COLORADO FISHING REPORT
The most current, accurate Colorado fishing reports and information are key to a good day on the water. To see a detailed fishing report for a specific river simply click on a river from the list below. Looking for general Colorado fly fishing and lake information? Visit our General River Information
Brown on brown
Our spring 2017 guide school is now full. We will hold another school in the fall. Dates are yet to be determined for our fall offering but the 7 day school typically begins on the last Sunday in September. For more info about our school, give us a call at 970-262-2878 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
***Spring Hours: 7am-5pm Daily***
Water We Guide On: 4/22/17
Even though the weather has been uneven lately, the fishing on the Blue River in town has remained fairly steady. It's not on fire but fish are being caught at a decent rate. The water clarity is very good but expect mild to moderate staining to occur below Straight Creek on the warmer days. Straight Creek enters the Blue River about a half-mile downstream of Dillon Reservoir (near the Columbia Outlet Store).
The nymph fishing has been fair to good using 6X Fluorocarbon tippet under a small, neutral colored indicator. If the water clarity goes south, 5X tippet (or larger if the visibility drops to 2 feet or less) will do the job.
Flies that are working include: size 20-22 black or red Pure Midges, size 20-22 natural Pheasant Tails, size 20-22 red Tailwater Tiny's, size 20-22 cream or black Bling Midges, and size 20-26 Juju Zebra Midges, size 20-26 UV Midges, and size 22-26 Black Beauty Emergers. If the water quality deteriorates, try using larger Midges, Stone and Mayfly nymphs. Eggs and worms can also hook some big trout as the hogs often get careless when the water visibilty decreases.
Should you encounter rising fish, size 20-24 Parachute Adams, size 20-24 CDC Biot BWO's and size 20-24 Morgan Midges will get the job done.
Mysis Shrimp patterns have also been effective, especially in the morning and the evening. But flies imitating tiny midges and small mayflies have generally been more productive.
We haven't seen many fish feeding on the surface. Most of the action has been subsurface. As a general rule-of-thumb, the late afternoons and the overcast days hold the greatest possibility of finding fish willing to eat on the surface. But don't expect to find "lights-out" dry fly fishing on the Blue River in Silverthorne on a consistent basis.
We suggest using the smallest, neutral colored indicator that you can still see. Brightly colored indicators often alert the trout of your presence and they will either spook or just refuse to eat your fly. White or black yarn indicators, small sized white or "glow-in-the-dark" Thingamabobbers are always good choices when fishing the Blue River in Silverthorne. Fishing without an indicator, although tricky, can be deadly as well.
If you don't use streamers on the Blue River, you should consider doing so. This is especially true during the fall into the early winter. Streamer fishing is, at times, a very effective strategy and is an underused technique by most anglers fishing the Blue River in Silverthorne. Don't be afraid of using the big, articulated patterns available these days. Trailing a black or olive Houdini behind a black or white Dungeon is often a winning strategy.
Streamers to try: Sex Dungeons, Barely Legals, Home Invaders, Houdini, Thin Mints, Super Buggers and all sizes and colors of the standard "Woolly Bugger."
Question: What's going on with the Gold Medal status of the Blue River?
Answer: The Blue River between Silverthorne and Green Mountain Reservoir has been delisted from Colorado's Gold Medal list. The Blue within the city limits of Silverthorne is still listed as Gold Medal water. There are still great fish to be caught on the Blue north of Silverthorne. If you check in with us regularly, you have seen hundreds of photos of fish that were caught in this stretch over the years. And we try to post current pics regularly. It's true; you won't find the numbers of fish that you will see in Silverthorne. But you will find fewer anglers and less selective fish!
Here's a Blue River access map for Silverthorne (courtesy of the Town of Silverthorne):
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of guide tested flies that kill it on the Blue River in Silverthorne.
Need a Blue River map?
The Blue River below Dillon Reservoir is running at 98 cfs. This flow is a very angler friendly level as the river is accessible bank to bank. We are seeing intermittent midge hatches from Silverthorne down to Green Mountain Reservoir.
