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Lee's Ferry, Arizona
 
Lee’s Ferry, the namesake of Arizona’s most famous fly fishing destination, is 15 miles of glorious Colorado River tailwater. A storied stretch of river pre-dating fly fishing because of its access, it remains famous today because of that same trait. It is the launching point for all downriver float trips through the Grand Canyon, likewise the launching point for fly fishing upstream.

Lee’s Ferry is beautiful, like whenever you see lots of fresh water in the middle of rugged desert like terrain. Has good fishing and is popular. There is walk-in access, but expect people in the spring and fall seasons. Bring a book, a camera, your streamside vise, expect some waiting to be involved. The good spots, gravel bars that are numbered by those that know, and the guides, will have anglers on them, and others waiting to be on them. Guides are plentiful or if you have a shallow drift boat with an outboard you can go up and down the magic 15 miles to select less pressured spots. In addition there a few rugged scattered and somewhat dangerous hike ins, beside the launch. If you choose these know what you are doing and be prepared for a long day.

There are not the classic hatches here, despite efforts to introduce standard aquatic insects in the 60’s. There are midges though, lots of them, and they do hatch, often unpredictably. Be prepared for all phases of the hatch. Nymphs like BH Zebra Midges, FireBugs, Brassies, and Disco Midges for the larva. RS2 emergers, Serendipity, WD-40’s, work for emerging midges. And if you see rising trout Griffith Gnats and Midges as well as small Parachute Adams and Parachute BWO work well.

Of equal importance to the midge, is the gammarus shrimp, or scud, pink and orange are often the ticket. Like midges they are available year around. So are aquatic worms, popular is the San Juan Worm. If you are going in the summer think hoppers, be prepared for some voracious action. There are also ants, beetles and cicadas.


Lee's Ferry, Arizona

Hatch Chart


Insect Size Begin End

Midges   16-24   January  1   December 31  

Worm 12-18 January  1 December  31

Caddis 12-18 February 1 September 30

Terrestrials
8-16 June 1 September 30
Shrimp 14-18 January 1 December 31
Eggs 14-16   December 1   December 31

 

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