Dry Fly Fishing: A Couple Tips for the Little Juniata

Dry Fly Fishing: A Couple Tips for the Little Juniata

This week’s blog is a timely repeat of one Kyle wrote a couple year’s ago. There are a couple references to bugs that are not accurate (it was originally written a little later in May), but the main themes are on point. Last night (April 30) Kyle reported the first fishable hatch of Sulphurs on the LJ.

Heading down to the river for a few hours of dry fly fishing in the evening can be a great option for members at the club this time of year. Let’s talk about a couple tips that will help improve success while dry fly fishing our section of water here at the club.

Schwiebert’s Sycamores – The Sycamores is one of my favorite places to fish dry flies on the river. The far bank down through the Sycamores is a great place to find rising fish. However, when the river is high this area of the river is harder to wade. When wading becomes harder, it can be much more challenging to reach the fish that rise on the far side.

The Barn Flat – The Barn Flat is another great section of the river to look for rising fish. In the barn flat, it is not unusual to find fish rising in the middle or on either side of the river. The lower end of the Barn Flat can also be a lot easier to wade when the river is high.

Fly Selection – Ask what bugs you might see if you plan to head to the river in the evening. It’s helpful to know what has been hatching the last few days and what might start hatching soon. Most nights there are a line up of different bugs that could hatch. Coming to the river with a few different fly options in mind will help quickly narrow down which specific bug the fish are eating. For example, this week Sulphurs have been the main bug, but if I was heading down to the river I would also be looking for Green Drakes, Grey Foxes, or Caddis.

Monitor Water Conditions – Flows on the river can be monitored by visiting the USGS website for the Little J by clicking HERE. Keeping in tune with what level the river is when you fish it, will allow you to note what sections of river you feel comfortable wading at what levels.

Water Type – Some days fish will be found rising in certain types of water more so than others. If you are on the river and notice a certain area that fish are rising in, look for other sections of the river with a similar water type. More time spent focusing on the water type that fish are more actively feeding in will result in more fish caught. For example, in high water fish are usually found rising in the soft edges of the river. During high water it pays to look for soft edges that are within casting range of the bank you are fishing from.

This time of year it’s usually worth a drive down the river after dinner to look for rising fish. Talk to Joel if you are in need of a couple days on the water.


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