May 1, 2016

Fishing during run off -- April 29, 2016

April and May (and sometimes June) are hard times for me to fish, since that is the time when the spring run off occurs in my part of the world.  As the mountain snow melts the water levels rise and the turbidity increases. On some of my favorite streams the water levels rise to a point where it can be dangerous to wade. So either I fish spring creeks or I don't fish at all.

The maze -- willow, dogwood and black hawthorn.

Yet, there are a few creeks near where I live that arise from lower elevation mountains that have less robust run off flows. I visited one of these today.

The stream I visited is a cutthroat stream. The cutthroat spawn is just finishing so it's less of an issue to fish now.  The water today was fairly high, for this little stream, the color was off, and the turbidity was high. Yet I caught trout. I'm always amazed that the fish can see my fly -- even when my fly is a worm pattern.

I was alone on the stream, unless you count a visit from a moose (and a couple of geese). There was a lot of Black Hawthorn that made getting to the stream fun. I hope my waders survived the army crawl on the way out!

I used the Suntech Suikei (medium action) keiryu rod, but I could have used the TenkaraBum 36 just as well. They cast about the same, but I like the various length options provided by the Suikei.

My Suntech Suikei.

Black Hawthorn -- go under, but don't go through!

My moose friend -- on his way out. 

I fished for my usual 1.5 hours and took 10 fish -- not bad given the water conditions. The air was 52°F and the water was 40°F.  All fish were wild, native cutthroats. Most were around 10 inches. The last one came in at 14 inches -- it was a beauty!

Last fish -- a real mountain treasure!


  1. Enjoyed the spring outing report and seeing the Suikei in action, thanks.

  2. Nice post. Those look like Bonneville cutthroat trout.

  3. Awesome video... nice fish there. Question - what is that snap on line winder? I like that thing...

    1. I reviewed it here:

  4. Nice pictures, Tom, esp. the moose. I love moose... Anyway, is that a Bead Head San Ron Worm?



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