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Written By: Hans Ziegler and Chip Swanson, Breckenridge Outfitters

Robust, runoff-driven present rips round a bend in an in any other case docile part of the South Platte.
All pictures by Breckenridge Outfitters

Making an attempt to fish excessive and off-color water in the course of the spring runoff in Could or June generally is a irritating expertise that drives lots of anglers off the river. Whereas circumstances throughout these months are sometimes lower than ultimate, there are methods for coping with runoff that may hold you on the water with some success, even throughout peak flows. We offer three of our favourite suggestions under. Please hold security in thoughts whereas making an attempt to wade swollen rivers, and be sure you use a wading belt and a employees, since even small adjustments in present can lead to considerably elevated threat. 

1. Deal with Softer Water Alongside the Edges

Elevated flows tremendously cut back the quantity of potential holding water–squeezing most trout into the few remaining bits of softer water alongside the banks–so you must give attention to fishing these quieter margins. Not solely will that assist you to cowl extra water in a day, however you’ll even have an opportunity to come across bigger, warier fish which were briefly pushed out of the deep, inaccessible areas the place they spend many of the 12 months.

Use gaudier level flies to assist draw consideration to your subtler trailing nymphs.

2. Use Flashier, Heavier Level Flies

Since excessive water is often off-color as properly, strive including some additional flash to your nymphs to make them stand out higher. You can too strive attracting consideration by nymphing with a brightly-colored level fly with a bigger profile–resembling a leech or worm–trailed by a smaller and extra naturally-colored mayfly or caddis nymph. 

Additionally, keep in mind so as to add extra weight in an effort to hold your flies down within the stronger present. Utilizing extra or bigger break up shot will work, however utilizing flies that incorporate heavier tungsten beads or lead wire wraps is usually a more practical approach to hold your nymphs driving within the strike zone. Streamers generally is a nice possibility in these circumstances as properly, particularly when fished from a ship.

Reservoirs are filling up and warming up because the season progresses, making them good alternate options when the runoff turns into too sturdy to securely handle.

3. Deal with Different Choices

If you’re not keen or in a position to battle the excessive water of freestone rivers, there are a couple of alternate options to think about. The most well-liked is to hunt out a tailwater under a bottom-release dam that regulates each circulate and water readability. Be ready to take care of crowds for those who take this feature, which may be notably intense throughout runoff when different choices are restricted.  

Nonetheless waters are another choice, though lots of the high-alpine trout lakes right here in Colorado are nonetheless inaccessible in Could and early June as a result of remaining snowpack. Heat water reservoirs at decrease elevations are filling up and turning over throughout this time, which might make them an interesting substitute till the runoff calms down sufficient to get again to freestone trout streams.

Hans Ziegler and Chip Swanson information for Breckenridge Outfitters in Breckenridge, Colorado.

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