Spring fishing on the Columbia River can be extremely rewarding, yet, also challenging if not using the right technique.
Rainbow trout move into shallow water to feed heavily on the various hatches brought on by the warmer weather, and one of the most important elements to success is to get the fly into the zone where the trout are feeding.
Mostly this means near the bottom, and, with the Columbia’s big water and powerful current, using fast, full-sink type 6-7 line to get your pattern down is key. I went out with a medium sink line and didn’t get into near as many fish as my partner did, all because my woolly bugger was suspended in the top half of the water column.
Just as important is to shorten your leader. No point in using full-sink line if a nine-foot leader is keeping your pattern 4-5 feet off the bottom. Cut it back to about two feet, get it down, and enjoy your fishing.