On the days when the overnight temps refuse to dip below freezing, expect to see impaired water clarity on the lower Blue River. We aren't saying the river will be unfishable (yet) or even that it will fishing poorly. Just bear in mind you might find water that isn't your typical Blue River "clear." That would be the time to try bead head flies and your larger imitations of Midges, Mayflies, Caddis and Stoneflies. Eggs (particularly pegged beads) and worms can also be very effective when the river's water clarity decreases.
Patterns for this stretch:
Nymphs: #18 Tungsten Yellow Sallies, # 18-#22 Standard Pheasant Tails, #16-#18 Bit Hookers, #12-#24 Black Beauties, #20-#22 Miracle Midges, #20-#24 olive or black WD-40's, #20-#24 gray or olive RS-2's, and various egg or worm patterns.
Dries: #18-#22 Parachute Adams and #20-#22 black or gray Brook's Sprout Midges.
The action on the Blue River north of Silverthorne is currently fair, with some anglers having success and others not so much. This often has more to do with the fish than it does the angler. The trout in the Blue can be finicky and reluctant to eat even your best-presented offerings.
The determined wade angler will find trout spread out in the best feeding lies. Don't expect to find fish stacked up like you will see in Silverthorne. The farther one gets away for Lake Dillon, the more the Blue River fishes like a freestone river. Moreover, you'll need to work a bit harder to successfully fish the Blue north of town; the fish population is smaller in the northern reaches of the river than it is in Silverthorne. The concentration of fish improves, however, in the mile or so above where the Blue River enters Green Mountain Reservoir (i.e. the inlet area). Trout that live north of Silverthorne will often take a variety of fly patterns and are, generally, less selective than the trout residing just below the Lake Dillon Dam. When fishing this stretch, covering more ground often equates to more hook-ups. 5x fluorocarbon tippet is recommended.
Keep in mind that the Blue north of Silverthorne can fish much better on the surface than under it, especially once the bugs awaken from their winter slumber. There's no explaining this phenomenon but after years of guiding this water it has proven to be the case more often than not. Dropping a bead head nymph from a medium to large dry fly is often the best technique when you find traditional nymphing to be unproductive. The inlet area to Green Mountain Reservoir is fishing fair. This is usually a go to location at this time of year. The fact that the inlet isn't "on" right now is most likely due to the fact that Green Mountain Reservoir hasn't been stocked this year in an attempt to rid the Kokanee Salmon in the reservoir of gill lice. There are no plans to stock Green Mountain Reservoir this year at all. Current plans also call for no stocking of Green Mountain Reservoir next year.
FYI: The Blue River between Silverthorne and Green Mountain Reservoir has been delisted from the Gold Medal list. The Blue within the city limits of Silverthorne is still listed as Gold Medal water. There are still great fish to be caught on the Blue north of Silverthorne. If you check in with us regularly, you have seen hundreds of photos of fish that were caught in this stretch over the years. And we try to post current pics regularly. It's true, you won't find the numbers of fish that you will see in Silverthorne. But you will find fewer anglers and less selective fish!
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of hand picked flies that consistently catch fish on the Blue River North of Silverthorne.
Need a Blue River map?
The Colorado near Parshall is beginning to wake up. Recent trips to this area have been quite successful. The water is warming up and the fish have transitioned from their "winter water" into more typical early spring lies. Look to find fish throughout the river and not simply stacked up in the slower, deeper pools (although you will find fish there as well).
As of today, the water clarity is decent and very fishable. Visibility today was 2 feet or better. If the warm weather returns for any length of time, expect the water quality to suffer.
The fish are often keyed in on one or two insects. A few days ago, the best fly was a #10 Golden Stone Fly nymph. A few days later, Caddis larvae patterns had the trout's attention. Go figure.
Most days, however, the fish want a small midge or Blue Winged Olive nymph. Don't be afraid to change flies often if you aren't hooking up and be sure to move up or down the river if you aren't having any success. Sometimes, just traveling a mile can make a huge difference in finding trout with better attitudes.
Day in and day out, the best nymphs have been: #20-#22 red or black Pure Midges, #16-#20 CDC Tungsten Pheasant Tails, #20 Sparkle Wing RS-2's in gray or black, #20 black Zebra Midges, #18-#20 Miracle Nymphs, #20-#22 foam wing emergers in chocolate, gray and olive, #14-#22 natural Pheasant Tails, #20-#24 black or gray RS-2's or WD-40's, #14-#16 Chronic Caddis, #14-#16 olive Nick's Fat Caddis, #14-#16 K's Latex Caddis and egg patterns in peach, green or muted orange.
