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Fish The Ditch!

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

I'm in baby jail but it's not as bad as I first thought. I've been hitting my local acequia spots on a regular basis. Now the joggers and dog walkers don't look at me strangely as I pass them with my fly rod and pack on.

Sometimes, I even get an audience. That's usually when I get hung up on a fence or a tree on my backcast—typical.

The weather is getting better... I guess. I've found more trash from wormers lately. Always a bud lite can, heavy mono, salmon eggs and power bait (fish crack). Even found a stringer in which I cut up while uttering obscenities under my breath. So now I bring a small trash bag to pack this stuff out. Gotta "rep my water" even if it is this stretch of water for now.

I love catching trout in front of the baiters and putting them back in the water.

They get all pissed off and ask why the hell did I do that? I reply with... "so there is something to catch tomorrow."

This stretch of water is actually a pretty cool set up for being man-made. From top to bottom, it's a large flatwater section narrowing to a 30 yard solid riffle, maybe 2 ft. deep. Opening up to a deep plunge pool that hits a shallow sandbar 20 yards down. I know, right? Not a bad set up.

I've learned to fish this almost in a backward fashion, top to bottom instead of bottom-up. If I fish this bottom up, by the time I make it to the long riffle there is always some guy with 3 bait setups at the top of the riffle, camped out all day covering the entire fastwater section.

So starting at the top, I can work the flat section and drift into the riffle. Unlike the baiters, I can dominate a large stretch if I have to— kind of a cockblocker. I learned that move on the Juan!

The upper flat always holds a good pod. Some venturing further up and always coming back to the main feeder lane. Also, on occasion, they will come up from the riffle to hold with the larger pod at the top. Mainly site fishing there and changing out flies frequently because they spook, refuse, or "Hey, Dave ate the pheasant tail- don't eat that one!" There I have caught four rainbows in a row, on four different patterns, go figure. Forget about dialing in on the hatch, I have found midges, BWO's, elk hair caddis, followed by heavy perdigon nymphs to work anytime.

Through the riffle, it's bouncing nymphs off the bottom the entire way through.

Plunge pool is nymphing deep and midges and dries toward the calmer back section. I've even used my waiters in the lower section of the plunge pool. Very effective, weird looks from passers and the baiters go elsewhere.

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