It’s finally here; the long-awaited spring fishing. Delayed Harvest waters are freshly stocked and fishing better than ever with the perfect spring weather we’ve been having lately here in the Highcountry. Now is a great time to get out and hone in on any skills you may have become rusty with over the winter as these freshly stocked fish tend to be more willing to eat in the first few weeks of being in the river. Once arriving at the river, look for deeper runs where it looks as though fish would be stacked up, and more than likely they will be right there! Throwing double nymph rigs tends to be the way to go; fishing a larger attractor pattern as your lead fly, such as a Pats Rubber Leg or larger prince nymph with a smaller midge or emerger pattern below that (zebra midges, soft hackles, splitcase BWO) can be very effective.
That being said, this time of year can be some of the best wild-water fishing we will see with the opportunity to find some bigger browns in smaller water. When fishing skinnier water, often times you will want to avoid big, clunky strike indicators and instead fish a dry/ dropper where your dry fly doubles as your strike indicator. Bulkier dries such as stimulators and elk hair caddis are perfect for these situations as they are buoyant enough to use with beaded nymphs or midges paired with smaller split shots. Fishing and emerged pattern such as a soft hackle or sparkle pupa can be a great way to get a sense of if the fish are eating actual dry flies, or if they are eating bugs that are just beginning to emerge into adulthood.
As always, for more specialized local knowledge and tips on patterns to fish, be sure to stop by the shop and talk with our knowledgeable staff members!
Tight lines y’all!