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
Our fall 2017 guide school will be held from Sunday, October 1st through Saturday, October 7th. For more info about our school, give us a call at 970-262-2878 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
***Summer Hours: 7am-7pm Daily***
Water We Guide On: 6/19/17
The Blue below Dillon Reservoir is currently running at 1090 cfs. This represents a nice drop from 1400 cfs, which was likely the max flow we'll see for 2017 on the Blue River below Dillon Reservoir. At this level. most of the fish are locating in areas where you'll be able to make a cast to them. The fish are still tight to the bank, and still in the soft water, but fishing has improved for sure.
Please don't let this drop in water volume fool you. It's still potentially dangerous to wade into the Blue River at these flows, especially if the water you are stepping into is swift and/or you cannot see the bottom. A life is just not worth exchanging for a cast at a fish. The same goes for landing a big one that has made its way downstream from you during the fight. Don't go wading after it.
All that being said, many experienced anglers consider high water (up to a point anyway) to be their best chance at the really big trout (i.e., over 10 pounds) that live in the Blue River. The increased velocity of the water forces the fish that spend most of their existence hanging out in the "Forbidden Fishing Zone" between the dam and the old bridge to move downstream where we can get a cast to them. The higher water also forces the fish to eat with less suspicion and be more reactive to the food sources floating by their noses. Their increased feeding aggression is a nice change from the lower flows where the trout will often inspect a fly in detail to determine if its construction is worthy of consumption. As you might imagine, hooking fish in Silverthorne becomes a bit easier as a result.
Landing them, however, gets a bit trickier in the stronger current. It helps that we can now get away with 3X-4X fluorocarbon tippet and size 18 flies. Break out your 6 and 7 weight rods, it's big fish time on the Blue River.
Mysis are more numerous at higher flows as well as are the small midges typical to a tailwater fishery like the Blue River. And, even at these flows, it is these 2 food sources that make up the bulk of a Blue River trout's diet. All sizes and patterns of mysis will work but be sure to have a few #12-#16 Mysis imitations in your box. Streamers can also be very effective under these high water conditions, especially in low-light conditions.
The water clarity is currently very good but expect to see some color in the water below Straight Creek on the warmer and/or wetter days. Straight Creek enters the Blue River about a half-mile downstream of Dillon Reservoir (near the Columbia Outlet Store).
Flies that are working include: Size 12-18 Mysis Shrimp (of all imaginings), Pegged Eggs, Pink, brown or purple Gummy Worms, size 14-16 Red 2-Bit Hookers, and size 18-22 Midge patterns. Now is also the time to break out your size 12-16 Stone Fly, Caddis and Mayfly nymphs.
Should you encounter rising fish, size 14-18 Parachute Adams and size 18 Gulper Specials will usually get the job done. If you feel like experimenting, tie on a Royal Wulff, Chubby Chernobyl, Stimulator or Elk Hair Caddis in size 12-16. You might be pleasantly surprised.
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.
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The Blue River below Dillon Reservoir has recently risen to 1400 cfs. The flow is expected to ramp up even higher over the next few days. We still consider the current flow fishable but it isn't close to ideal.
This 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. Bring your 0X to 3X tippet and a 6-7 weight rod. The clarity varies from day to day but , so far, we haven't seen the river too dirty to catch fish.
Water velocity is more of an issue than clarity. Look to fish the softer, sheltering lies available to the trout. If you think a piece of the river looks like a good, safe place to stand, chances are the trout agree and have moved in to live until the water drops. So try to get a cast or two into this "soft" spot before stepping in. And, as always, be careful where you step!
Nymphs: #12-#16 Tungsten Yellow Sallies, #12-#16 Standard or Bead Head Pheasant Tails, #14-#16 Bit Hookers in red or black, #14-#16 Nick's Fat Caddis or Chronic Caddis, #6-#10 Pat's Rubberlegs, and various egg or worm patterns.
Dries: #12-#16 Parachute Adams and #12-#16 Stimulators, #12-#16 Royal Wulffs, Chubby Chernobyls and other attractor style patterns.
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 now a thing on the Colorado River. Summer must be here. Cool.
Visibility is currently decent at about 18-24 inches. The flow is still a robust 1600 cfs. Fishing has improved some with the improved visibility but the flow continues to make things challenging. Even though the water is higher than you might like, from now through late July is the time to get out there. Keep in mind that good early summer fishing in this area corresponds to significant mosquito activity. It's time to pack the repellent of your choice.
Fish mostly from the safety of the river bank. The higher water pushes the majority of the fish to areas of shelter, this means most of the fish will be found in the softer bank water. Bigger nymphs and worms are on the menu, as are BWO, Stone Fly, and Caddis nymphs. A #14 Tungsten Yellow Sally (or Iron Sally) fished under a coffee #8 Pat's Rubberleg or a #12 Ice Possie Bugger did the trick the other day. Be sure to adjust your weight and depth as dictated by the depth and speed of the water you are fishing.
