Smith River Report

  • It’s getting to be that time of year again. People are dusting off their fly rods and airing up rafts all in preparation for their one week float date on the Smith River.


    With limited access to the stretch between Camp Baker and Eden Bridge there have been few reports yet on what’s happening. It’s sort of a shot in the dark as to what flies and techniques will and will not be working.

    With warm temps recently, things have been picking up and the fish are eating. I was fortunate enough to get up and fish in the Castle Bar Canyon area. With runoff just kicking in, the river was showing about two to three feet of visibility.

    It was better than I expected for this time of year.

    Throughout the day there were small midge hatches, but only a splashy rise every once in a while. I did find one adult Skwala stonefly crawling on a rock.  Either the hatch was just going to start or I caught the very tail end of it.


    Need skwalas or midge patterns? We've got options up online here. 

    With fish only rising every thirty minutes or so,  I broke out my new Echo TR 4113 Trout spey rod and starting swinging a black #8 Balanced Leech. I didn’t get into any fish at first, so I added a split shot and a San Juan Worm and immediately started hooking fish.


    We've got those flies too, check them out here. 

    Of the fish I caught, all but two of them were Brown Trout. They seemed to still be pretty schooled up in the deep slower runs. Every deep and slow run would produce several fish. The majority of them ate the black balanced leech. Stop in at the North 40 Fly Shop for the flies and supplies for a successful Smith River float.


    Note: Low level snowfall yesterday (the 9th) should create a quick run off bounce in the next day or so.  General Snowpack for the Smith River is not great this year, so snow melt run off will be moderate at best.

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