NF CDA - Is still fishing very well. I access the river from Wallace via 9 mile canyon/Dobson’s Pass. From The 6th & Cedar Coffee Shop across the street from shop you just turn left and 20 minutes later I am in Prichard. I almost always turn right and head upstream. Lately the fishing has been better and it is less crowded. I fished a few evening this week, both above and below Prichard. Each night around 7:00 PM a prolific Stonefly hatch came off. I did land a few of some of the larger fish I’ve gotten this year. But not as many as I thought with the hatch that was occurring. There weren’t many fish rising. I took almost all of mine with a half drowned Kings CDC Golden #10 in the seam of longer, deeper runs. I think the fish are gorging themselves on stonefly nymphs in the late afternoon. Nymphing a two rig system deep through these deep runs and pools could produce some epic fish. I’d suggest large #8 Pats, Kyles Golden Stone, Gallup Warbirds or a Double “B” Black Stones.
If you have not been up to the NF CDA lately you should get up there. I fished both Sunday and Monday. Both days were good from start to finish. On Sunday I fished just below Lost Creek. If your crossing the river watch your step it is slippery. I know this from personal experience. Fish were actively rising throughout the late afternoon til dusk. Butthead Purples and Olives #10-12 were working very well as were varies stonefly patterns. Drake’s and PMDs were hatching but they were keying on stoneflies. Line control is also very important. I had about a half dozen fish in a row that when hooked turned and ran right at me. Since I was barbless I lost a few. Monday I headed up to the confluence for the entire day. Again fishing was good from start to finish. The hatches were a little scarce. Small Yellow Sallies were coming off. A basic #18 Yellow Sally did the trick. But like the day before they were keying on stoneflies #10-#12. Look for fish holding in deeper pools and runs. Cast up and over to the riffles above and drift it into the pool. It seems to take 3 fish hookups to quite the pool. You will probably get more strikes with a half submerged stonefly, rather than one riding high. The fishing should remain good for the next few weeks. Thunderstorms on Thursday, then warmer, sunnier weather moves in for the next week. Looks like summer is here.
Prichard 265 CFS, Catalonia 1,080 CFS
Little Yellow Sallies
Kings CDC Stonefly
Henry Fork SpGolden
Norm Wood Special
Rogue River Golden
Wilsons Little Golden
Chubby Chernobyl Black
Butthead Purple and Olive
Swishers PMX #16
Down Wing Drake
Current Flows - Prichard 317, Cataldo 1,240
If you have not been up to the NF CDA recently you are missing some pretty good fishing. Our shop is right off of I-90. There is not a day that goes by that someone comes in the shop and asks if the river are fishable because of high flows. If they are heading west from Missoula they pass over the Clark Fork numerous times seeing only a dirty river with high water. Or if they are traveling west from CDA they might still see that the SF of the CDA is still running a little high as well. So they make the natural assumption that that the NF CDA must be high as well. Nothing could be further from the truth. The NF CDA had its major runoff over a month ago. Since that time the river rivers flows have slowly come down and are stabilizing. We should see flows of 300ish for the next little while. This has made the river very wadeable, given access via wading to gravel bars, islands and the the "other" side of the river. Basically it has shrunk the river and concentrated the fish to deeper pools, tail outs, cut banks and pocket water. Right now we are seeing good action on Green Drakes and Golden Stone patterns. You will also see PMD's and Yellow Sallies throughout the day and a good Caddis hatch toward evening. If the weather is warm you will also encounter tubers and rafters below Prichard. But if you head up river the herd thins out and you will find some solitude along with some hungry North Slope Cutthroats. A drake or golden stone pattern drift through the ripples into a deep pool will almost always produce a strike. A soft hackle pattern like a down wing Green Drake swung can also be very effective. I have also found that a half drowned Golden Stone fly works much better than a Golden riding high in the water, so go sparingly on the floatant. For the weekend we can expect cooler and cloudy weather and possible rain with temps moving into the 80's by the end of next week.
CDC Kings Golden Stone - this has been my top performing fly
Butthead Purple and Butthead Olive
Norm Wood Special
Sedgehammer Hares Ear
Green Drake Fripple
Larson's Legend Stone
Galloup Tilt Wing Olive
Or just stop by the shop and I'll show you.