Late April and early May snow, followed by the really warm weather means we will see river flows climbing throughout the month. That shouldn’t discourage you from going fishing. If anything, it should encourage you to go because the bugs you will be able to fish can make for some of the most entertaining fishing of the year. The high flows will knock a ton of big bugs loose and push fish to the side. With that in mind, this month I will be choosing my flies along the mindset of “Big and Dirty.” That means a healthy mix of Stoneflies, Crane Flies and Worms.
Pat’s Rubber Legs- This pattern can be effective 365 days a year, but really turns on in high off-colored water. If you enjoy super aggressive takes and seeing your indicator shoot under the surface, then run a variety-pack rig of three Pat’s Rubber Legs in the high flows.
Poundmeister Crane - Crane Flies might be the most underutilized pattern throughout Colorado. High flows will wash a ton of these big bugs into the river and it would be wise for you to have a few of them in your box this time of year.
My last three patterns are all going to be WORMS. We all know fishing in runoff isn’t as sexy throwing a terrestrial to rising trout in August but, how often can you fish 3x and not have to worry about presentation in Colorado? So take a walk on the wild side and enjoy the rewards for fishing the dirty stuff over the next month or so.
San Juan Worms- I am not above having a San Juan Worm on my line and you shouldn’t be either. My favorite color is purple but, really it’s a pick your poison type of bug.
Cannon’s Worm- If you were walking down the street and saw a Juicy T- Bone cooked exactly how you like it, would you pass it by? That’s what I thought, so treat those trout to a nice dinner whether it is their birthday or not.
Squirmy Worms- Purple, Red, Green, Yellow they all will work. Seeing a fish jump with a Squirmy Worm in the corner pocket may be one of my favorite things about fly fishing. Solely, for the fact that it will make you laugh and scream to your buddies “SQUIRMY WORM!”