COLORADO FISHING REPORT
The most current, accurate Colorado fishing reports and information are key to a good day on the water. In addition to providing quality Colorado fishing reports, we also supply real-time streamflow data. To see a detailed fishing report for a specific river, and view it's real-time streamflow, simply click on a river from the lists below. Looking for general Colorado fly fishing and lake information? Visit our General River Information
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Our Spring 2016 guide school will be held from Sunday, April 24th through Saturday, April 30th. For more info about our school, give us a call at 970-262-2878 or drop us an email at email@example.com.
***Winter Hours: 9am-5pm Daily***
Water We Guide On: 2/4/16
We have conducted several guide trips on the Blue River in Silverthorne over the past few weeks. Overall, the action on the guided trips has been good to very good, with a difficult day thrown to keep everyone on their toes. If you aren't hooking up be sure to move around the river. There are spots that are fishing quite a bit better than other spots. Stop by the shop (or give us a call) if you need some specifics on the locations that are fishing best.
Our guides have been using a selection of nymphs but on more than occasion a Mysis Shrimp pattern was all their clients needed to catch fish.
Other flies that our guides have been using include: #20-#22 red Imposters, #20-#24 Black Beauties, #20-#22 gray Sparkle Wing RS-2's, #22-#26 Top Secret Midges, # 20-#24 chartreuse Desert Storms, #20-#24 black or orange/red Pure Midges, and sparsely tied #18-#22 Pheasant Tails. We also sell a pink worm made from a rubber leg material that often works wonders.
We haven't seen many fish feeding on the surface on the sunny days. The overcast days have been much better for seeing surface action. But don't expect to find "lights-out" dry fly fishing even on the overcast days.
Dries to try: size 18-26 Parachute Adams, size 20-22 Griffith's Gnats, size 20-22 Morgan's Midges and size 20-22 Sparkle Duns.
We advise using the smallest, least conspicuous indicator you can see, especially if you are fishing to the trout that are hanging on the bank. 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."
Today's Tip: Try fishing a size 18-22 Griffith's Gnat under the water like a nymph. This tip comes from one of our customers. Thank You!!
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 current 90 cfs on the Blue River is an average flow for this time of year. There is bank ice beginning to form on the Blue below Silverthorne and the river is iced over downstream of the Blue River Campground. Look to fish within a mile of Silverthorne. Focus on the sunny days, especially if you can catch a sunny day that follows a warm night (e.g. like 15-20 degrees for the previous night's low).
Egg patterns, Pat's Rubberlegs, small Golden Stones, Caddis larvae and Midge larvae are good nymph choices. Streamers are always worth a try as some days they are very effective. The brown trout are finished with their spawn and we haven't seen signs of the rainbow spawn.
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 lighter 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 (please see below) and are, generally, less selective than the trout residing just below the Lake Dillon Dam. Again, when fishing this stretch, covering more ground often equates to more hook-ups. 5x fluorocarbon tippet is recommended.
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.
Patterns for this stretch:
Nymphs: Egg Patterns, #16-#18 Tungsten Yellow Sallies, Prince Nymphs: #10-16, Standard Pheasant Tails and Tungsten CDC Pheasant Tails/Hare's Ears: #10-16, JuJu Baetis (standard and purple), #16-#18 2-Bit Hookers, #18-#20 Split-Back BWO Nymphs, #18-#20 Buckskins and #18-#20 gray RS-2's.
Dries: $16-#22 Parachute Adams, #18-#20 Gulper Specials, #14-#16 Chubby Chernobyls and #14-#16 yellow or orange Stimulators, #14-#18 Elk Hair Caddis in tan or brown, #14-#16 Royal Wulffs.
Need a Blue River map?
The fishing has been good at times but it has been a bit inconsistent. The inconsistency is due, in large part, to the time of year and to our recent cold snap. It has been near zero degrees in Parshall for several nights and we now have to contend with free-floating ice, slush and outright frozen stretches of river. The river is frozen above its confluence with the Williams Fork and frozen again around the Sunset access.
