If you are considering making a trip to the high country this weekend in hopes of finding trout your chances are pretty slim. Water levels are very very high and water clarity is poor. Reports on the Upper Colorado near pump house have been ok, but with the water levels over 6,000 CFS I am skeptical. Your best bet is to stick to the south platte drainage and focus on soft seams and pocket water. A gentlemen was kind enough to e-mail us a good report from 11 Mile Canyon. As always this is a great time to experiment with bigger lead flies while nymphing and don’t be afraid to shorten the leader and move those streamers along the banks. Despite the water being off color and high, fish still have to eat and are opportunistic feeders. If you are stripping streamers always keep moving and hit as much water as you can. If a fish does not take your presentation on the first attempt find another zone. Sooner or later you will find an aggressive fish who is willing to commit. Black Streamers stand out very well against the off color water as well as purple and yellow. Be safe out there the water is swift.
Spring has brought some warmer temps into the state giving us run-off conditions on many freestone rivers. This is not to say that they are un-fishable, they are just not fishing all that well. This weekend I would focus on your closest tailwater river and bring some heavier tippet. Although Tailwaters are dam controlled this doesn’t mean that run-off doesn’t stain the water. Low level snow melts quickly and can reduce visibility to 3-4 feet. This is a great time to switch out the 6-7x tippet for 4x and bigger flies. Heavier flows push aquatic worms and caddis larvae down stream allowing picky trout to feed heavily on bigger flies. Good reports of BWO hatches and solid fishing have come from The Arkansas Below Pueblo Res. A lot of fish have been keyed in on San Juan worms, Eggs, BWO’s and Caddis larvae. This would be a good spot to check out if you are hitting the river this weekend. Keep in mind Tailwater pressure picks up as run-off hits so be prepared to see some anglers.