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
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Our fall 2017 guide school will be held from Sunday, October 1st through Saturday, October 7th. We only have 1 spot left. We expect to post 2018 guide school dates by mid-October. For more info about our school, give us a call at 970-262-2878 or drop us an email at email@example.com.
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Water We Guide: 8/15/17
The Blue below Dillon Reservoir is currently running at a very wade angler friendly 280 cfs. This is an excellent flow for fishing the Blue River. The fish have spread themselves out now that the high water is no longer pinning them to the bank and willows. The river can rate as high as a 4 if you catch the hatch right, or if you catch the fish in the right mood. Dry flies are definitely a great option right now, but as usual, you will catch more fish if you nymph, especially before and after the hatches that are occurring.
The water temperature behind the shop yesterday afternoon reached into the upper 50's. The river temp read 58 degrees this afternoon on our old mercury shop thermometer. We are still seeing "Fill and Spill" conditions on the Blue. When the reservoir's warmer surface spills over the Dillon Dam the water temperature in the Blue River increases dramatically. The warmer water often triggers the best summer hatches we see on the Blue River in Silverthorne.
Pale Morning Duns (PMDs) and small Yellow Sallies are sporadically hatching in fair numbers in the morning into mid afternoon. We are observing fish rising sporadically as early as 9:30 am but 10:30 am seems like the time that the surface action begins to heat up. We are also seeing a few Caddis but so far the numbers have been a bit sparse. #18#26 Midges, #16-#18 PMD nymphs, #16-#20 Caddis Larvae/Golden Stone nymph imitations, and Mysis Shrimp will be your staple nymphs throughout the day. With #16-#18 Parachute PMD's, #14-#18 Elk Hair Caddis, and #16-#18 yellow Stimulators getting the job done on the surface.
We are using 5X and 6X mono tippet for our dry fly fishing. We suggest mono when fishing with dry flies as fluorocarbon tends to sink, which makes it difficult to present a dry fly without introducing drag. 4X-5X Fluorocarbon tippet have been the sizes our guides are using when nymphing.
We recommend using small, neutral colored indicators or a small hopper to detect strikes on your nymphs. Brightly colored indicators often alert the trout of your presence and they will either spook or simply refuse to eat until your indicator is long out of sight. 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.
Nymphs that are working include: Size 18-22 Mysis Shrimp (of all imaginings), standard and black size 14-16 Pheasant Tails, size 16-18 Split Case PMD nymphs, size 16-18 Military Mayflies, size 14 and 16 Chronic caddis in olive or brown, size 16 Fat Caddis in olive or brown, Gummy Worms in pink, brown or purple, size 18-22 black Pure Midges, and size 18-22 Chocolate Foam Wings.
Dry flies to try include: #16 Tilt-Wing PMDs, #14-#18 Sparkle Dun PMDs, #14-#16 Hi-Viz PMDs, #14-#16 PMDs Silhouette Duns, #14-#18 Elk Hair Caddis in olive, tan and brown, #14-#18 Peacock Caddis, #16 olive Chubby Chernobyls, #14-#16 Royal Wulffs, and #16 Shimazaki Ants.
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 and then again in the early spring. Streamer fishing is, at times, a surprisingly effective strategy on the most rivers 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 Pops 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.
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The Blue River below Dillon Reservoir is flowing at 280 cfs. The feeder streams flowing into the Blue will increase that number slightly as it travels north towards Green Mountain Reservoir but not enough to be of any concern. The daily high water temperature in the Blue north of Silverthorne has been in the low 60's
Bead head flies work much better on this stretch than they do in town. You can also use larger imitations of Midges, PMD's, Caddis and Stoneflies, Eggs (particularly pegged beads) and worms. Bring your 4X to 5X fluorocarbon tippet and a 5-6 weight rod when nymphing or throwing dry flies. The clarity has been very good lately and should not be an issue.
Nymphs: #12-#18 Tungsten Yellow Sallies or Iron Sallies, #12-#18 Standard or Bead Head Pheasant Tails, #14-#18 Bit Hookers in red or black, #14-#16 Nick's Fat Caddis or Chronic Caddis, #16 Kingrey's Tungsten Biot PMD, #16 Tungsten Redemption PMD, #8-#12 Pat's Rubberlegs, and Tungsten CDC Hare's Ears in #14-#18.
Dries: #12-#16 Parachute Adams, #12-#16 Stimulators and #14-#18 Elk Hair Caddis. Royal Wulffs, Chubby Chernobyls and other attractor style patterns often work well on the Blue River north of Silverthorne.
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.
