The sun came out this past week and the catkins are out on the poplars, just in time for the Flower Moon on Cinco de Mayo. This early May full moon did not make for the better-than-average trout fishing as old timey fishing lore implies, with the latter part of last week being tough fishing on the Bow for most anglers. A mid-week bump in flows to over 100cms (cubic meters/second) characterized by debris and loss of visibilty is continuing to make it tough to keep flies from collecting crud. For the next bit keep an eye on your flies as you retrieve and prepare to cast, and remove any hitchhikers that could distort your fly profile so you can maximize every presentation.
Now is a good time to look for brown trout as the rainbows are off doing their spring thing - Keep an eye out for spawning rainbow trout and redds on the side channels and smaller water through the Month of May.
Nymphing and streamers have been the most sucessful techniques since water levels have come up, with a few top water opportunities starting to present themselves. Size 14/16 march browns have made an appearance outside the city, and we've heard whispers of the odd stone fly sighting in town, but visibility and flows might be hindering the dry fly opportunities. If fishing the city and clarity is good, try the dry-dropper technique with a foam stonefly pattern. A sink tip will come in handy for streamer fishing in current conditions.
Run-off conditions are starting on Southern Alberta streams, with the Highwood flowing dirty into the Bow at the confluence. If you're out on the water and it's high and dirty, use caution while crossing or wading, or even better stay on the bank. Precipitation in the forecast could increase flows as things cool off.
Flies To Try
Nymphs: The Bow River trio is back in business - San Juan Worms, leeches, and stonefly nymphs are a solid lineup. Tungsten Peacock Leeches and Wire Worms along with the TJ Hooker Stonefly Nymph are all good chices to get your nymph rig down. Reeses Pieces and perdigon-style nymphs are great alternatives.
Dries: Decently sized foam stonefly patterns make good indicators in size 8 or 10, try Water Walkers for skinnier water, or the classic Skid Bitch for heavier nymph rigs.
Streamers: Coffey's Sparkle Minnow, Kreelex Minnows, and larger leech patterns in olive and black have been getting looks.
A dirty Highwood River and Bow River confluence, May 5th 2023