Dirty Laundry

Why do fish pound it one day and ignore everything the next? In the spring, there are 3 major factors to consider when streamer fishing.
#1: Spawning Rainbows:
Simply put, if you are getting your groove on for the first and only time of the year, you are not going to roll out to chase a double cheese burger down the hall. Leave the Bows alone during this critical period and chase the Browns sitting downstream. We sometimes go weeks with only Browns chasing meat and then one day your net realizes that the Bows are done doing their deed and they are hungry. Browns are the top predator anyways, consider the Rainbow's a bonus.
#2: Mother Nature; Water Flow, Weather, Water temp:
Low cold water after winter can be tough. High mud at the peak of run off can be dangerous. What’s in between is pure candy for the sock fisherman. Watch USGS Stream Flow Data daily, find out where the daily peaks and valleys occur and start to keep a mental journal. Good flows to float pre-run off can last 2 days or a month, you never know. Low flows can sometimes mean fish are not on the banks where we love to aim. That usually means the boat is over the fish, which makes things tough. Medium high flows push fish to holding lies along the banks and boulders, but now the boat is moving faster. Cold spring weather can slow flows, make water colder, and turn the switch off. Warm spring weather can make water colder also, so just because it's 70 doesnt mean the water is getting warmer also. A flow of 500 cfs with the water temp of 50 fishes a lot better than a flow of 500 cfs with a water temp of 40 degrees. Any big drops in water or air temp can stall streamer fishing for a day or two. Dark, gloomy days always are best for streamer fishing but spring seems different. Unlike the fall, fish will chase streamers on sunny days in the spring.
#3: Menu:
I have ignored rising fish and blanket hatches to jig rabbit in the spring and it has ruined my day. A perfect flow of clear water and fish eating BWO’s can make for a long day. That same flow, stained water and no bugs can lead to fruit. After a long winter of eating tiny little stuff, a big boy bait can be just the ticket, but so can those first hatches of spring. If the hatch is prolific like Caddis and BWO’s, it’s just like the first sighting of the ice cream truck. The kids arent gonna eat dinner.
Why is streamer fishing every guides favorite way to fish?
Because we have time to play and it’s usually a major leaguer on the rod. No peep means you can pick and choose who might get to raid your laundry basket of socks. It’s probably not going to be a rookie. It’s not an easy day throwing a 6 or 7 weight with tandem streamers and sinking leaders, so if somebody is asking for it, they probably have skills. The progression towards streamer fishing usually delivers me a peep with enough skill to mold into a junkie. They have nymphed and thrown drys, been in a boat and with a guide before. The chase of a big fish has become important for the resume and they realize that a degree in Tandem streamer fishing will help. Bottom line? Streamer fishing with a skilled angler brings big fish, loads of energy and laughs to the boat.
Want to try?
Get excited, it’s the best time of year to fish. Mid March- Peak Run Off is one of the quietest times of the year as far as angling pressure goes. It’s a great time to get deals on guides, lodging and food. As the resort closes here in “The Beverly Hills of the Rockies”, the first of a bi annual phenomenon, we call "The Dead Beat / Trust Fund er Behavioral drift" happens. Half of everything is closed, three quarters of everybody is on a beach somewhere and the fishing is sicko. It’s almost like the fish know and they like to reward the die hards by eating shit that looks like dirty laundry.
My official fishing report for the Eagle river the next ten days is: Book a boat immediately!
Awesome pics by the genius that is JMac.
The bug has been officailly named for the last time. Sam's Sock. Available in #4 and #8, Fox Variant, Olive Variant and Black.