Fly fishing in a river from 1000 cubic feet per second to 48000 cubic feet per second back to 400 cubic feet per second water flow!

Have you done it? Fly Fishing a river with water flow fluctuation from one thousand cubic feet per second to Forty-Eight Thousand cubic feet per second water flow back to four hundred cubic feet per second in just over six days’ time line.

We get a lot of monsoon rain here in the desert and a week ago last Monday we had such a storm. The rain was so heavy on the Salt river lakes system that at two am in the morning they had to release water to protect the dam systems along the Salt. The last lake is Saguaro Lake with a dam that needed to be protected.


So, open the flood gates and wham Bam!!!! I always wonder if there are any night fishermen and what happens to them. I am sure they open gradually to give humans and animals time to get out of the way!!!!


When we fished it yesterday, five days after the event, it was amazing to see how the power of the water had changed the directions on part of the river beds plus flattening twenty feet tall Bamboo brush and small trees.

There are some pathways along the river sides that now showed debris, brush, wood, trees as high as twenty plus feet above our heads, crazy to think that fish can figure out where to hide in such a torrent!


I have read it takes time for the fish to settle back in to the now normal after such advents, well five days in this instance was fine. I have fished the Salt many times in lower water conditions so I have a good understanding of the river beds and flows. We were lucky in that some of my hidden runs and pools had not suffered to much damage.  The surprise was how well they fished.

I was using a sinking line with two flies attached, one a black woolly bugger, the other more of an olive-green color. Marc was using floating line with a long tippet that he weighted down with a purple semi leech. Both of us stripping the lines at different speeds and depths. It was crazy we were taking a fish just about on every cast, many times we both hooked up at the same time. He was about hundred yards down of me, plenty of small aggressive Bass.

We spent about forty minutes on this run then slowly moved further up the river taking bass all along the way.


Around five o clock we were pretty high up the river, near the dam in the distance when we came across two perfect ripples running into a slower deeper pool, perfect trout habitat!!! Low and behold we both ended up catching a hold over rainbow trout each. They fight like hell and are very powerful, reminds me of the wild rainbows at Lees Ferry!!! Bullshit I hear!!! Believe me these trout were fit muscular and taking no prisoners a lot of fun!!!!

I actual hooked a bigger one that as I brought to the net, spat out the fly and gave me the finger!! It was a decent size fish, that is when I called Marc over. I could see the skeptical look on his face.


Three cast later he was holding a nice rainbow with a big grin on his face!!!

Five hours of recce and fly fishing only forty-five minutes from Down Town Phoenix in a desert, can you image the possibilities if only we could get a constant flow year-round of say three hundred cubic feet per second!!! Too much to ask? apparently so!!!

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