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3 Flies for the Week: May 13

3 Flies for the Week: May 13

Fishing has been great pretty much everywhere the water has been fishable. Local waters such as Bear Creek, Clear Creek, Cheesman, and Deckers have been phenomenal. Big flies have been the ticket for these waters as of late. Fishing bright worms and perdigons have been our best friend on the creeks, but jigged streamers and some dry action has been happening.

The tailwaters are getting a good flush of water right now, so expect to fish the standard tailwater flies in tandem with worms, leeches, eggs, and scuds. There’s also been some action on caddis larva and smaller stoneflies, so having a few in your box wouldn’t hurt. Spring weather persists, but this week definitely looks better than weeks past.

If you’ve been itching to get out, now would be the perfect time to. Aside from the local waters, stillwaters across the state have been producing, as well as the upper stretches of many freestones. If you’re looking to chase something other than trout, pike, bass, carp, and walleye have been on the feed. It may seem like we beat the warmwater thing to death, but we always like to mention it because it’s a fun change of pace and is so close to us! Anyways, let’s talk about some flies that we’d recommend for this week.

#1: Balanced Leech - Watermelon Red sz10

Like I mentioned previously, stillwater fishing has been hot right now! Chironomids aren’t hatching much right now due to colder temperatures, so the fish have been looking for other sources of food. Leeches are arguably the most effective stillwater fly in colder temperatures, but particularly in the spring. Balanced leeches don’t always necessarily mimic a leech though, oftentimes they can double as baitfish, crawdads, damsels, or just look like something tasty to the fish. Black is a great color, but olive or brown are much more versatile colors that can imitate just about anything and turn picky fish into hungry ones. 

For those of you who don’t fish stillwater often, but are looking into starting your journey, I’ll give you a few tips. Bigger rods are useful when fishing stillwaters due to a number of factors. Number one is casting distance. Casting 30’ on a river is oftentimes enough to catch fish in the river, but fishing stillwaters requires further casts. Majority of the time fish don’t hang out right on the bank, so being able to reach fish is imperative to your success. Secondly is the wind. Standard trout rods have trouble casting into heavy winds, so beefing up your rod will make your day much more enjoyable. Third is the size of the fish. Yes, you can fight any trout on a 5wt, but in order to bring in the fish as fast as possible to ensure its long-term survival requires more power. For stillwater fishing we always advise using 9-10’ 6-8wt rods. Another tip is to fish heavy tippet. These fish are not leader shy and in order to land these fish fast and prevent break offs, we suggest using 2 or 3x tippet. One last piece of advice is don’t be afraid to move AND change your flies. There are many times where you’ll be fishing an area where fish aren’t cruising by at all, so being willing to move locations can help. Additionally, changing your flies can be crucial to converting eats. I guarantee if you're in a good area, fish will inspect your fly at all times. But, there are many times where they might not like the size or color. Almost every time I fish North or South Park I’ll fish a fly for only 20 minutes or so before I change it up. If you’re in a group, have everyone fish completely different flies until someone gets something dialed in. 

#2: Two-Toned Dungeon - Yellow/Brown sz4

It’s streamer season! Well actually it always is, but pre-runoff is one of, if not our favorite time to throw streamers. Fish are hungry from the cold winter and in the heavier flows smaller baitfish, baby trout and suckers, and crawdads are finding it harder to find a safe place to hang out. Predatory fish definitely know what’s going on and are taking advantage! The dungeon is probably the most popular streamer pattern in the world, and for good reason. This fly pushes water, has a realistic profile, and can be fished in many different retrieves. Although color isn’t the most important thing in the world, it can certainly be a determining factor to getting fish to eat. A yellow/brown combination is incredibly versatile as it is easily visible in dirty water, but also perfectly imitates a baby brown trout (which our rivers are teeming with). So if the river is clear or dirty, fish the yellow/brown! If you need some advice on streamer fishing, we put together a four-part blog series that is loaded with streamer fishing knowledge.

#3: Twister Egg - Clown sz18

That’s right I put an egg on the list, sue me. Ok please don’t actually do that, I just want to recommend flies that I’d use that’s all haha. Egg flies are a touchy subject with some anglers, but most see them as an important part of a trout’s diet and an absolute essential in their box. Eggs don’t have to be complicated. Clown eggs are the most popular coloration (behind orange of course) due to a couple reasons. The multiple colors provide a natural contrast that doesn’t allow the fish to overanalyze the fly. Additionally, they look cool, and afterall that’s the reason why we grab the majority of the flies that we do. Eggs are still everywhere in the river system as most river species won’t hatch until runoff is over, so the trout know to keep their eye out for them. Additionally, many rivers still have actively spawning rainbow trout. During their spawn many eggs are free flowing in the river from themselves, as well as the pre-existing redds that were utilized by the brown trout in the fall. Eggs are brightly colored, so in addition to working well in clear water situations, they do a great job of grabbing fish’s attention in dirty water.

Best of luck on the water this week and we hope these flies catch a fish or two for ya. All three flies are available on our website and in the shop. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to Xavier on email at, or call the shop at 303-330-1292. Thank you!

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