Confessions of a Quarantined Angler: Spring Runoff

It’s a new day in Colorado and stay-home orders have transitioned to “better-at-home” orders. So what changes from our previous circumstances? Not much, really, except recreating within 10 miles of home is somewhat acceptable now. Luckily for me, we’re less than a mile from the Rio Grande. Unfortunately, this new phase of pandemic response seems to coincide perfectly with spring runoff – there’s always a yin to the Universe’s inevitable yang, I suppose. 

If runoff is starting in your neck of the woods – or, if it’s soon-to-arrive – here are a few coping mechanisms to get you through it.

Throw streamers or tandem rigs

Streamers Are A Fun Easy Pattern To Tie In The Beginning
Streamers are a good way for you to learn to tie flies, especially if you’re not used to tying tiny nymphs and dries yet.

If there are two things I love, it’s the trout-take on a big streamer and doubling my odds by fishing a tandem rig. First, streamers. It’s a fish-eat-fish world out there and these flies get that predatory instinct raging in big trout. I usually cast straight across the river or slightly downstream and do a wiggle-jiggle of my rod tip with a steady strip to help the fly mimic a smaller fish. Second, tandem rigs help you double down when conditions aren’t perfect. Trailing a smaller midge below a stonefly can help catch the attention of hungry fish and double your odds of something grabbing at least one of your flies. 

Skip wading, float instead

I know, I know…wading gives every angler easy access to hungry fish. But! If you or a friend can make it happen, now is the time to grab the raft, drift boat, skiff, etc., rig up and float on down. Some of the best fishing can happen from the bow of a boat, so throw those aforementioned streamers and get ready for a fun fight! Smack ‘em off the banks, strip to the boat and get the predatory instinct of hungry trout slamming your flies. 

Stay home & tie some flies

Warning Signs You Don't Tie Flies Enough
Are tying materials literally covering all of your clothes? No? It’s time to tie more flies.

Honestly, if all else fails, grab the vice. Tying flies is fun, engaging and productive. If you’re new to it, no problem. Order one of our Quarantine Kits to get started. On the flip side, if tying is your daily jam, it’s a great way to bulk up your fly boxes. And heads up: flies make great gifts for the moms in your life. Speaking of, here’s your friendly reminder: Mother’s Day is coming up fast (Sunday, May 10th)! You’re welcome.

Find a good whiskey and settle in

Are you sensing a theme to these Quarantined pieces? Whiskey is medicine after all, so what better way to cope with spring runoff than to pour a glass, get cozy at the vice, and busy yourself until the fishing gets better?

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