Rock Creek Runoff Report 2020
Water Temp: 43 - 48°F
Dries: Purple Haze, possible Mother's Day Caddis
Nymphs: Black Stonefly, Bitch Creek, Red San Juan
We are in that time of the year where the first major runoff has already begun, but fortunately the streamflow has leveled off and is actually decreasing for the time being and adding extra clarity to the Creek:
Until we see either a lot of rain (possibly by the middle of next week) or a jump in the overall air temperature, the water will remain clear and Rock Creek will have good fishing. If you haven't created a link for it already, check out the USGS streamflow for Rock Creek. It has real-time data and is a great tool for determining whether the water will be fishable on any given day. If the cubic feet per second (cfs) spikes or plummets, the trout tend to hunker down and become harder to catch until the streamflow becomes steady (like the chart below).
While we are already seeing some rafts and drift boats, fishing on foot can be a fun day in these conditions too. It cannot be stressed enough to minimize your wading in this kind of water. The fish are being escaping the fast water in the middle and moving to the edges, so wading out to them is unnecessary. Most of our wading this time of year is simply to get through marshy land to reach the main water.
Look for the calmer water near the shoreline and drop some big nymphs or San Juans. This does require more traveling and "hoofing it" to find the good spots, since they are fewer and farther between this time of year, but this is personally one of my favorite times to get out and test the various holes. If you're lucky, you might get some fish to rise to a March Brown or a caddis pattern, but my go-to dry right now is the Purple Haze.
If you are floating, please check with either us or your local guides to inquire about potential hazards in the water. Most of the floaters have been going to the upper stretches near Philipsburg thus far, but that will change soon.
Currently, we are open from 9-2 each day until June, but we have been working on re-organizing and cleaning the shop, so we are often here well after our official business hours. If you see the lights on, stop on by and pay us a visit! Salmon flies are not far off, friends! More soon.