The best flies have been #20-#22 black Midge larvae patterns. Pure Midges, Black Beauties, WD-40's and RS-2's are producing good action most days. Midge patterns should be your go to flies. Definitely try colors other than black. Gray, olive and red are all effective colors on any given day. Other flies that are taking fish include: red or standard JuJu Baetis, #12-#22 natural Pheasant Tails, #8 Pat's Ruberlegs in Coffee, and #10-#16 Tungsten Yellow Sallies.
Expect any surface action to be intermittent and day-to-day. Rising fish will often eat #18-#22 Griffiths Gnats or #18-#22 Parachute Adams. Don't be surprised to see a trout eat a size 16 Caddis that you are using as part of a two-fly surface rig.
If no surface feeding is evident, look to find good numbers of fish holding in the slower, deeper pools (i.e. "winter water"). Using the fastest moving water you observe as you baseline of 100%, you will find most of the fish holding in current less than 30% of that baseline. Exceptions to this "rule of thumb" are the rainbows that live in the Colorado River. Rainbows will tend to hold and feed in slightly faster water than brown trout (in general and also in the winter) but don't expect to find them in the heavy current.
There is open water between the Williams Fork confluence and Sunset can fish well at this time of year. Try to catch a "warm," sunny day after a "warm" night (e.g. when the low temp the night before was 15-20 degrees or so). The sun warms the water (and the angler), which often encourages a midge hatch and/or increases the willingness of the fish to feed. There are plenty of fish to be caught in this stretch. You just need to be patient and be willing to move around until you find the active fish. The Colorado River near Parshall currently has very good visibility. Water temps are in the upper 30's.
Weight is key as well. 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 water temperatures have dropped into the mid 30's and, as you might have expected, the fishing has slowed noticeably. Fishing is difficult as there is significant free-floating ice and the bank ice isn't quite thick enough to bear an angler's weight. Look to catch a warm day and try to fish where the sun is hitting the river.
The float fishing in this stretch is on hold due to the abundance of ice. Rancho Del Rio has informed us that they are suspending shuttle service until further notice. The warmer weather over the past few days did not, we regret to say, improve the fishing conditions near Pumphouse. As always, call us (970-262-2878) for the most current report.
At its current flow of 506 cfs, the Colorado River near Pumphouse is very manageable for the wade angler. There are a few areas where the river may be crossed on foot and the number of good wade fishing spots has increased significantly. Please be very careful when crossing; not every angler will be strong enough, or tall enough, to make the bank-to- bank journey,
Nymphs to try when conditions improve: Egg Patterns (including pegged eggs), #18-#20 Black Beauties, #18-#22 black Copper Johns, #18-#20 Psycho Baetis, #18-#20 gray or black RS-2's, #18-22 black Pure Midges, #14-#16 olive Zebra Midges, #8-#10 black, coffee or olive Pat's Rubberlegs, #16-#20 standard Pheasant Tails and #16-#18 TDJ CDC Golden Stones.
Dries to try when conditions improve: #18-#26 Parachute Adams, #20-#24 Brook's Sprouts, #18-#22 Griffith's Gnats, #20-#22 Matthew's Sparkle Duns and #20-#24 Morgan's Midges.
The river traffic in the winter on this piece of water is almost non-existent. There is an occasional wade angler on the river but you feel like you have the Colorado River near Pumphouse to yourself. In the winter, the fish typically move to what we call "winter water." Expect to find trout concentrated in the slower, deeper pools. The fish don't have to work hard to live in this water and the depth offers them protection from predators. Should you catch a very warm, sunny day you might see a few trout move to water with a bit of current.
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.
