Gray Reef River Report
Current Streamflow : 3004 cfs at Grey Reef, 1525 cfs at the Miracle Mile
Both the Reef and the Mile have been experiencing typical, increased, spring flows over the past several weeks. Before we know it flows will be soaring with fresh snow melt but, for now, conditions have been relatively stable.
As of May 1st the “cables” section of the Reef should be back open to angling, a good indicator that the brunt of the rainbow spawn has passed. That being said, there will definitely still be late bloomers out there, please be mindful of where you’re walking and which fish you are fishing to (i.e. avoid paired up fish on clean gravel patches).
Redds (a.k.a trout nests or conspicuously clean patches of gravel) will be visible all along the Mile as well. Although no areas are closed to fishing, again, please be aware of where you fish and step as the spawn continues.
As far as fishing is concerned, nymphing continues to be the most productive method for both the Reef and Mile. The Reef fish are munching on a variety of bugs with a preference for Baetis and Midge nymphs/emergers and annelids. Some of our favorites this spring have included Theo’s North Platte Emerger (sz. 18, purple or olive), the Spark-a-lid (#12-14, red or purple) and Copper-rib RS2’s. Worms, leeches and the ever-trusty Otter Egg are wise choices as well. Whether fishing the Reef or the Mile, it’s a smart move to pair up a smaller bug (i.e. midge, baetis, etc…) with a larger attractor pattern. Pine Squirrel Leeches, Sparkle Worms and Flossy Worms are all good attractor options.
While you’ll probably get your numbers nymphing, streamer fishing remains our favorite way to fish the Reef and Mile! Sink tip lines with a 6 or 7 weight rod, or trout-sized spey rods lined up with Skagit heads and MOW tips are awesome tools to cover water efficiently and present flies deeper in the water column where the carnivores are lurking. If you want to try your hand at “the two hander” on either the Reef or Mile, we love the patterns of Eric Ishiwata. Ish’s Kool Herc (olive/tan or chartreuse/white) or Ish’s Snitch (red/tan or olive) are a couple of very safe bets. For the single-hand angler Cream or Olive Mini-Dungeons are a newer pattern we’ve fast grown fond of but Goldies, North Platte Spiders and other classics are all good options. Ask about them next time you are in the shop!
For info on guided float trips to the Gray Reef, hit the LINK
For info on guided trips to the Miracle Mile, hit the LINK
Recommended Flies ::
Nymphs: Foam Wing RS2 #18-20, Sparkle Wing RS2 #18-#20, Foldover Baetis #18, Split Foam Back #18-#20, #18-22, Mayhem Midge #18-20, Micro May #18, Pine Squirrel Leeches #10-12, Midge Larva #18, Sparkle Worm #10, Annelid #14-18, Pig Sticker #8.
Dries: Para Adams #18-22, Sprout Midge #18-22 Griffith Gnat #18-#20,
Streamers: Dungeon's (Regular and Mini), Bottoms-Up #4, Crazy Dad #4, Platte River Spider #8, Monkeys #4, Peanuts #4, Zoo Cougars #4, 'Nilla Bugger #10, Thin-Mint #8-12, Sparkle Minnow #4-6, Rusty Trombone
Also, for you two-hander fisherman try: Ish's Grand Master Pheonix, Ish's Snitch, Ish's Maxi Tube, Goblins, Thin-Mints #8-#12 (double & regular), Hobo Speys, Platte River Spiders.