Dry Falls: Hot and cold


Sculpin Enterprises
I just got back from the weekend at Dry Falls. In brief, fish deep.

There was a tiny, size 18 - 20 tan midge hatch centered around noonish and a hit (windy, spitting rain on Saturday) or miss (bluebird, calm, clear Sunday) Callibaetis hatch. In the evening, a browner-colored midge, about a size 16, hatched sporadically. The folks ("the hot") who were successful during the middle of the day (note, I am not in that group = "the cold") were fishing chironomids at 20+ feet on looooong leaders; those who were in the right zone were catching fish every 20 - 30 minutes. About 1ish, there were occasional fish that would strike at emerging / emerged midges at the surface, but their rises were never concentrated; I had two strikes at a Lasha's raccoon, but one broke me off and the other never felt the hook. There were a few fish working in shallower water that took various wooly buggers and nymphs, including dragon flies.

Surprising (and frustrating) to me were how few fish were hitting the Callibaetis flies at the surface; I fished a biot-bodied parachute that has been successful elsewhere, but no one was interested (except for the swallows which gave it a close look multiple times); another fisher in the same area as I finally caught a nice trout on a sparkle dun. [I may have to revisit my Callibaetis box and restock with the fruits of the recent Callibaetis swap.]

With the clear water this time of year, it has often been possible to see fish cruising in less than 15' for food, but I did not see many fish in the shallows, except for Sunday afternoon for a brief period in the mid-afternoon. On Friday, I stayed until dusk to see if any fish have moved into the shallows, but nothing was happening.

The lake was busy, but not crowded on Friday afternoon and Saturday. Pressure on Sunday was lighter.

It seems that Dry Falls is changing a bit. I've fished it for years and have always had success fishing the edges in 3-10 feet of water. The last couple of years the hot ticket has been fishing chironomids very deep off a long leader or full sinking line. Guys who do it are pretty successful. I had two pretty good days in early April fishing the edges and had hoped that once the water temps went up the fishing would get even better. Doesn't sound like it unless a guy wants to go deep.


Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
I was the fellow next to you being equally frustrated by the refusals of every Callibaetis imitation I had.
I ended up with a few fish yesterday all caught deep before heading home around 1:30.
I never did get the chironomids dialed in. Fishing a 20' + leader out of the Super Fat Cat can be an adventure.
I did see a few adult damsels on Sunday when things heated up.
I was definately a member of "the cold" group this weekend. "Hot group" membership hopefully in two weeks.


Indi "Ira" Jones
Even though with gas prices and the 15 month old at home that I take care of on weekends while mom works will keep me away from Dry Falls for a season or two, I still appreciate the reports.



Sculpin Enterprises
Hi Brian,

Yeah, that was a very frustrating Callibaetis hatch; those flies were popping to the surface and taking off in an incredibly short time. The numbers were significant, as reflected in all the attention that they drew from the swallows. On blue-bird Sunday, the swallows didn't even bother to drop down to target the Callibaetis.

I didn't see any damsels flying around myself. It is possible that the damsels were emerging from one of the shallower lakes in the vicinity, a lake / pond that would warm up much faster than a deeper, cooler lake like Dry Falls. I did work a Callibaetis nymph with an effective damsel nymph trailer along on the long reed shorelines but had no takers.

I can't make it back until June. Maybe then the damsels will be emerging in mass, one of my favorite hatches of the year.



Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
You could be right about the damsels hatching somewhere else. I only saw three adults, so it wasn't anything major hatch wise. I saw no nymphs swimmimg either.
I went back to the area where the Callibaetis hatch occurred on Saturday. A few coming off before I left, but nothing major. There where a few fish roaming the area, but just an occasional risers. One nice sized brown kept circling my tube, like it was taunting me :)

Any chrono patterns fare better than others or was it just getting any pattern down deep?

I would like to hit this lake up in a few weeks.

Best regards,



Sculpin Enterprises
Hi Robert,

One of the "hot" guys was using a size 16 chironomid. That matches the size of bugs that I saw hatching (typically the adults are a size or two smaller than the larvae, according to Phil Rowley). He told me "that I probably didn't have what he was using" (I respect that), but "a chronie with a gray body, like trapped air" would be effective. I guess he meant something like this http://www.freewebs.com/flyfish-edmonton/xmaschronie.htm. As far is color is concerned, I saw tan midges hatching closer to noon and a brownish midge hatching closer to evening. I heard other flyfishers indicate that they had caught fish on red, black, green, and gray bodies. I guess with the light levels (and reduced color spectrum) at 20 feet, the fish aren't too selective. I caught my one chironomid fish on a very thin size 16, black-thread bodied fly with a flashabout rib and a wrap or two of peacock.

Of course, in several weeks, there could a whole different suite of midges emerging. You might be better off contacting folks who fish Dry Falls and similar lakes more that I have.



Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
I'll add to what Steve already posted. I also spoke with one of the guys having some success on chironomids. He mentioned that the patterns (size 16) he was fishing had a tungsten bead as well as being wrapped with .010 lead.
I believe the heavier weighted fly played a real key in his success, especially when fishing 20' + leaders. It gets the fly down quickly and keeps it in the zone.
As Steve mentioned, color selection on the hatching bugs was all over the place, but I saw more gray than anything.
Two weeks ago bloodworms or anything red worked well. Last weekend, couldn't get a sniff on one.


Active Member
I was there and fished Friday and Saturday. The trick is to really go deep, 20 feet doesn't cut it. Try a 30'+ leader as the deepest part of Dry Falls is at 29-30 feet. There were fish to be had but it was few a far between from a couple weeks ago. The three of us all managed to average double digit numbers of fish. We fished down to size 18. Color Does matter and so does the taper of the bug. I suggest taking a throat sample and tying up bugs that match the hatch. Also, standing and casting from a pram and using a 10' rod also helps throw the long leader.
Man it's tough !! I'd say in a couple weeks the Cali's have to be out in force with fish up eating. Time for the Cali Quigly Cripple bouncing off the cat tails !!!!!!

Latest posts