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COLORADO FISHING REPORTS
The most current, accurate 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 under the heading, "Water We Guide On." Looking for general Colorado fly fishing and lake information? Visit our General River Information Page.
Updated: 4/20/14 HAPPY EASTER!
For the next few weeks, or longer, fishing conditions will vary day to day. The warmer weather has brought run-off back into play and the reservoir releases appear to be changing (mostly increasing) on almost a daily basis. We will do our best to keep this report current but please call the shop if you want the very latest info: 970-262-2878.
The main thing to understand is that tailwaters are where you should be looking to fish. Most of our "freestone" rivers are running high, relatively cold, and with a foot or less of visibility. The Arkansas River is currently an exception to that statement. Recent trips to the Arkansas have found good water clarity and fair fishing. But expect that to change as the Caddis hatch ramps up.
As for tailwater action, the Blue River as it flows through Silverthorne has been fishing very well. Mysis, dark or red midges, and San Juan worms are among the most productive flies. The steady flows in the Blue over the past few weeks are at least partially responsible for the good fishing in town. Expect to find increasingly compromised clarity on the Blue River the farther you travel north towards Green Mountain Reservoir. The Dream Stream section of the South Platte below Spinney Mountain Reservoir has also experienced very steady flows over the past few weeks and is another good option. The Deckers area of the South Platte should also be on your radar. The Williams Fork and Muddy Creek below Wolford Reservoir are also options. Be aware that both rivers are running on the high side of good fishing levels.
As the water temps on most rivers are still relatively cold, concentrate your angling efforts on the softer water. But pay attention for changes in this pattern over the coming weeks; as water temperatures increase, and insect hatches become more frequent, the trout will be more willing to feed in heavier current in exchange for more food.
Wondering about what water is public on the Blue River as it runs through Sliverthorne? Take a peek at this map courtesy of the town of Silverthorne.
Quick View of the Fishing in our Area:*
Blue River in Silverthorne: 3-4 Stars (out of 5 Stars)
Blue River North of Silverthorne: 1 Star Fair to Poor Visibility
Blue River below Green Mountain: 2 Stars
Colorado River near Parshall: 2 Stars Fair to Poor Visibility
Colorado River near Pumphouse: 2 Stars Poor Visibility
Williams Fork: 2-3 Stars
Colorado below Glenwood: 0 Stars Unfishable
Roaring Fork: 1 Stars Poor Visibility
Arkansas River near Leadville: 1 Star
Arkansas River near Salida: 3-4 Stars
South Platte below Spinney: 2-3 Stars
Middle Fork of the South Platte: 1 Star
Muddy Creek: 2 Stars
Eagle River: 3-4 Stars Poor Visibility below Wolcott
*For more detailed information, including flies to try and real time flows, click on a river from the list below.
Our 2014 spring guide school is now full. Our 2014 fall school will run from Sunday, September 28th through Saturday, October 4th. Tuition for the fall school is $2000. For more info give us a call at 970-262-2878 or send us an email at email@example.com
***Spring Hours: 8am-6pm Daily***
Water We Guide On
The warmer weather and recent increases in flow have both had a positive impact on the fishing on the Blue River in Silverthorne. On the warmer days, we are seeing some discoloration on the Blue River below Straight Creek. Think of this as an opportunity. The discolored water will help camuflage your indicator (and you) as you present your offerings to the trout. So far, we haven't seen unfishable conditions below Straight Creek.
The fishing in Silverthorne is always challenging but the persistent angler usually gets rewarded. The mornings and late afternoons/evenings have been less crowded but nice fish are being caught throughout the day. Small yarn indicators, as well as black and "Glow-in-the-Dark" Thingamabobbers, tend to spook Blue River trout less than large or brightly colored indicators. The same applies to flies without beads, especially metal beads.
Any dry fly activity usually occurs after the noon hour and can come and go until dark.
Today's Tips: As the reservoir releases continue to increase this spring, be sure to try using 4X and 5X fluorocarbon tippet. You'll bring more fish to hand in the heavier water if you leave the 6X on its spool.
In the mornings and the evenings, the fish often seem particularly interested in eating Mysis shrimp. A good rule of thumb for Mysis is to use the more flashy patterns on cloudy days and the less flashy patterns-including clear Mysis patterns-on the brighter, sunnier days.
