I fished downstream from Ely's Ford on Sunday, the 17th, armed with my trusty 4-wt, a 5-wt floating line, and a #6 Organge EL Gurgler (thanks to Elio). Starting at about 8:30, I worked my way slowly down, picking off an occasional sunny here and there among the rocks along the shore to my right. The water was low, clear, and running well, so visibility was good, even though it was cloudy with an occasional light sprinkle of rain in the morning. I eventually added a few feet of 3X tippet and a barbless #12 Crystal Bugger with a black bead head (thanks to Gary Shoman). That turned out to be the ticket and I started picking up fish about every third cast, including two very nice Smallmouth (ask Elio what I mean by "very nice"). I eventually switched to a white #12 Crystal Bugger with small chrome dumbbell eyes, and it worked just as well. By early afternoon the weather cleared a bit, the rain stopped, and visibility improved. At the end of the day, about 4:30, I had traveled downstream about 3/4 mile and caught 40 to 50 fish. Most were small and feisty, and all of them hit and fought hard - perfect for a 4-wt. If I go later this summer or fall, I may bring a little 2/3-wt for even more fun.
Even though is was cloudy and sprinkly in the morning, there were a number of canoers and kayakers putting in at Ely's and going downstream. They were all courteous and tried to avoid disturbing my fishing. Some of them put in at Ely's and paddled upstream to fish some of the deeper holes up there. Food for thought...
So if you're looking for a relaxing day on the water with relatively easy wading and plenty of little fish to entertain you, give Ely's a try. Bring a small rod and try a "stealth rig" - a small popper with a small nymph or streamer tied on behind it.