Streamers should be among your tactics to consider. This is the time of year that we see some of the biggest fish of the year eat a streamer. The streamer action can be day-to-day, and even hour-to-hour. While all sizes and colors of streamers will work, we are partial to the large dark colored, 2 hook, articulated varieties. Be sure to try all depths of the water column and not just focus on the bank. Sometimes fish will be lying up to 10 feet off the bank. Some days, your style of retrieve can be more important than your streamer selection. If the action is slow, and before you give up, make sure you try fast/slow retrieves and jerky/smooth retrieves. If you don't get any interest after doing all that, give the streamers a break for a while and try them again in an hour or so. Try: Sex Dungeons (in black, olive, white and rust), Barely Legals, Slump Busters, Houdini's, Super Buggers and standard Woolly Buggers (in all sizes and colors).
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?
If you are looking to fish the Arkansas, we recommend going down near Salida. Look to fish the warmer days that follow warm nights.....and avoid fishing in the shade.
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.
Nymphs to try: Egg Patterns, Standard or Black Pheasant Tails (#18-#22), Juju Midges or Black Pure Midges (#20-#24), Pat's Rubberlegs in olive or black (#8-#12), CDC Tungsten Pheasant Tails and Hare's Ears (#16-#18)
Dries to try:: Parachute Adams (#18-#22) and Griffiths Gnats (#18-#22).
Need an Arkansas River map?
The action on the Aransas has slowed down quite a bit and there has been some free-floating ice in the river.
While the 486 cfs flowing in the Ark is more than sufficient for a successful float you might be better off wade fishing. Now that the trout have moved into their winter homes (you know, the slower, deeper water), you'll have to work this water over pretty well to hook fish. Making many casts into "winter water" is often easier when fishing on foot.
Should you decide to float, here are a few tips to help you find success when float fishing the Arkansas at this level of flow and clarity. Be careful not to follow too closely behind another boat as Arkansas River trout can be finicky about boat traffic at these flows. Also, the angler in the back of the boat will often have less action than the angler in the front of the boat simply due to the boat putting down the fish as you float through their world.
The dry fly action has turned very spotty. So if you see some rising fish work them hard. You might not see fish rise the rest of the day.
Streamers have been effective some days but size 18-22 nymphs imitating Midges, Blue Wings, Caddis and Golden Stones are your go to flies. As a general rule, Arkansas River trout like a size 6-12 streamer in black, purple or olive. But there are days when the fish can't resist a #2-#4 Sex Dungeon or a Home Invader.
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 water clarity is very good right now on the Fork. And the fishing has been fair. Look to fish the warmer days. There is still enough water to float a dory but a raft would be better suited to the 550 cfs that flowing in the river.
Look to find fish holding in the deeper, soft water. It's mostly a nymphing game right now. Pay attention to the look, speed and depth of the water that brings you success and focus on finding more of that water (this is called patterning). You'll need to play around with depth to find what works best. We usually start out with a couple of #1 tin shots and put the indicator about 6 feet from the first fly. You may need to decrease or increase your depth some but 6 feet is a good starting point. Your challenge will be to find the best depth and for the day. Oh yeah, the Roaring Fork can be an amazing streamer river!
Nymphs to try: Egg Patterns (yellow is often the ticket), black, olive or gray Midge Larvae (#18-#22), TDJ's Golden Stone (#16-#18), Psycho Baetis (#18-#20), Split Cased BWO's (#18-#22), Barr's Emerger BWO's (#12-#16), CDC Hare's Ears and Pheasant Tails (#14-#18) and Pat's Rubberlegs in black, olive/brown or tan (#6-#12).
Dries to try: Gulper Specials (#18-#20), Matthew's Sparkle Dun (#18-#22), Parachute Adams (#18-#22) and Griffith's Gnats (#16-#20).
Need a Roaring Fork River map?
Winter conditions are taking hold of this fishery. The river is flowing at 63 cfs. The brown trout spawning activity has been completed. Look to find fish in the deeper, slower water. While there isn't a ton of that kind of water available to the trout, it does exist and that's where you'll find the most numbers of trout.
