Rocky Ford Creek - Flies / Techniques

Sean Visintainer - 02/13/14

Trout Fly Fishing at Rocky Ford Creek, Washington. Photo by Michael Visintainer

Rocky Ford Part 2

Part 2 of our Rocky Ford Creek discussion will cover some basic techniques and flies that we like use and fish during the winter months. While there are many tactics that can be utilized here, these are some that I like to do...

Sight nymphing - No bobber

Suns out? Go bobberless. Watch for fish that are actively feeding, meaning look for fish that are moving and opening their mouths to take in food, digging around in the weeds/bottom, etc. These are prime fish to practice sight nymphing.

  1. Leader - 9' 4x with 12-18" of 5x fluorocarbon tied to the end. Use 16-20" of 5x or 6x fluoro to attach your second nymph.
  2. Presentation - Present flies upstream of feeding fish with enough time to allow nymphs to sink. Using either a very long, slow strip or short 2-3" pulls retrieve your fly in the path of a feeding trout.
  3. Helpful Tips - You will need to use a heavy lead fly for your first fly... a size 12 or 14 copper john or similar heavy bh should do the trick. Attach your intended fish catching fly below the weighted pattern. Remember... No split shot here.
Nymph and dry flies used at Rocky Ford Creek.
  • 1 1st Row - Midge Sprout, Hi-viz Griffith's Para, BWO, Captive Dun, BWO Emerger, BWO Comparadun
  • 2 2nd Row - CDC Midge Emerger, BH UV Midge, Zebra Midge - Olive, Zebra Midge - Black, Glo Bug
  • 3 3rd Row - BH Crystal BWO PT, Pheasant Tail Nymph, Skinny Nelson, Silver Bo' Scud, Softex Scud, Ultra Scud
Indicators used at Rocky Ford Creek.
  1. If the sun is not out and there is some chop on the water from wind I recommend 1/2" Thingamabobbers, Palsa Pinch-On indicators, 1/4 EZ Indicators, or yarn indicators.

Streamers on floating line.

Want to make the sophisticated rainbows of Rocky Ford all giddy to chomp your fly? Tie on a great big nasty streamer, cast out as far as you can, and rip it back!

  1. Leader - 9' 2x or 3x
  2. Presentation - Warmer air temps usually mean faster strip, cold days slow strip. Get them excited though... throw in some short pauses in your retrieve.
  3. Helpful Tips - Try olive or white for your streamers.
Streamer fly patterns used at Rocky Ford Creek.
  1. Sculpzilla, Big Gulp Sculpin, LE Marabou Leech - Black, LE Marabou Leech - Olive, Sparkle Minnow, Old School Bugger

Big dry with nymph dropper.

Even though it's the dead of winter these big goofy fish at Rocky Ford will surprise you and come up to the surface and smack a big 'ol dry. Dries that you would only consider for the summer can be used as a "strike indicator" with a long section of tippet attached to the bend and your favorite Rocky Ford nymph underneath. Big flies include... stimulators, chuby chernobyls, gypsy kings, para madam x, etc.

  1. Leader - 9' 4x to big dry. 5x fluoro off the bend of the dry fly hook... length depending water depth. 3' is a good starting point.
  2. Presentation - Dead drift typically. Try a little twitch or short 2-3" pulls if dead drifting isn't producing.
  3. Helpful Tips - Switch your nymph dropper to an emerger or small dry if a hatch occurs. BWO's or Midges are the main hatches during the winter that will often get fish up to the surface.

Hope this helps!! Let us know how your Rocky Ford adventures go this winter, post comments below!