bigredgolf

Tactics? Higher water in smaller rivers

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Hey guys. Hope everyone is safe and healthy. Crazy times!

 

I have been fishing a stretch of the South Platte that is more similar to a creek in places. Lots of oxbows and at times it gets as narrow as maybe 15 ft, and as wide as maybe 50 ft. With runoff starting here (it's been in the 90s in Denver this week), I am going to have to figure out how to navigate higher water if I want to continue to fish this particular stretch. Let's say I do - I plan to fish nymphs and streamers, and it got me thinking - would you consider using sink tips/polyleaders/sinking lines, etc. in water this small? Flow is about 100 CFS or so and rising. I just have a feeling a floating line and heavily weighted streamer is not going to do the trick. Interested on your thoughts as this is still pretty new to me.

 

Thanks!

Edited by bigredgolf

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for streamers- sink tip or poly leader and some weight of the fly.  Cast slightly upstream and then mend down towards the bank so your fly is swimming head first- and hang on...  Go super stout on tippet- 15 or 20 maxima clear and short- bend hooks before you break off.

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I agree poly leaders and sink tips can get it done if you are using weighted streamers, nymphs and such. Fluro hand tied leaders can also be used with a longer stiff mid section to help with presentation.The hand tied leader does offer  knots to attach weight to as your adjusting your depth. High and fast is always finding the proper depth and correct presentation. Building your own leader is great skill for dialing in this type of challenge. IMHO.

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mono rig can be good for high water. not as fun to cast but works well. like 20' of 20#, few feet of 15#, 1' sighter material, few feet of tippet depending on depth. i like to use 3.3mm beads on #16 jig hooks with whatever pattern you like with a more natural dropper a foot up. you can really feel (and see) the drift when you're at the right depth. sighter will be going slower than the water up top. most people will say you need a euro rod for this but i do it on my 9' 5wt all the time. best thing is it just loop to loops to your fly line so you can switch it out with poly leader, dry fly leader, whatever pretty easily. 

but like someone else said, casting upstream so it has time to drop before the presentation starts is probably the most important thing. couple poly leaders are always a worth while investment to keep in the vest. 

i kinda love high water. i use a tenkara rod when i know its up and fish are on the banks. basically just a fixed line mono rig on a super long 1wt. keeps ya outta the water where all the fish are :)

 

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Contary to what some might think high water reduces the amount of water the fish will hold in as they will be in the softer lies they can find,which usually means near shore.They don't want to fight heavy current,even a powerful fish like a steelhead will take the softer lie vs sitting in a heavy flow.Indicators,egg patterns and nymphs along the seams between fast and slow.

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