Although we are in the middle of the fabled Deschutes River salmon fly hatch, the weather has been less than ideal lately. Strong winds, cold days and colder nights has made dry fly fishing unpredictable. Some days the fishing is off the charts, other days its spotty.
In a perfect world, we would have daytime temperatures in the 80's or 90's, which would get the females into their mating flights. The seductive dance of a female bug laying eggs gets Deschutes trout ramped up. -Not that you can't have great dry fly fishing if you don't see bugs flying. It just adds to the intensity of the hatch.
We don't live in a perfect world... Sometimes you need to adapt to the conditions. I see a lot of anglers get frustrated during the salmon fly hatch because they commit to fishing a big bug and the fish don't respond. Don't fall into the "big bug trap".
During and after the hatch, I'll always start fishing a stonefly or salmon fly dry. However, if the fish don't respond I don't waste a lot of time trying to force it. That doesn't mean I won't go back to the big bug later in the day, especially in the late afternoon and evening.
Watch the River
Ever hear the expression, "Can't see the forest through the trees"? Late May and early June offer the trout a ton of other menu choices than stoneflies and salmon flies. Caddis, PED's, PMD's Green Drakes, Yellow Sallies and Blue Wing Olives are already hatching or will begin soon. Don't get so focused on the big bugs you miss the clouds of caddis!
Be an observer and stay versatile!