IT’S REALLY HARD TO BEAT STREAMER FISHING HIGH WATER ON TAILWATER’S FROM DRIFT BOAT.
Especially when your wanting to target trophy class fish. Although numbers of trout caught during high water flows usually are lower than fishing during low water flows, the size of your catches generally are much larger. In my opinion, the biggest fish in the river prefer to feed during high water because it’s easy for them to ambush their prey, and they feel camouflaged and protected by the high water flows.
For those of you that fish tailwater’s you probably understand water flows change significantly during generation and non-generation periods. Some tailwaters during minimum flow periods have water releases under 100 cubic feet of water per second (CFS), and when generation is taking place, water flows can be 10-20 times higher. Because of this, it’s very important for anglers fishing high water to outfit themselves correctly, otherwise they may find themselves coming off the water fish-less. Below are some tips and strageties I use on tailwaters when I’m fishing high water conditions.
Tip 1. Leave your 4-5 weight fly rods at home and pack your 7-9 weight fly rods.
Your best bet for going after the big boys during high water flows is fishing streamers. There are some tailwater’s out there where you can still dry fly and nymph fish effectively, but most of the time, if you want to target the largest trout in the river, you’ll want your flies to imitate the larger food sources. Some examples of these food sources are: sculpins, daces, crayfish, and fingerling size trout. These guys are the food choices that trophy class fish prefer to hunt down and forage on during high water flows. Since you’ll be fishing a variety of sinking fly lines and large profile streamer patterns on the water, outfitting yourself with a fly rod in the 7-9 weight range will cut down on your fishing fatigue and allow you to cast much more efficiently. High water streamer fishing is demanding on the fly angler, and ideally, you want to be able to make one or two false casts between presentations.
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