April was a lion of a month weather wise but May has come in as gentle as a lamb. Over the years I have come to look forward to the months of April and October with great anticipation. In April the summer fishermen have not arrived yet and by October they have all but left. Leaving the local rivers and streams mostly empty and wide open for uncrowded exploration. April presents me with spring Baetis, a few March Browns, maybe a Skwala or two, midges, a few early caddis and hungry rainbows. During October I look forward to fall Baetis, midges, maybe a few lingering Mahogany Duns, hungry rainbows and aggressive brown trout. This April’s unfriendly weather restricted me to the fewest days onstream during any April in my entire flyfishing life. So, goodby to April 2017 and hello May. We have a week of great to weather days creating near perfect fishing conditions. Mother’s Day caddis are in full hatch mode, March Browns are out in decent numbers, midges are still a good early morning event and the fish are very active.
Box Canyon: 1240 cfs. There have been few reports coming from the Box possibly because the lower river has been fishing so well. If I were to give the Box a try I would throw the old double nymph rig under an indicator. A rubber leg (black, brown or coffee and black) with a smaller beadhead nymph as your trailer (red, black or purple Zebra Midge, San Juan Worm or King Prince).
Warm River to Ashton: Flows are up but the water clarity is OK. The caddis are out in full force and the fish are looking for them. I like fishing a Peacock Caddis size 14 or 16 or a CW Egg Laying Caddis same size behind a size 12 or 14 Purple Haze. If the fish are not taking your dry flies try dropping a size 14 or 16 Ram Caddis or olive Zebra Midge underneath the Purple Haze or the caddis adult imitation. Nymphing with a rubber leg and a San Juan Worm has also been producing good results. For the streamer junkie we recommend trying an olive and white Barely Legal.
Ashton to Chester: This is where the real action has been. Adult caddis and March Brown imitations have been producing some real nice, 20 inch plus, fish on dry flies. My favorite caddis imitations are pretty much the same as the ones I use in the Warm River to Ashton section with the possible addition of a Harrop’s Bubbleback Caddis. For the March Brown I like a Harrop’s March Brown Last Chance Cripple. Nymphing with rubber legs and beadhead droppers continues to produce excellent results. Streamers are also producing some nice action in this section of the river. I might suggest a Sculpin Sparkle Minnow and a olive/white Barely Legal.
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