Spin Fishing the Walk-In at Lees Ferry
Recommended tackle: Light to medium light rod. Medium or fast action.
Open face reel with 4lb test line. Line should be new if possible.
Kastmaster type lure—1/4 oz gold or copper
Panther Martin type lure—5 or 6 black body with gold blade
Mepps type lure—-size 2 or 3 black body with black blade
Maribou Jigs—-1/4 oz black, olive, orange
All line and lures should be new and shiny if possible
These are general guidelines, other colors may work but these have been the most consistent producers.
Once you arrive at the Ferry be prepared to take an hour or so to orient yourself to the river environment. Water flows can be as low as 4,000 cfs or as high as 22,000 cfs. This said, the most difficult problem will be getting your lure to drop down to where the fish are. Even at low flows the water is moving quite fast so the first few casts you make you will just be trying to catch up with the lure. You may also at this time want to set the drag on your reel. Make it so that the smaller fish will not set off the drag but the larger fish will have to fight against the drag. The fish are strong and will make strong runs when first hooked so you must be prepared. Keep in mind It is easier to let the river do the work, Don’t force the lure, reel in as slow as possible without getting snagged on the bottom. If you have to take moss off of the lure every other cast you should be just about right. The fish here at the Ferry like to have their food right on top of them. Another tip to keep in mind is it’s not where you cast your lure it is where it comes out that is important. Most strikes will happen in the final third of the retrieve.
When a fish is hooked let him fight a bit, don’t try and drag him in as you will lose him nine out of ten times. Be patient, watch for faster water with slower water on each side of it. This is a seam where fish tend to hold in good numbers. Watch how the fly fisherman drift their nymphing rigs and you can understand better where and how to catch some of the larger fish and catch fish consistently.
Cast up river at about a 45 degree angle and use a jigging motion with the slow retrieve until the lure is about 45 degrees past you . Then lift the tip slightly and bring the tip slowly forward. This causes many strikes as the lure takes a different path and seems to pick up speed. Strikes may occur at any time, even very close to shore, so don’t give up too early, You never know where the big one is waiting.
Once you catch a fish remember to handle with care. Your hands should always be wet, never touch a trout with dry hands as the oil and acids on our hands causes damage to the fish. Most prefer to use a rubberized net due to the hard fighting nature of the fish here. Everyone is encouraged to practice catch and release, however the Lees Ferry area does allow some fish to be kept. You should always check the current regulations before you come up. If you are unsure please call us at Lees Ferry Anglers or check with one of the park rangers.
Last but not least, don’t forget the camera. Lees Ferry has some of the most spectacular scenery in the country.