With the days starting to lengthen, thoughts of the upcoming seasons start to get the juices flowing. Bugs are starting to move a little more, and ice is receding in some spots. Don't get me wrong; there will still be storms, ice, snow, and sub zero temperatures somewhere in the future, but for now the warmer weather has me thinking of what is to come. The Dream Stream in February, with all its wind and lake run bows. The lower Colorado with its clear Spring flows and fish chasing streamers. The baetis hatch BEFORE the caddis on the ARK. There is good stuff ahead of us.
- Randy Hicks
Most recently there was some excellent streamer fishing for a group on the South Platte. The fish were eating anything as long as it had a wiggle to it. Articulated streamers, string leeches, etc. Big bows and cuts up to 24 inches. The standard nymphs were working, but while stripping in a nymph rig with a string leech on it, one of the bigger bows of the day slammed the fly and broke it off. Lets try some dungeons. The rest of the afternoon had lines tight as several big boys came to net. Some of the larger, deeper pools and runs produced several fish, and NICE fish on the 30th or even 50th cast. Normally, I am one to say cover more water with streamers, but the action on some of the articulated streamers these days is insane. The flies literally make the fish eat, because of the crazy action they have. Try a Bottoms Up or a Monkey Butt and see what I mean. It's like a BANJO MINNOW! These flies are fun to tie as well, and with some of the new stinger hook kits out there, they can be easier than you think.
Streamer fishing can be a lot of work, especially when the mercury is below freezing. Ice in your guides will have you cursing and perhaps losing the biggest rainbow of the day, or the year, or that you have ever seen... Todd. When it does come all together, the day can be one for the books. An overcast day. Cold without many bugs moving. Maybe a spit of snow or ice. You and a couple of buddies swinging the junk looking for players. Big rainbows turning on streamers gets my attention for sure. Won't be able to go for another week or so, but by then it might be On-Like-Donkey-Kong! See you out there!