Big Bugs Bumped Back and More
I was watching some video from some of the great fish and great fishing we had last Summer (YouTube Video) and noted that the dates were about this time of year. Then I look at the rivers and stream flow reports. What a contrast. The water is still high and brown on many streams, flooding on others. If this is happening in your area, you're not alone. However, not all is lost. Here's what happens during these types of ultra high water years:
- Big hatches of big bugs sometimes happen during high water but most of the time they get bumped back a few weeks. Water temps in mid July are going to be where water temps would normally be in mid June so we'll see many of the same hatches. Luckily for those of us here in the West that means Green Drakes, Brown Drakes, Stoneflies, and Salmon flies. Mmmmm, tasty.
- Fish get really healthy in these years. The high flows push all kinds of big nutritious food down the river and fish take advantage. Fish caught in July and August this year should be stout and strong.
- The high flows in high energy rivers, especially those that are not dammed, tends to carve out new holding spots for trout. It moves logs and even boulders to new spots. You get to rediscover your river this summer. You would think this would be tough on fish. Usually it isn't though. They simply adapt and move into the new fishy spots when the water goes back down.
- High water can help turn your stream into a bug factory! Many rivers fill with silt during low water years and need to be scoured out. High water open up clean space in the rocks and gravel and bug numbers jump in the years following. This is especially noticeable with those insects that like high oxygen like stoneflies and many mayflies.
Yeah, the water is high now, but even brown rivers have a silver lining. If your water is still high, just make sure you're ready to go in a few weeks, it should be a great summer of fishing.