Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. When I was just a wee lad I remember a fad toy that a bunch of my friends had. It was called the Magic 8-Ball and you were supposed to ask it a question and then shake the toy and an answer would show up in the window. I had really mixed emotions about the toy, I was so jealous that everyone I knew had one and I didn’t, but at the same time I thought the thing was so stupid. The answers were very generic that came out as “most certainly yes”, “not a chance”, and the really generic answer of “that is a definite maybe”. After the last week of answering the phone in the fly shop, I kind of wished I had a Magic 8-ball to answer the questions about the river conditions.
This blog is my best attempt of giving info on our river. I wanted to start by what we have been told and I will finish with my best educated guess. First, we were informed that on Monday, the tear out of the cofferdam above Juniper Bridge would begin and last possibly into next week. With that, we were expecting very dirty conditions. Next, we know that the 15th is the end of winter storage and flows could fluctuate depending on water calls. And lastly, we were told that before the 15th of April, the Reservoir level has to be drastically reduced to a predetermined level and there is a big water release planned for some time in the first two weeks of April.
I had a friend run by the river yesterday to tell me how dirty it was and he called and said it was still clean. I wanted to check for myself and headed to the river today and I was pleasantly surprised. The water had a green tint and very good visibility. So, the removal of the cofferdam has not yet begun and we really don’t know when that will happen but it has to be out by the 15th.
I spent the day fishing and had really varied success. I saw lots of fish on redds, with just a few Billy Bobs harassing them, I saw lots of fish staging and a few fish actively in feeding lanes. I didn’t see many bugs today so the lack of feeding fish didn’t surprise me. The fish that I did land were really prettied up but the battles made me think the fish were spent. And once again, the fish all ate the J-bomb.
Now I wanted to give my own personal opinion of how the river will fish in the near future. With the increase in flows, the water temps have dropped several degrees and the hatches have really slowed down. Last week I was seeing BWO’s showing up but the water was way to cold for them today. Between now and the 15th, look for feeding fish in the tail outs of feeding lanes and try to get really small midges in front of them. If you make the trip and the water turns dirty, put on an egg or a Depth Charge and dredge the deeper pools. Now after the 15th, look for the water clarity to really clear up and we should have some really great feeding days. If you happen to be here on a water call day and you begin to see trash and debris float by, take a break and give the river an hour or so to clear. As we near the end of March and the temps begin to edge up, start looking for BWO’s
As April hits, we will try our best to give info on the lowering of the reservoir. As for April 15th and beyond, I am really hopeful that we will have an awesome late spring season. With the really full reservoir and the relatively low snow pack we don’t have a clue what the flows will do but the construction should be completely done and the water should have great clarity.
Well I’m not sure if that has cleared up any of the questions about the water but I hope that it is better than the answer you might get if you call the shop, “that is a definite maybe”. Fishing is always better than not fishing so get here and enjoy. As Always, Connell, Cat, Winston, the Magic 8-ball and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….