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 getting very active. Bring your bug spray. With any luck, the 2017 mosquito season will be a short one.
The river currently has 2-3 feet of visibility above Radium, 2 feet or more of visibility below Radium, and over a foot of visibility below State Bridge. It looks like run off has peaked on the Colorado River. Expect the river to clear as we head into the end of June and for the PMD and Yellow Sally hatch to intensify.
Anglers will still find good success by focusing their attention on the eddies and soft bank water. Look to fish water that is moving at 1/3 (and often times less) of the maximum speed of the river. There aren't many fish hanging out in the fast water, but some of the trout are moving off the bank some.
The fish are taking a variety of flies: Pat's Rubberlegs, Psycho Prince Nymphs, 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 you should be fine.
Our guides have been using 3X tippet in the clearer water and working all the way down to 0X if the clarity deteriorates. While some of our guides are fishing longer rigs, most are fishing 4-5 foot rigs under a #8 Chubby Chernobyl (mostly as an indicator) and varying their weight depending on depth and the intrinsic weight of the flies being used. It's a delicate balance, too much weight or depth and nothing but lost flies and snags fills your day. But if you run too short and light, you might throw a bagel (i.e., catch no fish).
The dry fly fishing has been spotty but good enough to give it a go when the conditions are right. Barring a hatch of some sort, the lower light in the evening or overcast conditions usually yield the best dry fly action. When the fish are looking up, the action has been surprisingly good. And when they aren't? Well, you know how that song goes. While you will see the occasional #6-#8 Chubby Chernobyl get eaten, you will likely have better action using #10-#16 Stimulators or Elk Hair Caddis, #14-#16 Chubbies, and/or Parachute Adams in #12-#16.
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, if the light is low, you should absolutely consider throwing dries, or a least a dry dropper set up.
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 getting tricky on the upper Arkansas. Run off has begun in the Arkansas River Basin. Look to find feeding fish in the soft water near the river's banks, You will have to play with the depth and weight of your rigs to be successful. Sometimes a very short (12 Inches to the first nymph) set-up will bring a smile to your face and other times you'll need to fish deeper (2-4 feet to your first fly).
Nymphs to try: #8-10 Pat's Rubberleg in black, olive and tan, Standard or Black Pheasant Tails (#14-#16), Midge Patterns in red, gray or olive (#16-#18), CDC Tungsten Pheasant Tails (#12-#16), Sparkle Wing RS-2's in Olive or gray (#18), and Golden Stone nymphs in #12-16.
Dries to try: Parachute Adams (#12-#16), Chubby Chernobyls (#8-#12), Elk Hair Caddis (#12-#14), Foam Body Caddis (#14), and olive Mini-Foamulators((#14).
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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The Arkansas River near Salida is probably a better float trip than a fishing trip right now. Visibility is down to under a foot on the Ark from about Buena Vista downstream to Salida (and beyond). That said, prowling the banks in search of soft holding/pocket water will result in some success as you will find opportunistic trout lying in wait for your offerings.
The insects of interest to the fish right now are Stone Flies, Caddis and Blue Winged Olives. Here's an example of a set-up we are using: #10 olive or gold Chubby Chernobyl to a #8 black Pat's Rubber Leg to a #14 Chronic Caddis or #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 rising fish, the fish will likely be fair undiscriminating 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-#10 Chubby Chernobyls.
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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The Roaring Fork is currently not your best option. That said, the river is dropping fast. Expect this to be a "must fish" in the near future. For those of you who can't wait to float it, like a few of us, the fishing is improving almost every day. It's a fast ride but we are seeing some big fish on streamers, worms and nymphs. The rating is at a 2 but it can fish better than that at the moment. The action just isn't consistent enough to rate it higher--yet ;-)
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 90 cfs. Fishing has improved and so, unfortunately, have the mosquito and deer fly hatches. BWO's have been hatching in good numbers.
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. Fishing has been good to very good. The boat ramp is closed. Only shore fishing and hand launched crafts are currently allowed.
The Chironomid and Callibaetis hatches are underway and fishing has been very good in 12-15 feet of water. Some days will rate more than 4 stars but the action has slowed down enough that it no longer rates 4 stars.
There are some real toads being landed on #12-#16 Chironomids and Callibaetis nymphs. Stop by the shop if you need to beef up your Chironomid selection as we have several new patterns for imitating the giant midges. The next month should provide some excellent fishing at Spinney.
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 Williams Fork is back to a very fishable 300 cfs. The Willy's Fork isn't easy at this flow but use enough weight and length in your set up and you'll be a happy camper. Along with the aforementioned weight, using San Juan Worms, Prince Nymphs, Pheasant Tails, smaller Golden Stones, Crane Fly Larvae, and Midges will bring results.
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 has seen a resumption of run off. It looks like the drop in flow last week was a head fake. Give this area some time before trying to fish it. Look to hit the South Platte when it gets below the 250-225 cfs level.
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?