Dry flies have been effective from time to time. Best patterns have been:#20-#24 Morgan Midges, #22 Matthews Sparkle Dun BWO's, #18-#20 CDC Biot Comparaduns, and #18-#24 Parachute Adams.
Try changing (primarily adding) weight before changing flies. If your flies aren't occasionally ticking the bottom, and you aren't hooking up, add some weight (or heavier flies) until you occasionally get hung up. The opposite, of course, can also be true--it is just less common! If you are constantly cleaning your flies, or hanging up, take off a bit of weight. Our guides have been using 4x-5x fluorocarbon tippet depending on the amount of water clarity on any given day.
Don't forget to try a streamer. Larger patterns often work best as they move a ton of water and create a larger vibration in the water. Trailing a smaller streamer behind the larger streamer can crush fish some days. Common set-ups include: Sex Dungeon (any color) trailing a Wounded Sculpin, Sparkle Minnow trailing a Houdini or a Home Invader (black, white or tan) trailing a Slump Buster (rust, black or olive).
Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when fishing the upper Colorado River near Parshall: In the winter, the water temperature on the Colorado River below the Williams Fork confluence will generally be warmer than the temperature of the Colorado above the confluence. In summer, the opposite is typically true; the water temp is colder on the Colorado River below the Williams Fork confluence and warmer above the confluence. This difference in water temperature will often trigger different insect hatches. For example, you might find Blue Wing Olives hatching below the Williams Fork confluence but not hatching above the confluence (and vice versa). It is not unusual to find better (or poorer) Fishing on the Colorado River near Parshall simply by moving a few miles upstream or downstream.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of hand picked flies that trout love to eat on the upper Colorado River.
Need a Colorado River map?
The Colorado below Pumphouse is at a nice level for floating and for wade fishing. Hard boats, in the hands of an experienced oarsman, will have navigate the river comfortably. Wade anglers will find plenty of riffles and drops to probe in search of hungry trout.
The river currently has 1.5 feet of visibility or better. The cooler weather in the forecast should slow down the snow melt and leave us a few more weeks of very fishable water.
The Blue Wing Olive hatch on the Colorado has been on of the best we've seen in a number of years. That said, we are in the later innings of this hatch and have already seen some early Caddis activity. We would expect the Caddis action to stall now that more seasonal weather has returned to the area. But if we see a couple of sunny, warm days in a row Caddis could again be on the menu in the afternoon.
Best nymphs have been:#6-#10 black or Coffee Pat's Rubberlegs, #8-#16 TDJ Golden Stones, #14-#20 Tungsten CDC Pheasant Tails, #14-#16 Iron Sallies, #14-#16 Morrish Hotwire Caddis in amber or olive, # 14-#16 Charlie's Chronic Caddis, #18-#20 Psycho Baetis in olive or black, #18-#20 Redemption Baetis, #18 Shot Glass Baetis, #16-#20 Zebra Midges in black or olive.
The streamer bite has been decent most days but, as a general rule. not outstanding. Effective streamer patterns include: Bread and Butters, Blondies, white Buggers, Tan and Yellow Baby Gongas, Slump Busters in black or rust, Super Buggers in black or rust, and Houdini's in Black or olive. You never know for sure what streamer will be magic so come to the party with a good selection of patterns in different sizes and colors.
Finding the "pattern" to the trout's feeding lies on any given day can make the difference between catching a couple of fish or hooking up many fish. Pay attention to where you are catching fish and look to find similar water elsewhere on the river. If your "pattern" begins to let you down look to change up what you are doing in hopes of finding another "pattern" to the trout's feeding. Here's what most guides do: Change flies, change where in the river they are fishing them and play around with how deep they are fishing them.
As always, call the shop for the latest info: 970-262-2878.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of custom flies that crush on the Colorado River near Pumphouse.
Need a Colorado River map?
