Spring Fishing Do’s and Don'ts
DO mind the redds
It’s been said a thousand times and we’ll say it again; because it’s important! Leave the redds ALONE! Spring time is a great time for fishing, but it's also the time that rainbow and cutthroat trout spawn. It is important to identify redds and stay away from them, in order to preserve our fisheries and ensure that more trout eventually inhabit the ecosystem. Trout that are spawning are already vulnerable and stressed. There is no need to pressure them any more by fishing to them, and there is absolutely no glory in catching a fish off a redd.
Redds can be identified by a round indentation of clean bright pebbles usually in shallow, moving water. They are formed by trout clearing the area with their tail. Trout do this to remove moss, dirt, bigger rocks, and debris, allowing for eggs to sink safely to the bottom of the river. Having the bed as clean as possible ensures that the eggs have the best chance of being fertilized. Trout on or around these spawning beds are usually very obvious and may be paired together. If you identify a redd, stay away from it. Do not walk on or near it. Doing so risks damaging the eggs, and in turn damaging the fishery. Feel free to stop and watch, however! You can learn a lot about trout from watching their spawning behavior.
DON’T let higher flows and off-color water intimidate you
As the weather warms up and runoff begins, our local streams will start to rise and turn off-color. This presents an opportunity for anglers to fish larger and flashier patterns to less weary and less picky fish! With faster, off-color water, trout have less time to think about what they’re eating. They instead become incredibly opportunistic and will eat readily. The challenge to this is finding where fish are and getting your flies to their depth. Focus on places where the current is broken; such as deep pools, pockets and riffles.
When fishing nymphs, don’t be afraid to add one (or two) more splitshot than you think you need to ensure your flies are ticking the bottom. This is a good time to throw some “trashy” flies like the classic squirmy worm, pat’s rubber legs, and mop fly. If you do get out on the river during high water, make sure to use precaution and wade safely. Water can be very swift and dangerous at high flows, so use your best judgement and be careful out there!
DO fish for warm water species!
During warm periods of the year and during heavy runoff, some watersheds may become too fast or too warm to fish. Have no fear though, you can still go fishing and focus on different species. Warm water ponds and lakes provide the perfect opportunity to catch some great fish and learn a lot in the process.
Denver and the surrounding areas have a plethora of places to get out and fish, even just for a few hours, so don’t think twice about checking out that pond at your local park. You never know where you might find some bluegill, carp, bass or another species that will readily take a fly!
DON’T think twice about hiring a guide!
Having a little trouble on the water? Feel like you need a little help reaching that next level of angling? Hire a guide! A professional guide isn’t just a personal net man. Our guides are all extremely knowledgable anglers that can give you valuable information on specific watersheds. You are never too experienced to learn something from a professional, and you never know; those pieces of information may be the key to catching the fish of a lifetime somewhere down the road.
DO throw streamers!
Spring can be the absolute best time of the year to bust out the 7wt and chuck some meat. High and off color water provide large trout with more cover than during the winter, and they will feel comfortable seeking out larger meals because of this! A streamer is also a great searching pattern, allowing you to cover large pieces of water rather quickly. To step up your streamer game, try fishing a sinking line. These lines allow you to get your fly much deeper, much quicker, which is especially important when flows are higher or when floating, when you don’t have time to wait for your fly to sink.
DON’T forget your favorite river beverage
This ones a no brainer. Don’t forget or you’ll be sad. Seriously. Crack a cold one and enjoy the fishing out there. There’s no better time than now! Tight lines everyone.