High Water, Dropper Required

I was out-of-town for awhile and have been at work this past week so I kind of feel out of touch with the rivers in my area. I did get out a few times in the evening after work and fished until dark. My local river has been fishing poorly. Usually post run-off it is dynamite (rising fish) but not this year, so far. Last year was a similar experience. On the weekend I checked the flow rate (cubic meter stuff) on several of my favorite rivers out on the plains and in the foothills. The numbers were high. I then drove around to have an actual look. One tailwater was really off-color. The other tailwater was half off-color. It was clear on the spillway side of the river and dirty on the other side where water is released from the bottom of the dam. Fishing it looked a little dicey so I drove above the sizeable reservoir to where it is simply a large freestone river. There it was high but the clarity slightly better. I decided to fish the edges and reachable slow spots with a dry fly and a dropper. I couldn’t negotiate (wade) much of the river. The angling was slow but I managed several small fish and then eventually one good brown trout which I got a photo of.  All fish were taken subsurface, on a dropper. Usually at this time of the year I see some stoneflies and pmd’s but I saw no noticeable insect life. There are not many sight fishing opportunities on these rivers at present due to high water. I’ll have to wait a couple of weeks for levels to drop and keep my fingers crossed for continued heat and little rain. In the meantime I may have to go up into the mountains to find some low, clear streams and search for cutthroats.





brown trout


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