Runoff is almost over (makes me sad) and the Cutthroats are spawning. Browns are feeding aggressively and the Cutts are focused on producing future generations of slow fly takers! Cutthroats frustrate me so much, they take all the time in the world to eat a fly, ugh! I also saw some unique nymphs that get my heart racing.
We did get a few fish on dries. But we also got rejected by a bunch of fish close to the surface. They were not even giving our flies a chance! Which is rare with Cutthroats because they are very curious fish. We quickly realized they were spawning! They wanted nothing to do with the flies and just wanted to focus on the future.
If you come across a group of Cutthroats, observe them. If you see them flashing or moving in and out of the run, they are spawning. You will see them chasing eachother in and out of the bed. It is a lot of fun to watch them because they are so active.
The fish that we did get on dries took: Blue Winged Olives, PMD Cripples, and Yellow Sallies. We kept these flies on the smaller end, sizes 16-20. I used a Yellow Sally size 16 as an attractor and followed a size 18 BWO behind it.
The BWOs we have seen are small, and we have seen Midges as well. Size 18 Griffiths Gnat and Goober Midges are excellent flies to throw.
The fish have been very aggressive towards the meat! It can be slow and frustrating but rewarding. Bright flies have been the way to go. White and natural Sculpin, as well as Baitfish patterns have been getting fish. Virginia Slim, Zoo Cougars, Butt Monkeys, and Sex Dungeons, are great Sculpin patterns to use. Bait fish patterns like a Barely Legal or Peanut Envy are a must. These flies in White/Olive, White/Gray, White/Brown are great options.
With runoff still going on, nymphing is a great method to stick a piggy getting greedy! Remember runoff is bringing debris and big numbers of food down with it. Fish are not being too picky but one fly you will want to add to the mix is a Gren Drake! I spotted some Drake nymphs, make sure to bring those.
Can’t go wrong with a San Juan up top or a Rubber Leg. Those are great attractors right now. Dropping a size 16 Pheasant Tail or Hares Ear below the San Juan is a great rig. And the usual suspects are great choices too: Copper Johns, Disco Midges, Shop Vacs, and $3 Dips.
Runoff is still going strong but don’t let that stop you! The fishing has been productive. If you see a group of Cutthroats flashing or moving aggressively, they are spawning. If you are throwing meat, be patient. It can be very frustrating at times but it is very rewarding. If you are nymphing, remember there is a lot of food coming down river. The fish are not too picky but bring Green Drake Nymphs! They will be taking to the skies very soon!
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