Time for Runoff

1 year ago


I haven't been following the exact conditions for every state but runoff is here in Montana. We had a spring storm system in western Montana and now the sun is shining. Everything is bumping and will likely stay that way for a few weeks. Here are a few ways to deal with the high water.

1. Hit the Tailwaters

The dam release rivers will fish great when everything else is blown out. The only downside is the crowds. The limited options tend to concentrate pressure on these waters but you will find plentiful hatches and willing fish.

BWO's and midges are common in the western waters with opportunities to throw streamers as well. Be respectful and bring your best etiquette. 

Some of our favorite tailwater fisheries include the Missouri and Big Horn in Montana, Green and Provo in Utah, Taylor and Frying Pan in Colorado, Lees Ferry in Arizona and the Lower Sac in California.


2. Stillwaters at Ice Out

If you want to ditch the crowds and target some truly large fish, explore some stillwaters. As soon as the off comes off, big trout start cruising close to the banks. Use a slow retrieve with chironomids, leech patters and buggers.

3x is the lightest tippet recommended to handle these big fish. 2x-0x is just fine as they are rarely leader shy. There are an abundance lakes and reservoirs, leaving plenty of opportunity to explore and find some good ones. 


3. Fish the High Water

Why not just go for it and fish the high water? Worms are flushing off the banks and most the trout are pushed to the softer edges and mid-river structures. Walk the banks and find those soft spots. Leave the boat at home to avoid any major danger. 

4. Stay Home and Tie Flies

If the fishing just isn't going to happen, might as well put on your favorite Pandora station and crank out some bugs. Fill your boxes so you're ready for the summer season. Stock up on foam dries, parachutes and droppers to get ready. Always keep a few streamers on hand and restock the weighted nymphs you broke off on rocks and log jams in the spring.

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