It’s that time of year at Lake Davis that makes this still water the premier destination for fly anglers across the state. The hatches are going off right now, damsels are coming on strong, and the Hexagenia mayfly has shown up right on time. The weather last week was very warm which sparked even more bugs to emerge, currently we have a cool down with lows at night reaching the high 30’s. Water temperatures in 6 to 12 feet of water, and 1 foot down currently start out at 57 in the morning, and are climbing to 62 in the early afternoon. You’ll get higher water temp recordings in skinny water and coves that are located off the main lake due to a dark muddy bottom, and solar radiation. Even when these coves reach 72 degrees, the rainbows will still come into to feed for a short time before returning to deeper water, the damsel menu means that much to them.The damsel game is the main attraction right now which starts around 9am and lasts until 1pm. Long leaders to 4x like RIO’s 13.5 foot supple flex is ideal for stealthy presentations. You’ll have targets to cast to and your accuracy is very important, remember lead the rise form by casting ahead of the cruising fish. A consistent slow 1 inch strip mimics the damsels swimming pace, also giving the fly some pauses and just letting it hang there can induce a strike. Fly selection is very important; you’ll want a fly that slowly sinks like Jonny’s Hover Damsel. Also you must match the color and size of the damsels that are hatching the day that you are there. Their color will change due to the location and the color of the weed beds. Damsels only have camouflage as a defense against predators. The hatch is different every day, sometimes heavy, and sometimes barely a bug. You must be flexible in your approach and venue selection.
Before and during the Damsel hatch there are plenty of Blood midges hatching. Rise forms tell all when trying to figure out what each individual fish is eating. Soft rises are fish midging in the film, aggressive boils and slurps are Damsel grabs. Today my guests got a few fish to take some dry blood midge emergers, it’s quite possibly the most awesome way to hook into these toads.
The Hex appeared for the first time a few days ago, if you have never seen this novelty hatch, it’s a must. Nymphs can be fished in the early evening with a sinking line, but the real draw is fooling trout on top, and by far the emerger out fishes the adult. You will only have about 40 minutes of light out in the late evening until it is black as sin, and you can no longer see your fly. With low light conditions you can use 3 and 2x. Big yellow bugs are fun to watch and fish.
Though my entire month is booked up, there are other quality guides who have special use permits for Plumas National Forest and are available. As an ambassador for Lake Davis please do not hesitate in contacting me regarding info, or anything fly fishing. This is it, my favorite time of the year on the lake, and I’m so stoked!