• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Thursday, June 03, 2010

    High Water Tactics

    Fish Gotta Eat !!
    give 'em groceries
    get your mojo working

    .. Not all is lost. High discharge and colored water provides us with some advantages in catching trout during the "slack time" on the rivers of Yellowstone National Park.
    .. Although we often emphasize the 'color' of the water during this time of year, it's the speed and depth that should concern us more.
    .. In rivers, trout seek those places where they can "lie in wait." They need to conserve energy while waiting for food to gobble up.
    .. This provides fishers with opportunities and situations that are unavailable during "normal flows."
    .. There are fewer good places for fish to hang out during this time of year. Find those places and you find better opportunities for catching.
    .. Insight #1> high water concentrates fish.
    .. The roiling water also rearranges the stream banks and bottom.
    .. Insight #2> there is more food dispersed in the water column in high water times than in low water times.
    .. Fish see better in the water than we do. Insight #3> if they see it they might eat it.
    .. The slowest waters are where the flow contacts obstacles. Insight #4> fish the banks, boulders, seams and bottom.
    .. To take a hint from Muddy Waters, (McKinley Morganfield,) get your mojo working. Or, pick the right flies and places and you don't need to avoid fishing during our high water periods.
    .. Larger flies are the first step in choosing some groceries for the fish. Flies with a distinct silhouette are also important. Color is less important than internal action.
    .. The neighbors use woolly buggers, rubber legs stone flies, San Juan worms, gob o' worms, and classically tied streamers.
    .. The biological imperative is also at work. Hatches happen. Bugs emerge. Trout will feed on the top if the food is concentrated.
    .. So - WHERE TO FISH? Eddies and foam lines concentrate the abundant food. Look for them and at them. Small binoculars are a good tool anytime of the year but they are especially important when examining these area for noses in the air. Try it, you'll like it.
    .. Boulders and snags come into play this time of year. Fish around and behind these obstructions for better catching chances. Try putting an indicator or bobber above a dark spruce fly and dead-drift the soft spots - you may be surprised.
    .. A couple of our contrary neighbors have devised a rig just for this time of year. It uses a bobber on point, with a couple of large emergers or a dry and emerger above. This is the perfect foam-eddy rig.
    .. Precision casting is just as important now as ever it is. Happily, shorter casts are possible because of the water conditions. Shorten up your leaders. Use some weight to get the fly down. Cast a bit further upstream than seems necessary.
    .. Don't catch 'em all.