June 1st - the season of change on the Bow. Water levels are on the way up with spring runoff starting this past week. The warmer temperatures have started the big melt and we are in for higher water levels for the next week or two (very weather dependent). Guided float trips are now headed out on a day-by-day basis as the water conditions dictate. To date, the best dry fly caddis day was Wednesday, May 29th with the water running at 105 cms and now 48 hours later it is running at 165-17. The dry fly fishing is still going strong but we expect that to change as the water continues to rise! And the anticipation of the high-water streamer fishing is definitely up around the shop. With how good the brown trout fishing was before the water went up the hope is that some very good browns on streamers are going to be part of the game for the next couple of weeks. Typically, the fish don’t respond favorably while the water is on the way up but once it steadies out at the higher level its game on! Think close to the bank!
For those who like to drift the city be VERY aware that the city police service marine unit is out in full force and enforcing that life jackets be worn.
Bow river rainbows are starting to return from their spawning areas. You will see some thinner fish as a result. This means we are still seeing good numbers of brown trout being caught.
Flies to try:
Nymphs: San Juan Worn (large wire for wt), peacock leech, squirrel leech, stonefly nymphs like Smethurst stone bomb, Jimmy Leggs, or a #16 dropper nymph (tungsten bead head prince, pheasant tail, tung stud, or copper johns)
Dries: parachute Adams 14 or 16, Caddis patterns like Bloom's Parachute Caddis, Swisher's dancing caddis, or peacock caddis in 14 or 16, stonefly dries like Jake’s trigger Belly foam bug, skid bitch, real stone, fat Albert (fished with a dropper nymph.)
Streamers: black and white clouser, Bow river bugger, Kreelex Minnows, flesh eating sculpin, dungeons.
The reports from the pike fishing reservoirs has been very positive with the warmer weather. Now is a very good time to try it for the first time if you have not done so. If you’re heading out for northern pike for the first time (or 41st time), be sure you’re prepared with wire leader material and longer-handled forceps or hemostats to simplify the release. We have several pike-specific fly patterns and some crossover streamer patterns that will be just as effective on pike as they are on trout. If you just want to try it, you can use some of your Bow River streamers and your 5 or 6 wt to just go and have fun. However, if you are looking to trophy fish then an 8-10wt is more appropriate.
Pike flies to try: Len’s bunny killa, clousers, Kreelex minnows, large Bow River buggers, circus peanut, mice patterns....
Dates to note:June 16th – the east slope streams open! Conditions could be fairly good immediately with some lower snowpack levels in the southern watersheds. Good initially but not so good got later in the season!