While we are probably going to get some more snow, the past week or two has been a welcomed pleasure for weather. The water is still low and clear, but it will not be long until warmer temps induce runoff. But if you’re like us even bad weather days are tolerable if you can get out on the river. No bad weather, just bad gear!
Fish are slowly becoming more active but are still in their wintering holes for the most part. The improved weather is increasing the number of bugs that are out and active on the water. Midges, Blue Winged Olives, and Skwalas have all been spotted out on the water within the last week. This increased activity on the water will shift the trout’s attention to some surface feeding.
Streamer fishing has picked up a little. Fish seem slightly more willing to chase down bigger meals. At the moment, Sculpin imitations appear to be working best. As Spring continues more fry will begin hatching and will provide great meals for fish particularly as their metabolism starts kicking into high gear. Overall, streamer fishing isn’t the most productive but the opportunity to hook a large, hungry fish, tempts all of us.
Nymphing is still the most productive fishing at the moment. As mentioned above, fish are still holding deep so make sure you adequately weight your rig to get the flies into the zone. As Skwala nymphs move toward shore they can become vulnerable meals. Small dark stonefly nymphs work best to imitate these guys. Water Boatmen have been out en masse as of late. Fish will chase them in backwaters as they zip around. Don’t forget, worms and leeches are always good patterns in any tailwater.
Rainbow Trout are now spawning so please keep an eye out for redds. Redds appear as cleaned patches of gravel. Avoid wading in, above or below (15-20ft either side) these cleared patches. Wading above can cause dirt and debris to suffocates the eggs and we avoid the downstream side because many times the eggs wash down further than just the redd. Fish on these redds are spawning and are very vulnerable. We do our best to leave them alone as they help secure future generations of fish and will come out of the spawn feeding heavy.
Dries: Theos’s Melting Pot Midge (18), RS2 BWO (16-18), Adam’s (16-18), Purple Haze (16-18), Miller’s Hi-Vis Skwala (8-12)
Streamers: Sparkle Minnow Olive (2-8), Articulated Fathead Olive/White (2-4), Bow River Clouser Olive/Back (6-8), Galloup’s Silk Kitty Olive (2), Bow River Muddler Natural (2-6)
Nymphs: Dark Prince (12-14), Girdle Bug Coffee/Black (10-12), San Juan Worm (8-12), Evil Weevil’s (16-18), Copper John (14-18), BH Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear (14-18)