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3 Flies for the Week: May 20

3 Flies for the Week: May 20

As flows continue to rise around the state, we have been utilizing runoff tactics to still have success on the water. Temps this week are going to drop slightly, but runoff should persist through it. The high waters can make fishing tough, but it definitely shouldn't stop you from getting out and enjoying the spring weather.

Many of our local waters have risen significantly in cfs this past week, which has altered the fish's feeding behavior. The Cheesman dam is spilling over, which has increased flows to around 500 cfs in Cheesman and around 700 cfs in Deckers. Flows of this nature allow for the rare opportunity to fish larger weighted nymphs for fish in these sections of rivers.

Small Creeks in the area have also seen a significant rise in flows over the past week and will be high for the flowing month. A fun way to fish these during runoff has been small jigged and articulated streamers. Many of the system's biggest fish will come out to chase small black and olive streamers.

#1 Trina’s Squirm - Red sz 14 (In Store Only)

Many of you who have fished squirmy worms before know that they are not very durable and rarely make it through a full day of fishing. Trina’s Squirms utilize a new super durable material developed by Montana Fly Company, which eliminates problems with durability while still having great action.

While worms might not be the most thrilling way to fly fish, they sure are effective during spring runoff conditions. Cheeseman and Deckers have plenty of dirt banks that get eaten away by higher flows, which results in worms being washed into the river. Trout will hunker down and feed less willingly with high flows, but if they see a large source of protein like a worm, they are more than willing to eat.

#2 Ice-Off Jig sz 10 3.8mm Wine/Pink Bead (In Store Only)

Small jigged streamers are a great way to fish for trout almost anywhere and can be very effective on smaller streams where you can’t fish larger, articulated streamers. I like to throw these flies into slack water across the stream and then let them swing downstream before stripping them back upstream.

I also have had success with the Ice-Off jig on stillwaters this spring. Similar to how it is fished in streams, the Ice-Off jig is highly effective when stripped. I usually allow it time to sink and then strip short and fast with pauses between the strips, which gives it a jigging action that trout can't resist.

I was able to find success using it under an indicator during an early season ice-off mission for cutthroat as well. At times fishing a jigged leech under an indicator can be just as if not more effective than fishing a balanced leech.

#3 HVRT sz 8 (In Store Only)

With the consistent warmer weather, many of the local carp fisheries have been fishing very well. Pre-spawn and post-spawn carp are some of the most eager fish to target and offer anglers the best shot possible at these picky fish.

Here in the Denver metro area, most carp water falls into the category of a small lake or pond. I find fish to be way more spookish and on edge in these bodies of water when compared to larger lakes and reservoirs. I have found that a great way to target these spooky fish is to use a smaller, naturally colored fly, which oftentimes is the HVRT. Using drag and drop or slowly stripping the fly in front of cruising or tailing fish can often result in an eat in my experience. I recommend using a heavier rod like a 6-weight and 1x - 2x fluorocarbon tippet to give you the best chance at making a good presentation and landing one of these picky fish.

I hope everyone gets out on the water and enjoys the spring weather. If you have any questions feel free to email me at or call the shop at (303) 330-1292.


Previous article Overcoming the Runoff Blues
Next article 3 Flies for the Week: May 13

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