By Terry Gunn
All the Lees Ferry Angler guides agree: This spring provided the best and most consistent fishing that we have seen on the river since 1999. The trout are in great shape, strong and eager to eat … at least most days. The fishing is not as "easy" as it was in 1999, as a matter of fact; I would call the current fishing conditions technical. But if you know where the fish are and can make the cast and the perfect drift, and use the right fly you just might hook the strongest trout of your life. (A Lees Ferry Anglers guide can help you with the above.)
The water flow is going to change in June and this will change our approach to fishing. Most likely the midge fishing will be finished until we see lower water flows. Our focus will be shifting to drifting out of the boat and wading only in lower water flows. July will bring Cicadas and the best dry fly fishing of the year. Our cicada fishing rivals that of any other river in the country and happens most years. The summer drift fishing is often the best and most productive fishing of the year. The high summer flows will also be great for the trout by providing more drifting food. I can't wait to see what our fish look like this fall; my bet is that they are going to rapidly grow all summer and be fat and sassy this fall.
Midge fishing at Lee's Ferry continues to be the ticket for most areas of the river. The midge hatches are not as heavy as they were earlier in the month but the fish are still eating the sub-surface emergers. If you are not using 7X, you are not going to catch fish.
The water flows that began March 1 appear to be the best flows of the spring; the water is
starting low and sloooowly rising throughout the morning, with the peak arriving at or near noon.
The trout spawn is winding down. We saw the best spawn that the river has experienced in years. Most all the spawn is occurred in deep water which bodes well for fry survival and future recruitment of juvenile trout.
Word has it that the "walk-in'” is fishing very well. There are times in the spring that this
area actually fishes better than upriver. Look for this area to continue fishing well until the summer high water arrives.