High Plains Drifters Grey Reef Trip April 20, 2012

This year is my 43rd fly fishing season. Up to this High Plains Drifters trip, I didn’t really care about fly fishing this year. Burned out, some would say. But a 40 to 50 fish day on Sunday April 22nd completely turned my attitude around. An exciting day where the smallest fish was 14 inches and only a couple of those.

I watched one HPD member who was using a rust brown size 10 pine squirrel leech catch a fish almost every cast for an hour. Fortunately Doug had a spare leech for me. The leech was one of the most productive flies in our section of the river below Alcova dam that day.

Another member Mark nailed some 75 fish on Sunday and another 25 or more on Monday morning.

Yes it was one of those magical days when the fish were hungry and ate most every thing we thew at them. Number 12 blood worms tied with red D rib. Small root beer bead head tan biot midges in size 22. Small green midges in size 22. Parachute adams dry flies in size 20. The way the fish were eating, you would have thought it was fall and winter was just around the corner.

Water clarity was good at 3 to 4 feet in this section of the river. The pool we fished had a lot of moss in the runs at the heads of the channels with a drop into the pool at the end of the runs. The fish would wait just under the moss and dart into the pool to get the food channeling into the pool. Drift a fly down the clear channel between the moss to the drop and you could get a fish about every other cast.

Water clarity at the Miracle Mile on Sat 4/21 was about 3 feet and clear. There was a fair amount of moss in a lot of the river and the flow was high. You could wade but only 3 or 4 feet off the bank in a lot of the river above the bridge. I caught only one rainbow that was 19 inches with an 8 or 9 inch girth. A couple of the guys, one from Wyoming, went upstream about a half mile above the rest station to a large pluge pool. Fishing the pool above the plunge structure, they caught a number of fish over 20 inches. This was after the 40 mph winds died down around 5 pm. Also around 5 to 6 pm there was a huge BWO hatch in this section all the way to the reservoir downstream. The hatch was so large, the BOWs looked like smoke off the ends of the branches by 6 pm.

If you have not fished the Grey Reef, Alcova, Miracle Mile stretches of the North Platte River, I suggest you make plans to do so. This year 2012 is going to be a low water year all over the South West. Dry Fly fishing should be very good along with small midges and pine squirrel leeches in certain sections of the North Platte.

If you like to fly fish with great companions and you don’t belong to High Plains Drifters fly fishing club, we meet the 3rd Wednesday of each month except July and December at Red and Jerry’s South Santa Fe and Oxford in Englewood, CO. Meeting and presentation starts at 7:00 pm with food and drink at 6 pm. Come check us out. We fish.

Wishing you good fly fishing,

Marshall, Editor
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