Rainbow Trout

Lees Ferry Report
Guide Trip
April 13, 2013
A long time acquaintances Vin Nitito and buddy Jim Becker from Tucson fished with me at Lees Ferry today. Vin and I were members of the Tucson chapter of Trout Unlimited and the 3 of fished together back in 06. It was good to catch up and stick some rainbows together. We fished 3 spots and did very, very well at 2 of them. The lower Saturday flows were just right and Vin and Jim couldn’t keep the fish off their midge patterns fished below a dry fly. After lunch we fished around some accessible spawning fish and both did very well with midges and egg patterns. Big numbers and many fish in the 16 inch range. Both Jim and Vin are advanced anglers and the day couldn’t have gone better.
Lees Ferry Report
Guide Trip
March 23, 24 and 30th, 2013
2 groups of fly anglers on separate weekends with similar success. Dry and dropper rigs are working well on shallow flats and drop-off areas. Eggs and midge larvae are taking rainbows around spawning beds. The trusty double nymph rig is producing well in deeper runs with scuds and Zebra midges. Swinging wooly buggers on a sink tip line has been consistent in certain situations as well. The flows are excellent for wading giving us access to many spots unavailable with higher flows. This is going to be a great spring at the Ferry
Lees Ferry Report
Personal Trip
October 20, 2012
My good buddy Doug Buck from my hometown of Tucson brought his wife, son and father-in-law up to enjoy the day at the Ferry with me. I have known Doug for 20 years and is one of my fly tying inspirations. We were both members of the Tucson Fly Fishing Club and the Tucson chapter of Trout Unlimited. Doug guided at the San Juan River in NW New Mexico for many years and has many excellent tiny patterns required there. It’s been a while since I’ve seen him and it was great to catch up and fish together. Doug spent the day helping his 8 year old son Dominick while fished alongside his Father-in -law, Charlie. At 4 mile bar, Dominick and Doug fished shallow while Charlie and I were positioned knee deep. Everyone had a great time fishing short double nymph rigs or dry/ dropper. I rigged up my trusty one weight Sage with the dry/ dropper and let Charley go to town on the riffle fish. I wasn’t sure I was getting it back he loved it so much. Charlie and I had a great time trading the 5 and one weights back and forth several times. Dom and Doug were taking many fish shallow on midge patterns and having a ball. After landing countless fish on nymphing rigs, Charley took a Wooly Bugger on a 5 foot sink tip and began to fish cross-current. Soon, he had 2 fish in the 18″ range hooked but neither was brought to hand. Smaller fish to 14 inches did come in to be admired. Just before lunch, we moved upriver to a small spot to see if there were any fish on this little flat that is often good to sight fish with shallow rigs. The flat wasn’t loaded with rainbows, but there were enough to make it worthwhile. Dom and Charlie had a double header. After a short time there, we left to see Glen Canyon Dam and fish one more spot. It was great to have Doug and his family visit me at the Ferry.
Lees Ferry Report
Personal Trip
October 14, 2012
Another stellar day at the Ferry. The constant 8000 CFS is still in effect and thousands of fish are up shallow on every bar. I used a double nymph/ indicator set up on the first spot of the day and did very well but didn’t have but 2 fish in the 14 inch range. I probably landed  over 15 fish here. I motored upriver 3 more miles and pulled in just as Natalie Jensen from Lees Ferry Anglers was pulling out. I’ve been guiding for LFA  for over 15 years now. So I knew that these fish had been hammered on all day. The fish were still on the bite big time! I fished for a short time with the nymph rig but I was still seeking bigger fish. I rigged up a 6 weight with a 15 foot sink tip and a gray bugger. Switching to a bugger often leads to bigger fish. So true again. I started at the very top of the riffle at the point and was immediately sticking fish in the 14-15 inch range. I proceeded to cast across and swing the bugger across the current while twitching the line, stepping down stream about 6 feet every 3 casts. I didn’t keep track of how many fish I landed but it was more than the first spot. Many times I had consecutive hookups on 5 or more casts! The biggest fish of the day went 18 inches and many were 16-17. The dam will get back to fluctuating flows November 1st.
Lees Ferry Report
Personal Trip
Labor Day, 2012
Lees Ferry was on fire today! I didn’t even fish above 3.5 miles above the dock. Steady 8000 CFS and wading all over 3 mile was great with dry/ tungsten beaded dropper on the Sage 4 weight. Spin fished on the drift from 3.5 mile to 2.5 west bank with 3″ salt-free Yamamoto green pumpkin grub on a 1/8 jig head. The rainbows chomped it just like they  a week ago when we were filming with Jarrett Edwards and Roland Martin. Quality fish were eating the grub too. I landed at least 10 fish 14-16 inches in that 1 mile of drift. The light was just right and I saw most of the fish eat the grub. I parked the boat at 2.5 mile and saw a ton of fish in a foot or less and they were rising to midges. Time for the Sage 1 weight SPL . After trying several midge dries, I found they would take a Griffth’s Gnat on 7X. All of these fish were 10″ or smaller. I could see bigger fish but they were too wise for the gnat. I then switched to the trusty dry/ dropper rig and that was the ticket. I tried several of my custom versions of Zebra Midges in size 18. Fish were eating the dropper on nearly every drift. All of these fish were on the 1 weight and were great fighters. Most were 10-13 inches but I wanted some bigger fish. I rigged up a 6 weight Sage rod with a 5 foot sink tip and a black bugger. I stuck a chubby 15 incher on the first swing and proceeded to get bit at least every 3 casts. I worked the bar from top to bottom and landed at least 15 fish on the bugger. Most were bigger than the 1 weight fish. 3 were 15-16 inches. I switched back to the 4 weight, this time with a tungsten beaded brown San Juan Worm as the dropper. The bigger fish really liked the worm and I finished the day with several fish 14-16 inches. The last fish of the day was the prettiest by far. I saw him holding in a small depression just below a rock in the lower part of the flat. I could see the red side and gill plates and he was obviously bigger than the 2 other fish holding in the same depression. After about 10 casts and landing one of the other neighboring fish, I saw him turn and the dry fly took a dive indicating he had the worm. After a few minutes of good battle, I slid him up up on a flat boulder just under water and took his portrait. I can’t tell if he was smiling, but I sure was.
Lees Ferry Report
Guide Trip
July 27th, 2012
Rainbow trout fishing is excellent! Summer means cicadas at the Ferry. These big bugs are a nice change of pace for the trout which normally feed on much smaller aquatic food sources. I have been out many times this Summer and the fishing has been excellent. As of my trip on the 22nd, it looks like the cicada bite might be winding down a bit. The wade fishing was excellent however. Randy and Jeff from Scottsdale fish with me on the 22nd and the wade fishing was very good. Dry/ dropper fishing was very good in riffles and shallow nymphing (4-6 feet) was excellent in the deeper runs just below the rifles. Just before lunch, we did some drifting with long heavy nymphing rigs below the dam. This produced the biggest fish of the day on scuds and worms. After lunch we fished the cicada dries to select banks and drew some nice strikes from several aggressive trout. A great day on the river once again.

Capt. Kevin Campbell

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