Conditions on the Bow are leveling out after a wetter-than-normal couple of weeks.
With the Elbow flowing at 2 1/2 to 4 times faster than average until yesterday and the pockets of rain throughout the Bow Valley the river's been running high and dirty since the first of the month. Now the projected flows through the weekend see levels remaining stable and in the average range. The Elbow has also dropped back to "normal" flow rates.
Everyone can now take a deep breath and resume fishing.
With the improving conditions the fishing has already picked up noticeably. Floating anglers are getting fish on streamers, nymphs, and the occasional surface eat. Bankside anglers can effectively fish a streamer or stonefly dry from shore. A stonefly dry with a leech or stonefly nymph dropper will prove very effective in the coming days.
Fish Tales guides are reporting improving conditions with each day. Deep water nymphing has proven successful and streamer fishing with a double streamer rig with the back fly being a leech is starting to produce. Occasional takes on dries are also happening and keep the interest piqued for most anglers.
As always on the Bow your success is likely to increase if you work a variety of techniques during your time on the water. Although this is typical stonefly dry season we are hearing limited stories of successful dry fly outings. We are pretty confident that as levels continue dropping we'll see an increased number of adult stones as well as fish keying in to them. Caddis and Pale Morning Dun mayflies are still in abundance so don't leave your small dries behind.
Flies to try:
Dries: Swisher's dancing caddis, Bloom's Para Caddis, Pavlovich's chubby stone, Skid Bitch, LSS chernobyl.
Nymphs: peacock leech, Aaron's BT leech, san juan worm (SJW), Smethurst's Stone Bomb, Rubber leg squirrel, gummy stone, lightning bug, copper john, prince nymph.
Streamers: black and white clouser, Bow river bugger, Kreelex minnow, She-Demon Bugger, skiddish smolt.
We've been receiving mixed reports from folks who've been to the East Slope streams this week. Some are having great success with green drake patterns, small stimulators, beadhead nymphs. Others have been enjoying a good hike in a beautiful part of the country 😉. If you're headed out it's a good idea to be prepared with a variety or attractors, some large streamer patterns (pink may be a good idea), and nymphs like stoneflies and lightning bugs.
Be cautious while wading on the Bow and other area streams as the ground is saturated and could let-go with added weight. Other than that expect clarity and fishing to continue improving.