WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Spring fly-fishing tips from Katherine Grand

Spring is one of the best times of the year to get out and catch trout. The fish are hungry and often congregated in large groups, making it easy to catch one fish after another, once you have found them. As the ice melts, lots of aquatic invertebrates are loosened into the water. Fish are often less selective than they are later in the summer, and I am often able to catch fish on a wide variety of flies, within the course of a day. Finally, as rainbow trout begin to spawn, they are aggressive and often easier to catch. Spawning rainbows also mean eggs are in the water and many trout will happily target and eat egg patterns.

Katherine Grand with a fish.

Katherine Grand with a 20 inch brown trout, caught in the Gunnison River. Photo courtesy of Eric Grand

A wide variety of flies can be effective in the spring. In Colorado, stone fly patterns have always worked well. They are knocked into the water as ice melts and debris moves in the river. When the water is colored during run-off, bright patterns such as red San Juan Worms and Copper Johns work well, also. Midges and BWO patterns are also very effective in early spring. I also enjoy dry-fly fishing, if there is a good hatch and the fish are rising. Finally, streamers can be epic when the water is off-color, or when there is cloud cover. Experiment with your flies as the fish are especially voracious this time of year

First thing in the morning, when the water is still very cold, can be slow fishing in the spring but late morning, afternoon and evening fishing can be great! Fish still tend to be in deep slower moving pools in rivers since they are still cold and somewhat lethargic. It’s typical for fish to congregate in specific areas, so if you are not catching anything, don’t be afraid to move around within a run to find a pod.

Katherine Grand with a fish...

Katherine Grand with a 15 inch brown trout. Photo courtesy of Eric Grand

I hope these spring fly fishing tips help you catch your limit! Tight lines and thanks for reading!

  • About Katherine Grand

    Katherine Grand pens "DamselFly Fisher" and works as Pro-Staff and Dealer Relations Coordinator at Prois Hunting and Field Apparel in Gunnison, Colo. She also guides in fly-fishing waters near Gunnison.