Mid-March and its Getting Warmer
Continued warming trend in the area is getting fish to the surface as they feed on stronger hatches of both midges and Capnia stoneflies. Most of this activity in occurring in slow water channels with decent depths and at the tail and margins of riffles. Midges emergers are working best. Low-in-the-film winter stonefly imitations (#16 to #18) are a close second.
Double nymphs rigs continue to work best in the same water as top water patterns and on the margin of seams as well. Go with about six feet of leader at most from line to trailing flies. Shortening it up to four feet will work even better at times.
Streamer fishing continues to produce a wee bit better with each passing week in slower currents near seams and current margins. Smaller patterns are outperforming larger and moderately sized imitations. Go with floating or hover lines and tips in the INT to 3ips range. And slow to moderate retrieves.
Dry flies – Brackett’s LBS, Baby Bugmeisters, Furimsky BDEs, Parachute Midges, CDC Midge Emergers, Pheasant Tail Emergers, and Parachute Midge Emergers.
Nymphs – Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail Jigs, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Lil’ Foams, Zebra Midges, Rojo Midges, and Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa.
Streamers – Rickard’s Seal Bugger, Fruit Rollups, Mohair Leeches, and Slump Busters.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir currently stand at 4,000cfs. Warming air temps is leading to melting valley snow which in turn is leading to cooling water temperatures. This is occurring in the afternoon, so the better surface and shallow nymph activity has been in the mid-morning to early afternoon time period. Midges remain the name of the game with both top-water and subsurface nymph rigs getting into fish on seams, flats, and (for the first time this year) through the entire length of riffles. Action will slow down a bit after about 3pm as the water temps cool.
Streamer fishing is getting better and more targets are available with flows up. Riffle pools are producing, as are seams and banks/structure with slow to moderate currents. Side channels with minimal currents can fish just as well and are really the ticket with streamers from mid-afternoon until dusk. Intermediate sinking lines and sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range is the way to go. Focus on slow to moderate retrieves with hesitations incorporated every so often.
Dry Flies – Renegades, Mating Midges, Parachute Midges, CDC Midge Emergers, Air Flo Tricos, Pheasant Tail Emergers, and Parachute Midge Emergers.
Nymphs – Soft Hackle Prince Nymphs, Rubber Legged Flashback Pheasant Tails, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, and Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa.
Streamers – Silvey Sculpins, Sculpzillas, Booty Call Minnows, Bow River Buggers, Strung-Out Leeches, Coyote Uglies, Slump Busters, Woolley Buggers, and Fruit Roll-Ups.