Two Fridays ago had some friends up and they wanted to go fly fishing the lmf. My expectations were very low and was expecting huge crowds. Two of the four had never fly fished before so my day was probably gonna be more helping them than fishing myself. Got to the fly shop for some supplies about noon and hit the spillway creek about noonish. To my surprise there was only one other car there so the fear of crowds diminished somewhat ! But with the excessive heat and afternoon start I still wasn’t very optimistic about catching any fish. I tied on egg patterns on the. Rookie rods and got them working ….sorta Long story short we worked close to the dam for a while then wandered downstream about a mile. In about 4 hours we did much better than I expected. Between the four of us we landed about 25 fish. All pretty small stockers (10-12 inchers ) but we didn’t care. Egg patterns and San jaun worms landed all of our fish . Prob gonna hit it again by myself tomorrow. I don’t like that upper spillway area Just too rough for me to walk/ wade but the water is cold and fish still a little active. I typically only fish here from Nov thru Feb but have been up about 5 times this spring / summer and caught fish each time.
To access Spillway Creek: Base of Spillway Creek - At the Bluffs you can park on the side of the road. You're at the base of Spillway Creek.
Lower Spillway - Cross the bridge, headed upstream. A couple of hundred yards on the left is a dirt parking lot. A wide trail from there goes down to the river.
Upper Spillway/"Cardiac Hill" - Keep driving uphill/upstream. At the intersection, head left toward Hochatown. About a mile(?), just before the Spillway itself is a small parking area on the Left. A trail goes down kind of steeply to the river.
The Spillway - On the other side of the Spillway dam a road goes down to the base of the dam.
Fishing it: Find a way to get deep in the many pockets and plunge pools. Heavy nymphs, the usual kinds. I euro-nymph it. I usually have an emerger about 18" above the point fly. It often gets hit. Plenty of fish!
Went again a few days ago by myself this time and started at what they call cardiac hill. Worked my way down stream a mile or so and caught fish all the way down. This time I started off using a hopper on top and a red Bodied nymph. Don’t know what it’s called. Lol My first cast the hopper got hit right before first light. Then as the morning went by the hopper kept getting rises but no lore hookups. The red bodies nymph did well. I seem to have a hard time fishing the deep pools I guess cuz I’m not getting flies deep enough but most of my fish came from fast moving water that I normally wouldn’t fish. I pulled some fish from fast water that had me scratching my head as to why fish were in there. But they were
Later in the morning I moved down past the evening hole bridge. Wasn’t expecting too much cuz I’ve been told that water is too warm but it worked. I put on some kind of dry fly on top and that same red nymph on bottom and was catching fish on both. At one point there musta been some kind of hatch although I couldn’t see it cuz they were hitting my dry fly a bunch. Now these fish were much smaller than in the spillway creek and those weren’t very big either but I don’t care. Any fish counts as one for me lol Like I said before this is my first year fishing here this time of year so any fish for me is great !! I would say the fish I got in spillway creek were about 10-14 inchers and below the evening hole only about 8-10 inchers All in all I fished for about 5 hours and landed about 15 -20 fish and missed that many more. May try it again tomorrow morning !!
Because water is fast on the surface does not always mean it is fast below. There may be rocks or other structure that trout can lie behind and allows them to conserve energy for the "ambush." A great rule of thumb: If it looks like it may hold fish, fish it." You have nothing to lose.
Personal thought: Depending on the fish population, some are forced to find any place they might be able to grab something. Which takes the thought back to the fast er waters. I have caught big and small in the quicker runs in rivers.