Originally Posted by Curtis
So, we are experiencing the runoff here in Utah now. We have gotten a ton of snow this year. In some places like 300% of normal, which we desperately needed to end this drought. Some of our reservoirs were at half fill. Almost every one of them is expected to completely fill this year. That is great and all but being a moving water nut, I get pushed off most of the streams this year by high, muddy water. What do you guys do when it gets this way. I am really not into stillwater at all so that is not much of a help though I don't mind casting from the shores of some of our smaller high mountain lakes for cruising brookies. I really don't like tying flies enough to sit for hours at the vise. Basically, I am out every year.
Sounds like you have several things that need to be addressed. I will leave your personal avoidance of stillwater to someone else since all stillwater to me smacks of cholera...
If we assume that trout still feed when the water is high and muddy, which may not be true, but if it isn't, doesn't give you much hope for fishing under those conditions, then two things are important.
there is an interesting book, now out of print, called "what fish see" which details how water clarity, depth and mineral content affects the color of light reaching the lure (fly) and thus affects it's visibility to fish. There is a huge difference in the colorations and materials that need to be used for a fish to see a fly in muddy water compared to clear, fresh water, but it is possible to come up with color and material that is highly visible.
2) Fish location.
They will be holding in different places than when the water is low. I think the same rules apply as far as energy expended per opportunity for food, but these places might be fewer or more difficult to fish so your technique will have to vary.
Highly visible (for the water type, which needs to be analyzed) attractor patterns that will trigger the strike instinct. Fished as deep as possible in slower areas.
This has worked for me to some extent on coastal rivers with high seasonal flow fluctuations due to rain.
Either way, it gives you an excuse to get out on the water and try to beat the odds.