High water fishing tips?

A fly fisher in Stanley, Idaho, casts to the edges of the Salmon River during high water over the weekend.

I spent the weekend driving along a couple of Idaho’s more fabled trout waters—first, the Salmon near the “top of Idaho” in Stanely, and then the Big Wood as it roars through Ketchum near Sun Valley. Both rivers are swollen with runoff. The Salmon, I would suspect, could have been fished along the edges (and I saw one hearty fly fisherman giving it a go). The Wood? No way. It’s running the color of mocha and it’s nearly out of its banks in Ketchum. Folks all along its course are bracing for floodwaters thanks to this year’s excessive snowpack.

But some rivers can be fished during high water—I caught one of the biggest browns I’d ever brought to hand on the Gunnison during May runoff (and I also fell out of the raft—a story for another day).

What are your best tips for fishing high water? What flies work for you? What are your best tactics?

Share your tips in the comment section below. We’ll pick the best comments and send out copies of TU’s newest book, “Trout Tips” to the winners. And … your tip will be included in the next edition.

Share your wisdom, and your fishing library might get a bit bigger.

— Chris Hunt

By Chris Hunt.