With spring in full swing we are seeing warm temperatures and buds popping out on the river birches and willows. Soon the rivers will be swollen with the melting snow found high in the mountains. We are all familiar with the high and off color of runoff especially here in the West. Quick side note, please be careful out there. This is not the time to go for a swim. With that said, runoff erodes stream banks, entrained sediment, and transports a host of aquatic invertebrates.
Here is a stomach sample of a trout that was feasting on worms during spring flows.
Fish are accustomed to these situations and will continue to eat during the high and off colored water conditions. So what flies do you use? One on my favorites that has been tried and true is the San Juan Worm and its variations. These worms are being suspending into the water column after being washed away from eroding soils and sediment.
Rainy's sells your garden variety of worm patterns plus several unique signature versions as well.
Worms are an easy meaty morsels for any fish especially since they cannot swim and all over in the water. I think of them as strips of bacon floating down the river and how can anyone resist a strip of bacon? Spring is a great time to fish a worm pattern and match the hatch that is occurring with the high water.
I am sure most of you have fished a San Juan Worm pattern in the past. However, here are a few of my favorites that you should try:
Paul Mason grew up fishing the rivers and lakes of Utah, Idaho, & Wyoming. He began tying flies at the age of ten and has pursued his passion of fly fishing for over 20 years. Paul spent his academic career studying fisheries and aquatic science and obtained his Master's degree in fisheries from Utah State University.