The fishing is improving on the upper Arkansas. it could easily rate 3 stars on a warm day. The action is more consistent on the lower river from Heckla Junction downstream. If that's too far to drive, the list below will get you into fish.
Nymphs to try: Standard or Black Pheasant Tails (#18-#22), Midge Patterns in red, gray or olive (#18-#22), CDC Tungsten Pheasant Tails (#14-#20) and Sparkle Wing RS-2's in Olive or gray (#18-#22), and Golden Stone nymphs in #14-18.
Dries to try: Parachute Adams (#18-#22) and Sparkle Baetis (#22).
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of guide selected flies that will humiliate the trout on the upper Arkansas River.
Need an Arkansas River map?
The action on the Arkansas River near Salida hasn't been 4 stars every day but it has been that good many days this spring. There are still decent hatches of midges and a few molting stoneflies most mornings. But the big deals are the Blue Winged Olives and, get ready for it, the Caddis. Yep, the Caddis hatch is moving up the river and fish have been spotted feeding on adults as far up as Vallie Bridge (maybe farther by now).
Look for the Blue Wings to dominate the trout's attention on the cool, wet days. If ypur fishing day turns into a warm one, look for fish to be more interested in Caddis larvae, emergers and, with some luck, Caddis dries (i.e., adults). On the warmer days look for the fish to move into faster water, and the head of the pools, to take advantage of hatching Blue Winged Olive nymphs and/or Caddis.
Best early morning nymphs have been: #22 red or black Rojo Midges, #20-#22 black Pure Midges, #18-#22 Black Beauties, #12-#16 Tungsten Yellow Sallies, and #12-#16 biot style Golden Stone nymphs.
After about 10:30 am, try: #16-#18 black or natural Pheasant Tails, #16-#20 Tungsten CDC Pheasant Tails, #16-#20 Juju Baetis, #18 Ninja nymphs, #16-#18 chartreuse Copper Johns or Hot Wire Prince nymphs, # 14-#16 Barr's Graphic Caddis and dark olive Morrish's Hotwire Caddis in #14-#16.
If you find rising fish, determine if they are eating Blue Wings or Caddis. Splashy rises usually indicate the fish are targeting Caddis adults. Parachute Adams, Extended Body BWO's, Matthew's Sparkle BWO's and Gulper Specials in sizes 16-20 will cover you when the fish are feeding on BWO adults. Black foam body Caddis, black or olive Elk Hair Caddis, Peacock Caddis, and Headlight Caddis in sizes 14-18 will fool most trout looking to eat Caddis adults. Remember to skate your fly if the fish don't react to your dead drift. Bring fresh bottles of floatant and Shimazaki Dry Shake.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of proven flies that the fish can't resist on the Arkansas River near Salida.
Need an Arkansas River map?
The Roaring Fork blew out a few days ago but we currently have a fishable window. Get out there as soon as you can. There's no telling how long it will last.
BWO nymphs, Caddis nymphs, Stonefly nymphs, attractor patterns, eggs and streamers will bring fish to hand.
Need a Roaring Fork River map?
Midges are the insects of most importance. Egg patterns and streamers have been catching good numbers of trout as well. Some big trout are still in the system but many of the big fish have returned to Elevenmile Reservoir.
Night fishing has produced the biggest trout lately. Fishing has been fair to very good depending on the day........and the wind.
Last thought: Streamers and eggs seem to be most effective early and late in the day.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of flies chosen to consistently produce trout on the Dream Stream.
Need a South Platte River map?
Muddy creek is flowing at 20 cfs and is fishing fair at best. We are seeing some big browns caught on streamers, red Copper Johns and various egg patterns.
Have a look at the reservoir releases before heading to the Muddy, or any tailwater for that matter. It might make or break your day. Here's a must have link to the state's Colorado Streamflow page.
Spinney Reservoir has been open since 4/1/17. Remember to get your 2017 fishing license. Unfortunately, we haven't made it down to Spinney for a first hand report. But folks have been telling us that the fishing is fair most days.......and that the wind has been hideous most days so far.......
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of killer flies that work on most still waters, but specifically on Spinney Mountain Reservoir.
