Water scout – Middle Fork Stanislaus – Camp 9

I got turned on to the Middle Fork where it meets New Melones last October. Kokanee leave the lake for the river to spawn making for a spot reminiscent of a miniature Alaskan river with spawning red salmon. The brown and rainbow trout that leave the lake as well are hefty. That said Camp 9 is almost always busy. I have never been there when there weren’t at least five other trucks in the vicinity. When the water is up, some of the best runs are inaccessible, and when the PG&E plant is pumping out water, the flows come up, gradually forcing you off nice water. Some areas are text book nymphing water with up to three or four split shot required to get the nymph down to the fish. Other stretches are slow and wide which tempt me to bring my switch rod. If you are dropping small flies or midges, it’s a good idea to use a larger nymph to help with the weight to keep you from having a snack of slip shot. I’ve had good luck with a tungsten black birds nest in a size 12, which is pretty big, but it worked.

Fly patterns – Black birds nest, red/blue copper john, pheasant tail, prince nymph, RS2, zebra midge

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