By Dean Windham 2/5/13
Upriver rating for this week, 4-6
We are seeing some changes this week as the flows recently dropped to 8,000 cfs for a low and 14,000 cfs for a high. When we get a flow change the fish take a while to adjust to the new flows. These flows offer the best of both worlds; plenty of water to drift and fish out of the boat but also lots of areas to wade. There is more sun on the water now that the sun is moving higher in the sky and this also will produce more prolific insect hatches as the days continue to get longer. By the middle of February most areas of the river will be getting some sunlight so spring is in the air. Midges and black flies are hatching almost every day now. Black flies are difficult to match but a very small parachute adams (cut the tail off) fished below a dry fly and just under the surface, in the scum line, suggests the emergers of the black fly and can take some nice fish. Midges are still the best fly with scuds and san juan worms close behind. Dry dropper rigs are really working in the slack water upriver on most days. There have been very little fishing pressure during the week days but weekends are starting to see a little more action now with the longer days and warmer weather. Last week several fish were caught that were over 20 inches so the big boys are starting to show up.
The fish population looks really good and most all the fish we are seeing are in remarkably good shape. It appears that the high flow event had little affect on the trout population or the health of the fish. With the days getting longer, more sunlight in the canyon, and more prolific hatches as we move into the spring, the health and size of the fish should continue to improve. There are a few spawning fish upriver, however, this will be a weak year for spawning trout at Lees Ferry. The reason for the poor spawn is that Lees Ferry trout have an instinct to compensate and have weak spawns when the river’s trout population is healthy and abundant.
Spin Fishing Upriver rating 5
Spin fishing has been good with some really nice fish being caught. Drifting glo bugs has been really popular the past few weeks. Panther Martin spinners have also been very popular with the kastmaster close behind. Spin fisherman have been drifting more that wading, although that is an option with the lower flows.
Walk in Fishing Report rating 4
Most everyone has been catching fish here but it has been up and down with the flows. Mid mornings have been the best with late afternoon also being a great time wet a line. Midge hatches have been observed almost every day so the zebra midge has really been working well.
Glo bugs have also been working most days with san juan worms working well as and attractor fly. The light nymph rig is the set up to use here in the walk in as the dry dropper is not as easy to work with in the faster water.
Walk In Spin Fishing Report rating 4
Spin fishing in the upper boulder field area has been good using kastmasters and panther martins. There were reports that some bucktail spinners were working well below the large boulder last week. Spin fishing really is best in the afternoon after the water comes up.