We're in Runoff, But We Still Have Some Fishing
Flows from Palisades Reservoir stand at approximately 15,300cfs. Still around three feet of visibility on the upper reach and around two feet on the lower reaches. Water temps are cool so surface action is not in the cards most days. Nymphs and streamers, however, have been performing in a respectable manner. With the higher flows, fish double and triple nymphs rigs with between nine and twelve feet of leader from your trailing pattern to your line/suspension device. Most holding water types are fishing at some point of the day, but concentrate on eddies, deep riffles, and bankside troughs. Larger and flashier bugs, as well as egg patterns, are working best. With water temps being cold, you may have to work the water you are targeting very deliberately. A couple dozen casts worked in a grid pattern is required much of the time.
Streamers are doing the trick from time to time but are working best on the Swan Valley sections from the Dam down to Conant and in the lower Canyon. Use intermediate sinking lines or sinking tips in the 3ips to 6ips range and target banks and structure with moderate currents, bankside troughs, side channels, and seam current margins. The inside turns on riffles are also worth a poke. Larger patterns are outperforming more moderately sized baitfish imitations.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Kaufmann’s Black Stone, Bitch Creek Nymphs, Peach Fuzz Nymphs, Duracells, Brush Hogs, San Juan Worms, Squirmy Wormies, Veiled Eggs, Yarn Eggs, and Otter’s Soft Milking Eggs.
Streamers – Galloup’s Dungeon, Keller’s Nightmare, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Booty’s Quad Bunny, SRA Bunnies, Silvey Sculpins, Jointed Urchins, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, and Flesh Fries.
The Green peaked last week, then receded with cool overnight temps, and is now slowly rising again (emphasis on “slowly”). Visibility is decent – 18” to 24” range – but water temps remain cool. The day can start at around 38 degrees and finish around 46 degrees most days. This will require targeting holding water with some precision and fishing hard. The reward can be some bruisers clearing 20”.
Nymphing has been best when targeting undercut banks and submerged structure, eddies, confluences, and eddy current margins. Start rather shallow with your rigging (four to six feet from trailing fly to line/suspension device). This is producing most days, but if action is lackluster, go deeper (seven to nine foot range).
Streamers are working in the same water as nymph rigs, with banks and structure taking the cake. Moderately sized baitfish imitations are outperforming their larger counterparts. Whatever you choose to use, go with slow retrieves and hesitations in your line strips every now and then. Throwing a mend into your line after your finally cast and pausing before your initial retrieve is paying dividends. Fish them on floating lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Nymph Formerly Known and Prince, Rubber Legged Flashback Hares Ear Nymphs, Duracells, Egan’s Blue Dart, San Juan Worms, Squirmy Wormies, and Gob-O-Worms.
Streamers – Galloup’s Boogeyman, Galloup’s Zoo Cougar, Sundell’s Nightfire, Silvey Sculpins, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Arum’s Lil Kim, Chicklets, Booty Call Minnows, J.J. Specials, and Sculpzillas.
New Fork River
The New Fork is producing well in terms of size and some days can produce well with numbers. Fishing has been best on the upper reaches from Town down to Boulder but the lower reaches should not be ignored. It really comes down to a different in clarity, with the upper reach having a few inches more.
Streamers are working well in the morning but taper in production later in the afternoon. Floating lines or INT sinking tips are the best way to go. Use moderately sized patterns and target banks, structure, shallow inside turns, troughs, and side channel confluences.
Nymphs rigs are somewhat subpar in the morning but start to hammer it home from 11am until after 5pm. Target banks, structure, riffles, confluences, and seams. Go deeper than you think you should. If you feel like six feet is the safe bet, go deeper by another two to three feet.
Nymphs – Rubber Legged Flashback Hares Ears, Chez’s Glasshouse Caddis, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Two-Bit Hookers, Lightening Bugs, Bubbleback Pheasant Tails, Squirmy Wormies, and San Juan Worms.
Streamers – Sundell’s Nightfire, Gongas, Dali Llamas, Chicklets, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Krystal Buggers, Kiwi Muddlers, Beldar Buggers, and Clouser Minnows.