The Ramblings of a Fly Fisherman

Muddy Water

I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I see a stream that has become murky due to runoff, I typically either head for the nearest bar for a couple of beers or return home to plan a fishing trip for another day. However; after talking to a few guides over the last month, I have been informed that in these situations, all is not lost. There are a few things to consider that could really salvage the trip and provide a pretty effective fishing day.

1. Surface patterns in most cases will be useless, especially small ones. Stick with wet flies like streamers or nymphs.

2. Color will be important. Darker colors will show a better contrast in muddy water than lighter colors. It will be best to use black and olive variations of streamer or large nymph patterns. Some of the guides that I spoke with actually recommended two-tones as well , as these attract a lot of attention.

3. Fish the edges. Often trout will congregate within the overhanging brush or grass along the sides of a stream or within cut banks while the water is muddy. There are better natural opportunities for them there due to increased visibility and terrestrials being caught in the runoff.

4. If the first three suggestions prove to be unsuccessful, head further upstream. Often poor water conditions are caused by a tributary bringing deposits into the main river. Water conditions above that particular area may prove to be better.


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