Finding Success In High Water During the Spring Rush

Spring runoff doesn’t have to mean the end of your fly fishing season. With a shift in perspective and some strategic techniques, you can turn high water into an opportunity.

Dirty Water, Happy Trout

Many anglers view muddy, high water as a nuisance, but it can actually be prime fishing time. Trout often feel more secure in off-color water and become more active feeders. While the “perfect” timing for hatches might be slightly off, some of the best fishing of the year can occur during these high-water periods.

Adapting Your Approach

Here’s a story from a fly fisherman on the Green River who encountered unexpectedly high flows during the cicada hatch. Despite the surge in water levels, the angler found success by targeting the churning eddies and full banks, resulting in non-stop topwater action.

High Water: A Recurring Challenge

Runoff isn’t a one-time event. Variations in snowpack, rainfall, and even reservoir management can all contribute to high water throughout the season. Being prepared for these situations is key to consistent fishing success.

Locating Fish in the Fast Flow

Reading the water becomes critical during high flows. Unlike low water scenarios where fish are concentrated in specific areas, trout in fast currents can disperse more freely. Look for “soft-water breaks” – any spot where the current slows down. These areas provide the cover, oxygen, and food that trout seek during runoff.

More to Come on High-Water Tactics

This article provides a glimpse into the benefits of fly fishing during spring runoff. Stay tuned for further tips on rigging, techniques, and fly selection specifically tailored for high-water conditions.

Images/Source: FlyFisherman

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