{"upriver":"7","walkin":"3","spin":"7","updateDate":"Tuesday, July 29, 2014","upcrowdday":"1","upcrowdend":"2","walkcrowdday":"1","walkcrowdend":"1","upriversum":"

Fishing was great this summer, with the fish continuing to be in superior condition. Lees Ferry Anglers\u2019 guides agree that fish are in as good shape as we have seen them in several years. A lot of this has to do with the high summer flows which move a lot of food around. It is for this reason that the fishing is so good and predictable throughout the summer months. We are currently seeing fish of all sizes, including some small guys which is indicative of a healthy river. These will be the fish we\u2019ll be catching for the next few years. The cicada hatch was below average and just really never came on \u2026 maybe next July will be the big hatch that we have not seen in a few years.<\/p>\n

Drift fishing from the boat has been especially productive using heavy nymph rigs with long leaders and two flies. But change is on the horizon \u2026 beginning September 1 the releases from Glen Canyon Dam will decrease. The projected flows are 8,500 cfs to 14,500 cfs \u2013 perfect for wading. These lower flows will continue through the fall and not increase until December. September often is some of the best fishing of the year. Fish have been in a feeding mood all summer and when the water drops, the fish stay near the shore and in the riffles, readily accessible to the wading angler. This holds true not only for the river above Lees Ferry but also the walk-in area below Lees Ferry.<\/p>\n

El Nino came through in the end and provided the Lake Powell drainage with a good snowpack. The lake rose over 30 feet. Lake elevation is higher than it has been since 2012. The high inflow will also stir up nutrients that will show up in the river next winter and spring.<\/p>\n

Just because you caught fish in a certain spot in years past, don\u2019t think that you are going to experience the same success again. The river is a living creature and fishing changes daily. It is our sincere desire that everyone have a great trip to the Ferry. Be sure to stop by the shop to see the flies that are currently working. The flies frequently change on a daily basis \u2013 sometimes it seems like hourly \u2013 and LFA guides let everyone at the shop know the top producing flies and how to use them. We are anxious to share this knowledge with you \u2013 even where to fish!<\/p>\n

There is an ongoing aquatic food base study that has taken place over the past couple of years. The purpose of this study is multifaceted and is studying the relationship of flows on food production, taking inventories of and monitoring populations of aquatic insects and invertebrates that live in the river and other very important aspects of the aquatic food base. I believe that this is by far the most important study that has ever been conducted on this river. Previously, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent studying sediment while ignoring the aquatic food base and resource. Common sense dictates that fish, birds and animals do not live off dirt or sand. The aquatic food base and habitat are the foundation for all that lives in the Colorado River. One of the long-term goals of the food base study is to determine how to enhance the populations and production of aquatic insects in the river which will benefit native fish, trout, and migratory bird populations. This is a study and a goal that we can all embrace!<\/p>\n

Quagga mussels (see http:\/\/nas.er.usgs.gov\/queries\/factsheet.aspx?speciesid=95<\/a> ) have become established in Lake Powell and we are now seeing some in the river below the dam. Their arrival happened sooner than I expected. So far, there has not been a major infestation and there is some thought by experts that they will not become very well established in the river due to the current. Remember to dry waders and boots before using them in any other body of water. Also, private boats should drain all water from the boat and live-wells as soon as you exit the river. We all need to do our part to limit the transport of this and all invasive species.<\/p>\n","walkinsum":"

Good news! Change is coming to the walk-in area beginning Sept. 1 when the water flow drops. I\u2019m predicting that the fishing is going to be picking up and greatly improving for this section of river. The fish have been holding deep in this area for the last couple of years and when the water flow drops in September, the fish should remain accessible to the wading angler. I would be willing to wager that this section of river is going to be fishing better this fall than it has since the autumn of 2014.<\/p>\n


We\u2019ve been hearing glowing reports about the spin fishing bite. Just about everyone I have heard from says that the spin fishing has really improved the past few weeks. Some of this is because earlier this spring and summer the river bottom was covered in algae and it was virtually impossible to drift without quickly getting the line and lure clogged in vegetable matter.<\/p>\n","waterTemp":53.6,"flowRate":"15400"}