Tips for Fishing High Water During Runoff in Colorado

Posted: June 17, 2008 by bluequillangler in Fishing Colorado
Tags: , , ,

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad High Water?
    It has been a few years since we had a true high water year and 2008 is shaping up to be a great one. While many news reporters and anglers are moaning and groaning over high water, there are a few of us that are exited about seeing the rivers full again. It can only mean health to our rivers and alot of happy trout. The main thing to be concerned about in fishing high water streams is Safety. Several people have already lost their lives in rafting accidents this year. There is a point where the water is just too high to fish safely. Be careful and don’t take any risk in wading. A wading staff is a great addition to any anglers arsenal to add additional stability in the rough water. Three legs are always better than two!! 
  Can fish be caught in high water? We asked a several of our guides some of their secrets to fishing high water.
 
 
Jim Cannon: ” I  fished Cheesman Canyon at over 2300 cfs and caught fish on streamers right out from underneath the big boulders on the edges of the trail.  My best day in the Canyon nymph fishing was at 900 cfs using double worms and a bunch of weight. When it  reached 915 cfs several weeks ago I took my float tube across the Ice Box and had the opposite side to myself. The fishing was really great using worms, crane fly larvae, golden stones and caddis larvae.”
 
Bob Dye:” Fish still have to feed and I look forward to the challenges presented in high water.  I fish the seams and edges where fish stack up to get out of the heavy current. When visibility is around two feet I like to fish a big dry fly with a bead head dropper along the edges. ”
 
Pat Dorsey: “High water doesn’t bother me, in fact it is an opportunity to become a better angler. I go with bigger flies with flash in them, use more weight to get the nymphs down deep, and look for the soft spots where the trout congregate. Late last week several of us fished the Gunnison at over 3,000 cfs. We took over 15 fish out of one small eddie where the trout had congregated to get out of the fast water.”
 
 Jonathan Keisling: “I like to fish streamers on a sink tip line and also tungsten weighted czech nymphs in large sizes. With the streamer I work the edges down stream, behind boulders in the  eddies and soft water where fish are holding. With czech nymphs I get down deep in the riffles and longer runs. High water fishing is exciting because I often hook into some of the largest fish in the river. Landing them can be a real battle!!!”
 
Steve Parrott: “The main thing is to not be scared off by high water. Focus on the soft water next to the bank, behind boulders, below islands where the water converges and back eddies. I like using a 0 or 1X fluorcarbon leader with a yarn indicator, dead drifting heavily weighted rubber leg buggers in brown and yellow, and black and orange. At the end of the drift a couple of quick twitches will usually produce an additional fish or two as the fly quickly moves up in the water column.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s