The flow has been steady at 100 CFS for a while now. Best flies have been Pheasant Tails, gray or olive RS-2's, #20 Miracle Midges, and midges in black or olive. Keep your hook sizes between 18 and 22. Fishing isn't off the hook but it is worth the mile (ish) walk into the river from the parking lot. The streamer action has been fair, as has the action on egg patterns.
Whether you prefer the 12 oz., or you are all in for the "40," this creek is always flowing cold and foamy. Use limes and salt as needed. Longnecks are the preferred choice, but almost any variety will catch you a buzz.
The Middle Fork of the South Platte above Spinney Mountain Reservoir is ice free and ready for action. Attractor nymphs are the name of the game but make sure you also have some Iron Sallies or Tungsten Yellow Sallies in #16-20.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order an array of angler tested flies that the trout like to eat on the Middle and South Forks of the South Platte River.
Need a South Platte River map?
Other Local Water
Because we do not guide on the following rivers, we cannot give the same detailed information that you find for the Water We Guide On. However, the streamflows are continuously updated, and we've done our best to give you a general idea of what to expect on these waters for this time of year.
There is no commercial guiding (wade or float) allowed on this stretch of the Blue but most of the shop guys love to fish it when they get a chance. The current flow of 250 cfs is a very good level for wade fishing but not high enough for float fishing. The latest guidance from the Bureau of Reclamation is that "flows in the Blue River will fluctuate between 200 and 250 cfs for the foreseeable future."
The nymph fishing in the public stretch just below Green Mountain Dam has been good to very good now that the water has dropped to a level suitable for wade fishing. The best nymphs have been: #18 Tungsten Yellow Sallies, #16-#18 Hare's Ears, #20 Juju Emergers, #14-#16 TDJ Golden Stones, #20-#22 black Pure Midges, and #18-#24 natural Pheasant Tails.
Best Dries have been: #22-24 Winger Emerger Baetis, #20-#26 Parachute Adams, #22 Matthew's Sparkle Dun, #22 Extended Body BWO's.
Streamers are a good option right now on the Blue River below Green Mountain Reservoir. We love using large, articulated streamers but don't forget to try the more traditional, smaller streamers. You might be surprised how well the "oldies" produce!
Please remember that wade fishing is only allowed in the public stretches of the Blue River below Green Mountain Reservoir. This primarily consists of the approximately 1.5 miles or so of river bank located just below the reservoir. The public water ends at the private land/no trespassing postings. Float fishing is allowed below the reservoir but wade fishing on private property is trespassing, as is anchoring a boat on private land. For those of you that are new to Colorado's stream laws, the landowner does not own the water passing through private land but the landowner does own the stream bottom. Colorado's stream laws are not the same as the stream laws in Montana (Montana law allows an angler to stand on private property up to the "High-Water" mark).
Please keep in mind that Mountain Lions call this area home throughout the year. Please consider leaving your dog at home and keep a watchful eye when hiking/fishing.
No report from Delany at this time.
We are seeing more 3 star days than 2 star days right now so we moved the rating up a star.Most of the browns are in the river's slow, deep pools and buckets. You will still find some nice rainbows hanging out near the bottom of runs that have some depth.
Eagle River trout will eat attractor flies like Pat's Rubberlegs, Prince Nymphs and CDC Pheasant Tails. They will also eat more realistic offerings like Pure Midges, Juju BWO's and Midges, and standard pheasant Tails.
Need an Eagle River map?
With this warm spell, Gore Creek now has several fishable sections.
Ten Mile is beginning to have fishable, unfrozen zones of water to fish.
Clear Creek beginning to thaw. You will find fishable sections from Georgetown to Golden. In the canyon sections, look to fish the sunnier sections as the river will have less ice and a slightly warmer water temperature. Standard attractors under an indicator will get the job done. One of our springtime favorite flies is a #14-#18 red Copper John.
The Snake is, surprisingly, ice-free. A few fish are being caught in the deeper water. This type of water is often called "winter water" for trout. Trout live comfortably in this slower water. In addition to providing protection from strong river currents, winter water also provides protection from predators.
Fishing is fair to good. The fishing pressure has been more than normal for this time of year due to the poor snow conditions. But now that it's finally snowing expect to find less anglers and fish willing to eat Mysis Shrimp and small midge larvae patterns.
Need a Frying Pan River map?