Here's the lowdown on the bug activity right now on the Dream. Midges are active most days with nymphing Midge Larvae patterns being the way into a fish's mouth. Light olive scuds and orange scuds are in the system, as are small Blue Wing Olive nymphs. There are still a few eggs in the river. Pegged eggs have been more effective than the "fuzzy egg on a hook." variety There have been some opportunities to fish small midge dries, and the occasional Blue Wing Olive dry pattern, on the surface.
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?
Water levels in Muddy Creek are near the 29 cfs mark. Visibility is good. The deer flies and the mosquitos are an unpleasant memory
At this flow, Muddy Creek is not our #1 choice. The flow of 29 cfs is a bit low; there isn't much current to float your flies. All that said, stripping Wooly Buggers can produced some large fish in December. There are also a few rainbows looking to eat dry flies, but there aren't that many rainbows in the system.
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.
Flies: Egg Patterns, Red Rojo Midge (#18-#22), Brassies in Copper or Red (#18-#22), Black or Red Copper Johns (#16-#20), Pheasant Tails and Morrish's Anato May (#14-#18) and WD-40's (#18-#22)
Antero is now closed for dam repairs. We aren't certain when they will begin draining this beloved fishery, but expect it to begin soon. We will be as excited as everyone else when Antero reopens for fishing business. Until then, Spinney Mountain Reservoir and the Delaney Lakes will be our preferred still water locations.
The Williams Fork is at a nice level for fishing. At 71 cfs, there is enough water for the fish to find shelter from fisherman and predators.
Egg patterns are still producing but the fish are keying more on insects (i.e. Midges) these days.
Flies to try: Egg patterns, standard Pheasant Tails, Black Pheasant Tails, Olive Midges, San Juan Worms, size 18-22 Zebra Midges in olive or black, Pheasant Tails, JuJu Midges in Black, Purple and Red, Miracle Nymphs, RS-2's and WD-40's.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order customized flies that catch fish on the Williams Fork River.
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.
It's pretty iced over. We recommend fishing the Dream Stream section of the Middle Fork of the South Platte.
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.
Please remember that wade fishing is only allowed in the public stretches of the Blue River below Green Mountain Reservoir. This primarily consisits of the approximately 1.5 miles or river bank located just below the reservoir. The public water ends at the private land/no tresspassing 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 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.
We don't guide this water but most of the shop guys love to fish it when they get a chance. The current flow of 254 cfs is almost ideal for wade fishing. Float anglers will not be able to navigate the river in anything larger than a kayak.
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.
Nymphs to try: Egg patterns, #10- #12 Pat's Rubber Legs, size 14-18 Tungsten Yellow Sallies, size 18-22 Olive and Black Zebra Midges, size 18-20 Split Cased BWO's, Standard Pheasant Tails, size 18-22 Gray WD-40's, Black, size 18-22 Olive or gray RS-2's, size 12-16 Charlie's "TDJ" Pheasant Tails and Golden Stones, size 12-18 CDC Hare's Ears and CDC Pheasant Tails.
Dries to Try: #18-#26 Parachute Adams, #18-#22 Matthew's Sparkle Emergers, #20-#24 Brooks' Sprouts and #20-#22 "Stuck in the Shucks."
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!
Ice fishing conditions exist.
The Eagle is clear and running at a friendly flow for wade fishing. There is some bank ice and free-floating ice. Look to fish the warmer days when the highs exceed 32 degrees. Egg patterns, larval/emerger and adult midge imitations, size 6 coffee Pat's Rubberlegs, and Blue Wing Olive patterns have been the best for us lately.
Need an Eagle River map?
Gore Creek is running a bit low for ideal fly fishing. Fishing has been fair on Gore Creek lately.
Mostly frozen. Best to look elsewhere.
Frozen in spots. Some open water but the deeper, slower pools are gettiing a layer of ice.
Tough. Water is low and there's lots of ice.
We have been hearing good things about the fishing on the Frying Pan over Basalt way. The crowds have decreased. But if you really want to avoid seeing many other anglers, try fishing the Pan from before daybreak or from late afternoon until dark.
Need a Frying Pan River map?