April, particularly in the West, is a bona-fide shoulder month. Higher up, it’s still winter. In the valleys, spring is springing and water is rising. It’s a tough month for trout fishing, given the transition happening between winter and spring and all the trappings that come with it, both good and bad.
Above, Trouts Fly Fishing in Denver features guide and renowned fly tier Pat Dorsey and this “five flies for April” on Colorado’s South Platte. The Platte is a tailwater, but it’s also a classic mountain river, and April on the South Platte is a lot like April on a host of western rivers—unpredictable. That said, Pat doles out some great fly-pattern advice for this river, and I’m betting the flies he discusses above will be worthy of any western angler’s fly box this time of year.
— Chris Hunt