My clients, Terry and Jennie, and I had a great day on Spinney May 5. We hit the water at 8:00 AM near the dam and fished from shore. But to be honest I was a little shocked when I saw how low the reservoir is. It really hit me as I drove by North Bay and noticed…… it’s gone! In 20 years fishing Spinney I have never seen it so low. Dang drought!
This time of year, right after ice off, can be very productive with the right set up and flies. Although many anglers start off fishing from float tubes, I believe fishing from the bank this time of year, when the big rainbows are still congregated close to shore, is the way to go. But don’t get me wrong -- big fish can be had from shore all year long with a variety of approaches. On this particular spring day, the ticket was the traditional strike indicator set up from shore. I had my clients rigged up with 3X leaders and 4X tippet. We used various scuds and egg patterns but the flashabou tail type eggs worked best. Bead head pheasant tail nymphs also worked. The most productive fly? A brown Chironomid size 14 and 16. We static fished the rigs between 4 to 8 feet. The biggest fish to the net – and we landed over 25 fish -- was 24”!
Shore fishing should continue to be good for the next couple of weeks, but then it will be time to bust out the float tubes. Even with the low water level, I expect the Chironomid, Caddis and Callibaetis hatches to be good. And don’t forget your wooly buggers -- they are a must in your fly box!
Want more positive news? Although Spinney is still only 47% full, there finally is more water flowing in rather than out. The Homestake canal was opened on May 1 and is flowing 71 cfs. Combine this with the inlet river flow at 65 cfs, and we have a total flow into Spinney of 136 cfs. The Dream Stream is flowing around 60 cfs so we finally have an inlet flow greater than the outlet flow. With the run-off not yet in full swing, we will hopefully see Spinney at least not drop any lower and maybe even gain a little. Hope for a rainy spring and summer!
And, remember, Spinney Mountain Reservoir guide trips with Kenny Romero can be booked through Angler’s Covey.
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Early season stillwater Fundamentals-Classroom