I fished the lower section of Diamond Fork River this afternoon and I was surprised to find it was quite muddy from runoff.
The fish were deep and fly fishing was difficult. I tried nymphs along the bottom and midge patterns on top but could not get any takers. Kevin, fishing with me, had much better success fishing worms slowly along the bottom. He caught several small trout.
Kevin kept a couple for dinner and we checked their stomach content. I was surprised to find both fish had been eating large stonefly nymphs. I didn’t realize the stonefly nymphs were that big and obviously active at this time of year. I will definitely add some to my box for next trip.
We drove up to Three Forks and found the water was clear up there. That area had considerable snow on the ground in shady areas. Farther down all of the washes had snowmelt pumping muddy water into the stream.
We’ve had several warm days in a row and that has obviously triggered runoff at lower elevations. That will slow as the next storm comes in but will pick up again with the next warming spell.
Runoff is coming early this year. The snowpack is low this year and runoff is not expected to be extensive. Most streams will probably never be blown out by runoff like they are some years.
I expect runoff will start early, be light and end early. When water is high and muddy fly fishing will be challenging but bait fishing may still be good. I have a friend who fishes Rapalas on streams and he claims to have his best success when the water has a little color.