After being stuck inside due to very cold weather, many anglers are finally getting back out on the water. Recent mild temperatures have made for more open water and (somewhat) more active fish. While the weather has improved, most fish will still be in their wintering holes, colder water temps mean the fish will have slower metabolisms and stick to deeper, slower water while taking easy feeding opportunities. This warmer weather is of course accompanied by snow melt so it is best to get out earlier in the day before temperatures rise too much causing snow melt which will drop river temperature and possibly turn off the bite for the day.
A nice Brown comes to hand on the Winston Air TH 6126
Warmer days are also making for more prolific midge hatches, however, while there are plenty of midges on the water, fish are not as willing to rise consistently. Keep an eye out, it won’t be long before we get some decent dry fly action, for now though, midge larva will produce more consistently. Regarding nymphs, there are plenty of stonefly, caddis and blue-wing olives preparing to hatch this spring. A darker stonefly nymph or caddis larva fished close to bottom can be an excellent option up until we start seeing adults. Blood worms and leeches are always good options and are often best fished in tandem on a tight-line Euro set-up or under an indicator.
There are plenty of whitefish in the city section this year that will provide hearty meals for large, hungry trout. White and or light shaded streamers fished slow and deep can produce bigger fish right now. Keep in mind the water is still cold so fish will be hesitant to chase fast prey or move great distances, target water that moves at a slow walking pace.
Dries: Theos Melting Pot Midge (18-20), HI-VIS Midge (18-20)
Nymphs: Zebra Midge (18), Girdle Bugs and Neo Twenty Inchers (10-12), Wired Caddis Olive (14-16), Shop Dip Green (14-16), San Juan Worm (12-8)
Streamers: White Fat Head (2-4), White Muddy Buddy (4), White/Olive Bangtails (6)