It appears that we're still on the rising limb of the hydrograph on many of our favorite freestones, with the exception of the Colorado River, which is experiencing a much lower than normal late spring flow regime with low snowpack and significantly lower than historically normal contributions from some of it's larger tributaries. While we're still experiencing runoff on our freestones, the tailwaters are generally flowing low and clear, as the upstream reservoirs continue to fill up.
Like we mentioned in the last edition, fishing on the swollen freestones can still be productive if you choose wisely. Generally, the hydrograph will tell the story and falling water is good for clarity and fishing. If you do choose to fish a freestone during spring runoff, focus your attention on soft water and if you find one fish, chances are you'll find quite a few fish stacked up close to that very same drift. Stoneflies, worms, big caddis, and even blue-winged olives will produce fish. As we progress into June, water on those freestones will start to consistently drop and big dry-dropper and streamer fishing should be off the charts. For more information on fishing "The Drop," check out Shades of Chocolate Milk Part III: The Drop.
On tailwaters, we're seeing lower than average flows. If these flows continue, tailwaters will prove to be a little more technical with caddis, blue-wings, midges, and attractors putting fish in the net. As we progress into June, PMDs will start to pop up, so be prepared with the appropriate nymphs and dries. If flows bump, big subsurface offerings will be the ticket.
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