Logan River Runoff
Runoff is hands down my favorite time to fish. Don’t run from runoff! Embrace the muddy and high water.
The doors are closing on Winter and opening for Spring. Fish are waking from their Winter slumber and taking advantage of what the runoff is offering. When snow melt pours into the river, it brings a lot of food with it. The higher and faster water is pushing debris down river, which kicks up all the aquatic insects clinging to structure.
This is where the streamer fishing really heats up. The higher and faster water pushes fish into new territory. Fish start to stack up in pockets/runs. Others pick tight shoe box size holes and hold that sucker down! Fish are hungry and very aggressive because they are all competing for space and all the food coming down.
We saw some incredible hatches over the weekend. Mothers Day Caddis are everywhere on the upper Logan. BWOs, and Midges are also present in big numbers.
We had luck throwing a size 14-16 Mothers Day Caddis with a BWO trailing behind it. I had my BWO 12″ behind my Caddis. Midges are kicking butt too. Griffiths Gnat or Goober Midge in sizes 16-20 are working.
Don’t be discouraged by the muddy water. Fish can see just fine but try to target the active risers. You will see their backs barely below the surface. This is a good sign they are looking up for that top water treat.
Oh mamma, the thought of streamer fishing during runoff makes me sweat and my hair stand! Fish are very aggressive right now and will not put up with any BS! Fish are competing right now for space which makes for great streamer fishing.
We have had a lot of luck on a variety of flies. Zoo Cougars and Articulated Cougars in Olive, Natural/White have been working great. Baitfish patterns like a Barely Legal in Olive/White Brown/White are working great too. Other patterns like a Sex Dungeon, Peanut Envy, Kill Whitey are a must in the rotation in the colors listed above.
Nymphing and Streamer fishing during runoff are really hard to beat. Most of the fish are just keeping their mouths wide open while runoff just stuffs their bellies full! When you catch a fish right now, you will notice right away their fat bellies. Just keep that in mind, fish are aggressively feeding right now.
The San Juan Worm is a must and has been our top producer. The Shop Vac was our 2nd top producer. Those two flies were getting fish. My friend kicked my arse in numbers of fish with that combo.
There are a lot of big Golden Stone fly nymphs clinging to rocks. A good Stone Fly pattern like a Pats Rubber Leg is a great option for a top fly/attractor pattern. An Egg pattern is also a good top fly option as well. Now for the smaller bugs.
The Shop Vac was a great fly over the weekend. With all the flies on top of the water, the Shop Vac is a great imitation of an emerging nymph. We got a lot of fish to take the Shop Vac on the swing, which is a telling sign, fish were eating emergers.
Hares Ears and Pheasant Tails dropped below either of the top fly/attractor patterns listed above, are great rigs to use now. Snow Cones, Disco Midges, Rainbow Warriors and Copper Johns are great flies to use.
Don’t run from runoff! Fish it and take advantage of the fish sitting back and taking it easy. Food is just flowing constantly infront of their mouths which makes the fishing a lot of fun. There is more debris in the river, don’t get frustrated when getting snagged. It will happen more frequently now but it is worth it!
Be careful wading! Just because you crossed a section all year long doesn’t mean you will get across during runoff. I crossed a section on Saturday but couldn’t make it even half way across yesterday. Be careful!
Side Note: With the warmer weather, Deer are coming close to the road. Be careful driving and especially at night.
Be safe out there and hook into those fat slimers!