I recall early summer runs in Columbia tribs were almost a sure thing by Father's Day. Hopper style patterns fished on heavy tips, prawns fished on light tips, and muddlers fished gurgling in the whitewater at dawn were all good ways to find bright early steel. One would have to add woolly buggers and blue marabous, purple perils and nymphs to the list of summer run staples. A variety of 'dark' spey flies are a must, as are a Knudsen style spider or two. I liked mine with orange or caddis dubbing under the collar and a krystal flash ribbing.
With such a short prime-time between dawn and dog-day sunshine my best trips were had by fishing evening, camping, and fishing dawn. There are few thrills in life as heart-throbbing as a mint bright white-finned black backed summer steelhead ripping and leaping around a skinny summer pool. It's never easy this time of year like it gets in the fall; but it's do-able and when it happens it's one of the highest rewards that all flyfishing has to offer.
Good luck guys, wish I were there.... striper fishing's been good but the steelhead's always on my mind.
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