Summer low flows have finally hit the gunpowder. Although this picture was taken at the minimum of 26.7cfs on Wednesday, the water has bounced back to 38.0cfs. Water temperatures have seen an increase, ranging between the mid 50s up to 60F. Although this is still a safe water temperature for trout, understand the water lower in the river will be warmer and you must use your best handling of fish to ensure their survival.
Despite the drop in water, our tactics have not changed. Beetles, ants, and small hoppers have been on the menu for fish in our faster water. The slower pools will hold consistently rising fish; however, they will be eating very tiny flies like midges and trico patterns. To target fish on the surface, a long leader will be almost necessary. We have been fishing a 10–12-foot leader to minimize the chance of spooking fish with our fly line. A longer leader will also give you more time before your fly starts to drag in these slower pools.
A dry dropper has been a go-to for subsurface fishing. Nymphing can still be effective in the deeper and faster water however that water is hard to come by in these conditions. Fishing with a dry dropper in the riffles and runs is often the best way to present a nymph without spooking fish.