Cabin Fever Cure – Spring Float
Ian Kennedy May 4th 2020
The setup we were using on the river was a simple one. I usually use a 9 to 10 foot leader that goes to 4x tippet. With these water conditions you can get away with 3x or even 2x. The fish will not care. I was using a very big Salmon Fly Nymph pattern that I tied, but any dark colored wiggly legged nymph should work. Coming up the rig I tied a tab on using a triple surgeons knot about two and a half feet above the bottom fly. I had a San Juan Worm hanging out and the rainbows couldn’t get enough of it! Another two feet above the worm I tie another triple surgeons knot and trim it clean. I use this to place a large split shot to help the flies get down. This is nice, because your sinker won’t end up by your fly and tangle the rig up!
This time of year most of the fish are still sitting in the deep pockets and holes. If you can read water it helps a bunch! Find soft seams and buckets below gravel bars. If it looks deep and somewhat steady moving chuck you’re flies in it. Most likely there will be a couple fish hanging out. Remember to keep a good amount of weight on your nymph rig. If you run it through a fishy looking spot with no luck, add more weight. You pretty much want to see and feel your flies bumping along the bottom. You will learn pretty quickly the difference between a rock bite and a chunky rainbow! Spring runoff can be overwhelming because of all the water, but the fish are feeding hard you just have to find them! P.S. – When you rent your raft for that awesome trip on the Madison or Yellowstone get the rod holders that we have. I dumped a Helios 2 in the drink…. Had to have a beer after that!