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The mosquitos are hideous from Parshall down to the Reeder Creek access. There are far fewer blood suckers above Parshall at the Paul Gilbert and Lone Buck accesses. That said, the fishing seems to be a bit better in the more mosquito infested reaches such as the Breeze/Kemp and Sunset Units.
Visibility is currently excellent but is subject to some discoloration due to these pesky thunderstorms we have been having lately. The flow is 200 cfs above the Williams Fork confluence and 356 cfs below the confluence. Fishing is good to very good. There are plenty of Caddis, Yellow Sallies, Pale Morning Duns (PMD's), and an occasional Gray Drake for your dry fly fishing pleasure.
We are using a size 16 Nick's Fat Caddis, a size 16-18 Hare's Ears or a size 16 Charlie's Chronic Caddis to imitate the Caddis larvae in the river. A size 16-18 Iron Sallie or Barr's Golden Stone is doing the trick for the Golden Stone Fly nymphs. A #8 or #10 black Pat's Rubberleg works just fine for the larger Stone Fly nymphs. And a size 16-18 Military Mayfly, CDC Pheasant Tail or Split-Case PMD nymph are working very well for the mayfly nymphs that are currently available to the trout.
The Outrigger Sallie, Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute Adams and the SparklePMD, in sizes #14-#18 are excellent choices for finding some hot top-water action.
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.
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FYI: The mosquitos are still an issue but less so than they were. Bug spray is still a fantastic idea though.
The river currently has 2-3 feet of visibility from Pumphouse to Catamount. There is a little over a foot of clarity below Catamount, which is still very fishable. But with the wet weather in this week's forecast that could all change. As always, call the shop (970-262-2878) for the most current info. We have guides on almost all stretches of the Colorado River on a daily basis.
The fish are taking a variety of nymphs: Pat's Rubberlegs in sizes 8-12, Psycho Prince Nymphs in red and yellow, Tungsten Yellow Sallies, Iron Sallies, Bubble-Back PMD's, Juju PMD's and black or standard Pheasant Tails to name a few. If you keep your nymphs in the #14-#18 size range, with an emphasis on #16 and #18, you should be fine. (The Pat's is an exception to that suggestion).
Our guides have been using 3X-4X tippet. Many of our guides are fishing 2-4 foot dropper rigs under a #8-#12 Chubby Chernobyl and varying their weight depending on depth and the intrinsic weight of the flies being used. This set-up has been effective throughout the river but particularly in the faster, pocket water sections of the river. We are seeing decent interest in the larger hopper type patterns and very good interest in the nymphs that float under the large dry fly.
We are also having good action hitting the banks with small dry flies (#14-#20). Effective dry fly patterns include: #6-#8 Chubby Chernobyl get eaten, you will likely have better action using #12-#16 Stimulators, #14-#18 Elk Hair Caddis, #14-#16 Chubbies, and Parachute Adams in #12-#18.
Another good tactic is to use a 6-9 foot indicator rig to plumb the deeper runs that are holding fish. The water has been getting warm in the afternoons and many of the fish are moving to the deeper, cooler water. Pay attention to the afternoon water temps. We suggest putting the rods away if you encounter water temps exceeding 68 degrees, which is likely to occur in the late afternoon if you are fishing much below Catamount.
The streamer bite has been very day to day as of late. If the fish are interested in streamers you'll know pretty soon after giving it a try. Try changing sizes and colors a few times before giving up though. If you still don't see any fish flash or chase, go back to nymphing or throwing dries. The latter option being one you should definitely consider when you encounter low light conditions and fish seem disinterested in your nymphs.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of custom flies that crush on the Colorado River near Pumphouse.
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The fishing is heating up on the Upper Arkansas. There was an amazing Green Drake hatch on the Hayden Meadow stretch a few days ago. There are Caddis and PMD's. Fish are taking grasshopper patterns as well.
Nymphs to try: #8-10 Pat's Rubberleg in black, olive and tan, Standard or Black Pheasant Tails (#14-#16), Tung Teasers (#14-#16), CDC Tungsten Pheasant Tails (#12-#16), Sparkle Wing RS-2's in Olive or gray (#16-#18), Green Drake nymphs (#12-#14), Nick's Fat Caddis (#16), Golden Stone nymphs (#12-#16), and Stalcup's Green Drake Emerger.
Dries to try: Parachute and standard Adams (#12-#16), Colorado Green Drakes (#12-#14), ComparaDrakes (#12-#14), olive or gold Chubby Chernobyls (#12-#16), Elk Hair Caddis (#14-#18), Foam Body Caddis (#14-#18), olive Mini-Foamulators((#14), Sparkle Pale Morning Duns (#14-#16), and Tilt-Wing PMD.
