Sunday, April 23, 2017

High Flow Scouting On Putah Creek


Putah Creek has been at a stable 900CFS so I thought I'd check it out and give it a go. The creek is generally at around 300CFS and rising this time of year but with all the rain and glory hole spilling over the creek hasn't been fishable all season. I knew my chances of hooking up was low but it was a beautiful day to get out of the house.




High Putah Flows

Despite fishing all the fishy spots and throwing both nymphs and streamers from below the bridge to access 5, I didn't get a single bump. My theory is that because the creek is so deep in certain sections the fish are holding on the very bottom where there is a pocket of slow water separating the fast water. This scenario makes the creek nearly impossible to fish unless you get lucky and find a few fish holding higher up in the seams.

Evil Lettuce Infestation @ Access 4/5

Now for the good news... The majority of the mud and silt that plagued the creek is now gone. The green river is now green again with new aquatic plant growth and rocks I can actually stand on. Unlike the many tailwaters in the valley that were blownout and continue to remain blownout, Putah Creek still remains a healthy fishery with plenty of bug life. During my visit I saw midges, mayflies, caddis, baitfish, and even a few small black stoneflies that I had never seen before. Putah Creek will definitely be fishing well this year but at the moment we'll have to wait until the flows come down.

An interesting food for thought came to me when talking to my local fly shop. I've been reading good reports of fish being caught on rivers that are currently flowing very high and asked if they've been catching any fish out there. The employee replied with some disappointment that in order to catch fish they've been resorting to throwing multiple heavy splitshots, 12ft long leaders, and big indicators. "Might as well start breaking out the spinning rods" the employee said after gesturing the size of the indicators they were using.


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