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Late evening scene on upper Armstrong's. Photo: Chloe Nostrant
A nice Streamer Eater near the springs... Photo: Chloe Nostrant

With the river flowing slush ice (or in some spots frozen over) the Spring Creeks have been the place to be.  Size #20-22 blue wing olives were coming off as soon as we arrived to the diagonal riffle at Armstrong’s, (around 10:00AM).  There were also a few midges coming off at the same time but the fish were skipping the midges and feeding on the small baetis.  We were lucky in the fact that there was little to no wind, and while the sky was bright we were able to fish to the occasional rising target.  Needless to say nymph fishing was more consistent.  Baetis emergers, slim baetis nymphs, and a variety of different color midge larva, (white, black, olive, and red) all worked well.   With a lot less angling pressure than the summer we were able to fish 5X to our top nymph and a 6X dropper.  For streamers we were able to get away with 2X, as the fish who were ready to chase a streamer were not leader shy in the slightest.  There were still quite a few redds (spawning beds) out there.  All the fish on or around these areas were chasing each other or  digging redds.  There were plenty of spots to fish to fish that were not spawning, most all the deep holes and undercuts had a willing fish ready to eat a small streamer.  Black and olive were our two best colors with a lot of chases on brown, yellow, or gray.  Check the weather on your next day off and if you have either clouds or no wind you might want to book a rod on Nelson’s, Armstrong’s or Depuy’s.  Winter rod fees are $40 until April 15th…