Here are few tips from former guide, Colorado native and RepYourWater Co-Founder Garrison for fishing high water in the mountain west. Keep in mind that every river has its own ins and outs, so make sure to drop in at your local fly shop before you head out...
1. Don't be intimidated - High water can be intimidating, bad visibility and water spilling onto the trail along the river can make anyone think twice; but when the banks are over full you can find some of the easiest fishing of the year. There is usually a lot of food to be had, the fish are pushed right to the banks and with lower visibility they are not as spooky. If you can time your outing to coincide with water levels coming down even just slightly from their peak, this can be a great window. Remember to be safe when wading or floating in high water!
2. Fish the edges - In high water conditions trout do not want to be out in the raging current, so fish really tight to bank structure, or in the case of the photo on the right, in the flooded grass next to the path!
3. Throw big bugs - Whichever specific big stonefly pattern is your favorite, get that leggy chunk of weighted chenille in the water. Big stoneflies move to towards the banks during the early summer as water is high, so tie one on and follow tip #2.
4. The Worm - San Juan, Squirmy, whatever your favorite worm pattern is, high spring flows pump a ton of worms and other food into the river from the banks, and the fish love it. My personal favorite is the ever hideous bubble-gum pink on a solid hook. Try trailing one off of the afore mentioned stone!
5. Wear a RepYourWater Sun Hoody - Yes, this is a shameless product plug, but for good reason! Days are getting longer and the sun is getting stronger, so grab a lightweight sun hoody for your high water, high sun adventure to keep those damaging rays off your skin.
6. Move a big dry - Try the biggest, baddest, foamiest dry in your box and give it a twitch. Visualize a grasshopper kicking on the surface. Sometimes adding a little movement to these big attractors can be the ticket!
Questions or comments?! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 303.717.0267 or stop by our warehouse in Erie, CO!