I never thought I would say this: I think a return of some cooler weather with some rain or snow is needed, or at least clouds and rain with mild air temperatures.
The weather the past week or so has been great; however, the high pressure system combined with clear water and high sun has made the fishing tougher than one might think. Our lack of snowfall is having its effect on water levels, and there has been very little run-off to warm-up the water and reduce clarity. But help is on the way – or at least it is forecast — some rain and snow should really make for some great fishing in the weeks to come.
The indicator fishing for both steelhead and trout is an angler’s best friend; it helps to monitor a drag-free drift and also suspend flies above the sheltering timber. The slower and deeper water is best, but with more people out enjoying this weather, the smaller in-between spots should be fished too. Pale egg patterns have been working lately, but look for that to change as the water comes up and gets a little dirty. Small black stones are coming off the local rivers and with the increase in solar temps – more nymphs are moving around the bottom. Have your favorite hex and caddis larvae patterns in your box.
Trout fishing has been tough at high sun, but when the sun is low or covered up, it’s significantly better. Nymph fishing is your best bet, but some of the bigger fish are looking to eat a streamer. Still, the clear water is making presentations of both techniques demanding. Lighter lines, drag-free and slower retrieves.
Ted Kraimer is a professional guide and fly tier, owner of Current Works Guide Service, and field editor for True North Trout. His fishing reports will continue to appear in T|N|T and on his website.
NOTE: Ted is offering a great winter fishing special of five hours of guided fly fishing and lunch for only $250 — available through March 15th. Check it out.