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.
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It's go time on the the lower Ark. This can rate 4 or 5 stars on any given day. Both float and wade trips are doing well. The wade angler will be mostly fishing from the bank or very near to the bank. The current 930 cfs level is perfect for floating. Look to find the fish holding near to the bank, in the soft water and soft pockets of water created by river structure and in the deeper runs (the latter is especially true when the sun is blindingly hot).
The insects of interest to the fish right now are Stone Flies, Caddis, Hoppers and Pale Morning Duns (PMD's). Here's an example of a set-up we are using: #10 olive or gold Chubby Chernobyl to a #8 black or tan Pat's Rubber Leg to a #14 Chronic Caddis or to a #16 tungsten CDC Pheasant Tail/Charlie's Golden Stone. Play with you depth if you aren't having success and don't be afraid to twitch your flies to grab the attention of the trout.
If you are lucky enough to find fish rising consistently, the fish will likely be fairly reckless and indiscriminating given the current conditions of the river. So Simulators, larger Caddis and Parachute Adams should get the job done. 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 have also been getting a few of the bigger rainbows and browns to eat attractor flies like #6-#8 Chubby Chernobyls or #8 Fuzzy Wuzzies.
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.
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This is now an excellent option for your fishing pleasure. The hatches are slowing down but the action is holding up nicely. You'll likely find some amazing fishing on the overcast days.
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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 42 cfs. The mosquito and deer fly hatches have been epic this year. If you can endure the bugs it is usually a good fish.
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.
Antero is open and ready for business. There are plenty of willing 18-20 inch trout waiting to eat you fly, with a few toads thrown in to keep it interesting. Fishing has been good to very good. The boat ramp is closed. Only shore fishing and hand launched crafts are currently allowed.
We have been spending all of our time fishing the rivers so we do not have a first hand report from Spinney. Several of our customers have told us that they have been catching good numbers of fish and some real toads as well. They have also mentioned that some folks seem to be struggling. Based on their descriptions, we think the folks not catching fish at Spinney are not being flexible/mobile enough with their location and set-ups.
If you aren't catching fish with your standard 6-9 foot indicator rig try going much deeper, like 12-18 feet. Or try fishing in tight to the bank with a shorter dry dropper rig.
We sell a slip indicator for fishing deep. If you haven't tried it, you might think about giving it a try. It releases once you are hooked up so you can reel the fish all the way into the start of your lead. It does not hinder the casting stroke or interfere with the playing of fish at all.
There are some real toads being landed on #14-#18 Chironomids, Callibaetis nymphs, Damsel Fly nymphs, and streamers. Stop by the shop if you need to beef up your lake fly selection as we have brought in several new patterns for 2017.
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.
Bring 2 cans of bug spray with at least 40% Deet.
The Williams Fork is back to a very fishable 131 cfs. Size 14-20 Prince Nymphs, Pheasant Tails, smaller Golden Stones, Crane Fly Larvae, and Midges will bring results when fishing subsurface. Size 12-16 Chubby Chernobyls or hoppers and size 14-20 parachute flies, Elk Hair Caddis and Stimulators will have you covered for your dry fly fishing.
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.
Very buggy here as well but it's game on here as well. Hopper dropper is the name of the game. Choose your favorite combo and hit it. Fish are also taking Green Drakes, Yellow Sallies and PMD's. Use both the adult and nymph stage of the aforementioned insects and you will be a happy camper. The fish in this area are OK with bead head flies but as the summer gets longer in the tooth switch to beadless flies and a bit of tin shot to get your flies down.
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 rivers listed below, we cannot give the same detailed information that you find for the Water We Guide On. However, we do our best to give you a general idea of what to expect on these waters.
The current 890 CFS in the Blue below Green Mountain is a good flow for rafts with fishing frames. It isn't much fun fishing the canyon on foot right now but you will find a few spots soft enough to hold fish. Please be careful and don't wade adventurously.
No report from Delany at this time.
Still high but not as unhappy as it was 2 weeks ago. Let it come down a bit more and you should have a great experience using attractor dry flies and nymphs.
Ten Mile is a tough go right now. If you are in Frisco looking for water to fish, give the Ten-Mile inlet to Lake Dillon a try. The fishing can be surprisingly good where Ten-Mile Creek flows into Lake Dillon.
Clear Creek is running high and angry. That said, there are still a few soft water locations to fish and Clear Creek fish are incredibly opportunistic. This is still an option but you will walk a long way between fishy looking spots.
Another tough fish due to high water conditions.
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?