Fly tying nymphs for high and turbulent water conditions
Spring fly fishing in BC means reduced visibility, and trout who lie near the bottom waiting to strike are always looking skyward for prey. They can be pretty fussy about the speed and depth of their food as it drifts by; it’s impossible to imitate exactly but the right pattern and technique can seduce them to strike.
There are a couple of options with high water fly fishing, one is to use a strike indicator which can replicate the natural bob of a nymph as it wiggles to move itself up in the water column. Most insects drift at the mercy of the current; your best bet in a nymph presentation is to keep it in the the trout’s view for as long as you can without crossing currents… this imitates natural movement that won’t arouse suspicion.
Another idea is short line nymphing, as the turbulence and low visibility in spring rivers means the presence of your waders won’t make the trout nervous. Instead of a 30 foot cast, cast a short line of about 12 feet beyond the rod tip, with no strike indicator. You have better control of the fly, and it can stay down with less floating line to drag it to the surface. You can watch the end of the fly and butt of your leader for strikes.
A bushier nymph is easier for the trout to see; a good example is the Hare’s Ear, this one has a gold bead for extra weight and flash. You can use different colours to match the naturals, and the size will give a good silhouette against the bright background of the sky.