Runoff continues to ramp up as we approach the summer season. Fishing on rivers and streams will be difficult throughout the week ahead with increased runoff, decreased water clarity, and difficult to potentially dangerous wading conditions. Anglers who pay attention to stream flows and weather patterns can find windows of opportunity. Cooler evening temperatures can temporarily inhibit runoff, providing windows of steadier flows and increasing clarity. Anglers should focus on fishing around cooler nights and days, and concentrate on higher elevation tributaries at this time to find the best stream and river fishing. The Laramie Plains Lakes continue to fish well this spring and will be a great option for anglers who do not want to battle with volatile conditions on the rivers and streams.
With cooler temperatures in the forecast heading into this weekend, expect a brief pause in runoff with a potential window for solid fishing conditions on the rivers and streams over the weekend. After that, warming temperatures next week will likely cause runoff to approach peak levels as we head into the second half of the month.
Again, anglers looking to fish rivers and streams should utilize large, dark fly patterns as their fly patterns will stand out more against the murky water.
Always use extreme caution when wade fishing during runoff season.
Upper North Platte
Flows: ~ 1000 cfs
Conditions: Runoff conditions; flow rates gradually increasing with decreasing water clarity. Look for windows of cooler weather and stalling or dropping flow rates for the best fishing opportunities.
Flies: Rubber Legs, 20 Incher, Copper John, Devil Jig, Sculpzilla, Double Dirty Hippy, Black Wolly Bugger, Black Wedge Head, Scuds, San Juan Worms
Flows: ~ 750 cfs
Conditions: The Laramie is consistently increasing in flow rates and decreasing in visibility. Focus on fishing near the banks with large, dark fly patterns.
Flies: Rubber Legs, 20 Incher, Scuds, Devil Jig, HDA FAV Variant, Black Sculpzilla, Black Wolly Bugger, Black Wedge Head Streamer, Black Double Dirty Hippy, San Juan Worms
Flows: ~ 150 - 500 cfs
Conditions: Runoff conditions; high flows and decreasing clarity. Higher elevation tributary streams will be the best option within the peak runoff window, as they will be much more manageable to walk and wade, and will generally retain water clarity much better than the bigger main branches. Continue to focus on working slower water along the banks with large, dark fly patterns.
Flies: Black Sculpzilla, Black Wolly Bugger, Black Wedge Head, Brown Double Dirty Hippy, Platte River Spider, Rubber Legs, 20 Incher, Scuds, San Juan Worm
Conditions: The Plains Lakes continue to provide quality fishing this spring, and will be the best option for quality fishing available to anglers during the runoff period. Fish are still on their spring patterns, so stripping a baitfish or crayfish pattern, or a chironomid, midge, or scud underneath an indicator in 3-10 feet of water should provide results. Look for increasing insect activity in the coming weeks.
Flies: Hell Razor Craw, Wolly Bugger, GB Crystal Bugger, Pine Squirrel, Chironomids, Scuds, Olive Hare's Ear, Zebra Midge, WD 40