Trouts Guide Service River Report- High Flows and Happy Fish
Trouts Guide Service has been on the water every day this week and the reports coming in have been nothing short of outstanding. It's not always a guarantee that a guide will be grinning ear to ear by the time we reach August, however this has definitely been the case this week.
Flows took a major bump earlier in the week, getting back up in that 500cfs range that we've been seeing for the past couple months. It appears they are starting to drift back down though- we're looking at 448cfs as of this writing. From a "catching" standpoint, the fishing has been pretty consistent throughout the day. The key to success has been simply making a few fly changes throughout the day to coordinate with the various hatches we've been seeing.....and as always, making sure your indicator depth is set correctly and you're using enough weight. I firmly believe the majority of anglers fishing the Platte do not use enough weight. If you're not ticking the bottom with your nymph rig with at least a little regularity, or cleaning moss off your flies several times an hour, you probably need to add more weight. Remember, flows are big right now and many of the fish are sitting tight to the bottom catching a little relief from the currents. My rule of thumb for determining weight is pretty simple. Your indicator NEEDS to be floating slower than the bubbles on the surface. If your indicator is not getting passed by bubbles...add more weight. The water running along the streambed is moving much slower than the water on the surface, therefore, if your indicator is moving at the same speed as the surface water, you can bet your flies are wizzing by the fishes faces at an unnatural rate of speed....that is if they are even getting down to them at all. Pay attention to this surface bubbles speed versus indicator speed ratio next time you're out and I think many of you will soon experience the best day fishing you've had in a while.
From a fly perspective, not much has changed since my last report. In the morning, the fish have been really keying in on the prolific Trico hatches we're seeing. Any angler fishing the morning hours would be well served to have a size 20 black rs2 tied on. Make sure you let your flies drift all the way out downstream as well. We've been seeing lots of fish take the rs2 on the swing at the end of the drift. While downstream sets aren't always the easiest, they can still be quite effective as long as you put a little "downstream" in your hook set. If your indicator is completely below you when the fish strikes, make sure your hookset is downstream and towards the bank at your back. Setting the hook upstream, which essentially pulls your flies away from the feeding fish, will never be a recipe for success.
PMD's seem to be the key to afternoon success. A Barr's PMD emerger, or similar light colored mayfly nymph will do the trick in size 16-20. If you happen to be out of such a pattern, a nonbead pheasant tail, two-bit hooker, or small copper john will certainly put fish in the net as well. As far as your top fly goes (most people are fishing the above mentioned nymphs as their bottom fly) I'd still stick with a brown/red/wine colored worm or smaller stonefly nymph (size 10-14). I know several guides (myself included) have seen multiple fish come to their nets this week with a San Juan worm stuck in it's mouth. Get in on this action while you can though. I think we'll see the worm bite taper off noticeably once flows really start to subside.
In summary, fishing is still very good out there and should continue to stay that way. As you know, trout need a good supply of cold, oxygenated water to stay happy and hungry. Thankfully, that's exactly what they've got plenty of right now. Lots of quality fish were brought to the net this week and I expect this weekend and next week to provide much of the same.
If you happen to be in the neighborhood stop by and say hi! Helping you reach your angling goals is our top priority and we're always happy to answer any and all questions you may have about fishing this great state and beyond!