With the Yakima running high and off-color over the past several days, we have turned our attention towards the Columbia basin, home to many great stillwater fisheries, as well as one of the best places in the state to catch large rainbow trout on the fly, Rocky Ford spring creek.
The Ford has been fishing well (as it usually does) with a variety of techniques putting fish in the net. Todd was guiding out there today and reported success on small (#18-20) midge pupa patterns. Zebra Midges in red, olive and black are great pupa imitations and super easy to tie if you like to wrap your own bugs. In addition to midge pupa, scud patterns in olive, orange, and pink should all take fish on Rocky Ford, as well as damsel nymphs, eggs, and small mayfly patterns like PTs and WD-40s. Small is often the name of the game out here so be sure to carry the aforementioned bugs in #16-20. Fishing lighter flourocarbon tippet will also up your odds; our guides generally will run 4x to their lead fly and 5x to the smaller trailer.
If fishing small bugs and light tippet isn't your thing, streamer fishing can be productive on Rocky Ford as well. Keegan put some absolute bruisers in the net pulling sculpin patterns through the shallow water last week. Look for overcast skies to help the streamer bite, and don't be afraid to change up your retrieve speed, sometimes the fish really want the fly moving fast, other times a slow, rythmic retrieve will get more interest. If you are dying to fish and hate runoff, go check out this awesome little spring creek, it's a great place to get your fly rod fix this mud season!