Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June fly fishing report: Outwitting Mother Nature

     My fly fishing report last month made a number of fishing predictions based on assumptions of water conditions coming up this season. As there has been a lot of rain and snow since then; much of that speculation is out the window.

     So this report focuses on outwitting Mother Nature. As I wrote about this at length in my book Instinctive Fly Fishing I will quote a few items regarding dealing with all-important weather and water conditions for the fly fisher. 

     First off: as I wrote in the Conditions chapter--Don’t embrace ridged notions. “I’m going to fish the Big Muddy in June dagnabbit! Well the Big Muddy might be too clear in June. Always have a plan B waiting in the wings.” If you are traveling angler be sure and do your homework. Check flow rates by going to “New Mexico Stream Flows” on your computer. But be sure and call the nearest fly shop to find out “what flows they like for that river. And then call just prior to your fishing so you can decide exactly where to fish.”

     When dealing with high flows—as perhaps this is to be expected this month—certain sections and areas of a stream will be better choices than others. Also from the Conditions chapter-- “Trout don’t like to battle heavy currents so look for the fishes in the slack water along the edge of the river.” They also prefer slower pools then; but with the water raging such spots might be far apart. Stretch those legs, and better yet, if river is navigable, float it—and fish only the choice spots. And you can even use your google earth to find “…sections of river with lots of bends will have far more slack water spots then straight stretches.”

     Dirty water usually turns fly fisherman off; but remember they (the trout) gotta eat. Muddy water surely makes for poor fishing but when streams have visibility of a foot or so the fish will likely be active. In fact the trout often move into very shallow water to feed under such conditions because they will feel less threatened from predators. And “off-color” water often contains more grub then clear water.

     Unfortunately in New Mexico the span between waters being too high—and then suddenly too low—occurs in just the matter of a couple few weeks in many streams. This is especially true when you are fishing downstream of irrigation ditches. By paying attention to the flow rates on line you can avoid arriving at your dream stream before its gone dry for the summer.

     Ponds and lakes are at their best during spring as they are seldom effected by runoff. This is also when the fishing is at its best for the year because water temperatures are right. And more importantly the trout have probably not been harassed for some time and much more likely to inhale your fly. Once they have been caught—and released—they all of a sudden scrutinize your leader and the bogus fly you are trying to get them to eat. 

     And as I wrote in the Catch and Release chapter in Instinctive Fly Fishing. “Trout don’t like being caught—catch and release or not.” 

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