Summer is dry-fly season on the Columbia River. Day-time temperatures can reach up to 40 C in the Columbia River valley between Trail and Castlegar which means warm evenings, stunning sunsets, and more important – prolific insect hatches and unrivaled dry-fly fishing.
From June through to August anglers target wild rainbows and walleye on the Columbia and troll for kokanee on the Arrow Lakes and the Robson Reach of the Columbia just below Hugh Keenleyside Dam.
The summer on the Columbia is synonymous with the prolific caddis hatch that reaches its height in July. Mayfly hatches like the green drake are also common throughout the warm-weather season, and anglers will find that trout prefer these delicacies to the ubiquitous caddis during the summer months.
Fly fishers nymph with strike indicators and stonefly or mayfly nymphs and caddis emerger patterns during the heat of day, then change to dry flies in the early evening. The caddis and mayfly hatches are so thick that when the sun sets the big rainbows cruise into the shallows gulping on emergers or rising fiercely to gravid caddis and mayflies.
Evening dry-fly fishing is fast and furious. Despite the millions of flies there are so many trout slashing at emerging insects you’re bound to hook up numerous times. As darkness falls get ready, because while you may not be able to see your fly, you’ll feel it when a powerful rainbow hits and takes you for a wild, line-peeling run.