, trailers, waders, boots, float tubes and fins. Rinse all mud and debris from equipment and wading gear, and drain water from boats before leaving the area where you’ve been fishing;
* Drain and dry boat bilges, live wells, and lower units.
BEFORE using waders, wading shoes, or fishing gear at another waterway, clean equipment with one of the following:
* Saturate waders and other gear with full-strength “Commercial Solutions Formula 409® Cleaner Degreaser Disinfectant” or “Formula 409® All Purpose Cleaner Antibacterial Kitchen Lemon Fresh” or other cleaners, that contain at least 0.3 percent of the quaternary ammonium compound alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride for at least 10 minutes or,
* Dip, wipe, or spray waders and other gear with 50-percent bleach solution (one part household chlorine bleach to one part water) or,
* Soak waders and other gear for 10 minutes in a 10-percent bleach solution (one part household chlorine bleach to nine parts water) or,
* Pour boiling water (at least 200°F) over your gear and allow to cool.
“The spores of the whirling disease parasite are known to adhere to these kinds of materials and can potentially be carried on gear from one water to another,” Young advised.
Young added that there are also other reasons to clean and decontaminate equipment and boats.
“We have a long list of potential invasive species from New Zealand mudsnails, rock snot, to invasive mussels that can be spread from one body of water to another if simple precautions are not taken. Please make it a habit to Clean, Drain, and Dry, and don’t give any of these invaders a free ride to a new water.”
Spin Fishing Up River:
Spin fishing is just OK. The reason that it has slowed down is due to the fact there is so much algae floating in the river that it is difficult to get a good drift.
• If you have some news you would like to report about fishing lees ferry, the walk-in section or up river please e-mail your report to:  Attn. Lees Ferry Fishing Report
• We would be happy to have your input, and pass it along.
Here is a report form one of our customers.
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 9:50 AM Subject: [Lees Ferry Anglers] Fishing report
My Son Scott and I decided to fish Lee’s Ferry as a “last minute” hey lets go fishing trip. The walk in on Saturday was crowded and a bit slow, but worth the effort. On Sunday we fished with Guide Jeff English from your shop. Again a last minute booking so we were fortunate to get him. Jeff put us on fish all day and needless to say we caught a boat load. Dry-dropper was the ticket. I have been fortunate to fish some A+ and blue ribbon fisheries with great success. Sunday was as good if not the best day as any I ever had on the Big Horn, Madison or Yellowstone!!! Thanks Jeff!!! AND your teaching moment was a success—I now understand that if you don’t land the fish, it is never the fishes fault…;} Thanks to the shop staff and kitchen for great treatment! We’ll see you in July/!!!
For details on Lake Powell conditions and snow-pack, go here:
For a real time graphic view of water releases and ramp rates go here:
Lees Ferry Anglers Fly Shop maintains a large inventory of Abel, Sage, Winston, Temple Fork, Tibor, Galvin, Orvis, Simms, Patagonia, Scientific Anglers Mastery, Ex Officio, William Joseph, Fish Pond and Rio among others. We have been one of the largest fly tackle retailers in the southwest U.S. and we are Arizona’s oldest fly shop. We guarantee our prices to be the same or lower than any other fly shop or retail store. We offer free shipping on all orders over $100 and no sales tax on out of state sales. Call us for the best advice!
PATAGONIA- Women’s Stretch Jacket was $315.00 now $175.00
Call for all current sale items as they change quickly.
Cliff Dwellers Lodge:
Our lodge has rooms with cable TV (20 channels), in-room coffee, and the basic amenities. Choices of rooms are ONE king-size bed, TWO doubles and TWO queen-size beds. Also our group unit we call the HOUSE, sleeps six with two baths, dining area, kitchen, patio with a view, and cable TV. Rates vary with season. We are excited about the winter season and have some great “black board” specials planned. Patio dining is available. (Enclosed in the winter months)
Meet the Guides:
THE GUIDES AND STAFF OF LEES FERRY ANGLERS have thousands of days on this water, and over 100 years combined fish-guiding experience. Captain’s Terry Gunn, Jeff English, Skip Dixon, Natalie Jensen, Tyson Warren, Tyler Smith, Kevin Campbell, Dale Gauthier, and Jared Nelson make up our guiding staff. Lees Ferry Anglers is proud of our fly-fishing guide team! Wendy Gunn, Dean Windham, Andy Vincent and Katie McClenathen work in the fly shop. We strive to provide you with the best customer service in the industry. All of our prices in our shop are the same or less than any of the Big Box stores and we really do appreciate your business.


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