Robert (Rob) Quinlan, a friend of the shop from the Boulder area, sent us a very helpful email detailing the set-up he used over the weekend on the Blue in Silverthorne. Thanks Rob!
"To share with anyone, everyone: Two big beautiful 17 – 18 inchers and one nice 12 – 13 incher, all in about 20 minutes, just before sunrise. Twenty steps upstream from the wire going across near the gauging station. One on Charlie’s Mysis pattern size 16 and two on the fire-orange Desert Storm pattern size 22. All flies bought at Cutthroat Anglers. Two-fly rig dead-drifted with number 1 splitshot 6 inches up from lead fly and smallest thingamabobber about 4 feet up from weight. Hope that helps someone else catch a trout. Rob"
Fly patterns of all imaginings will produce fish on the Blue so don't be afraid to think outside the box. Although you can often use 5X tippet for your larger offerings, you should keep your tippet on the small side (6X, and 7X) for your smaller (i.e. Midge and BWO) offerings. Fluorocarbon is strongly recommended. We are seeing some fish push well over 20 inches. So pay attention to your drag setting and tie strong knots! Though not on fire, the Blue in Silverthorne continues to be a very good option.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of guide tested flies that kill it on the Blue River in Silverthorne.
Nymphs to try:
Pink Rubber Worms: #14-#22 Mysis Patterns: #14-#16 Mercury Blood Midges: #20-#22, Light and Dark Colored Bling Midges: #22-#24, Miracle Nymphs: #20-#22, Dailey's Tailwater Assassin in Red or Black: #22-#24, Barr's Emerger: #18-#22, UV Midges: #20-#26, Black and Pale Olive Pure Midges: #18-#22, JuJu Midges in Zebra, Red or Olive: #20-#24, RS-2's in Gray or Black: #22-#26, Top Secret Midges: #20-#24, Smith's Tidbit Midge: #20-#24, Pheasant Tails: #20-#24, WD-40's in Black, Gray or Olive : #20-#24, Black Beauties and Mercury Black Beauties: #20-#24.
Dries to Try:
Parachute Adams:#20-#26, #20-#22 CDC Baetis Dun, Matthews Sparkle Dun: #20-#24, Stuck-in-the-Shuck Midge: #22-#24, Brooks Sprouts in Black, Gray or Cream: #22-#26.
Need a Blue River map?
The warmer weather has negatively impacted the clarity on the lower Blue River near Green Mountain Reservoir. As of today, it is still fishable, especially in the mornings. Larger attractor patterns, San Juans and Egg Patterns have been effective of late. Expect to still find most fish holding in the deeper, softer water.
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:
Egg Patterns, Rainbow Warriors, Thread Midges, Standard Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, Stonefly Nymphs of all sizes, and Tungsten CDC Pheasant Tails/Hare's Ears. Come on in and pick up Charlie's (Charlie is one of our guides) improved CDC Pheasant Tail pattern: the "TDJ". It is a must have addition to your box. The TDJ's extra weight and curved design makes it particularly effective during periods of high water and for making contact with trout holding in deep water.
Need a Blue River map?
Water clarity yesterday was about 6-10 inches. Clarity will be a day to day affair. Call the shop for the most current info: 970-262-2878.
Nymphs for the Colorado near Parshall: Black, Brown, Olive Pat's Rubberlegs (Size 6-12), Tidbit Midge (Size 20-24), Olive or Black Zebra Midges (#20),Split-Case BWO's and Real Meals (Size 18-20), JuJu Midges (Size 18-22), JuJu Beatis (Size 18-20), Standard and Black Pheasant Tails (Size 18-22), CDC Pheasant Tails and Hare's Ears (Size 14-20), Buckskins (Size 14-18).
Dry Flies to Try: Parachute Adams (Size 20-24), Sparkle Duns, (Size 18-22), Extended Body BWO's (Size 18-20), Brooks Sprouts (Size 22-24), RS-2's and WD40's in the surface film (Size 20-26), Hatching Midges (Size 20-24), and Adult Midges (Size 20-24).
It is worth keeping in mind that the fishing above the Williams Fork confluence (think Paul Gilbert, Lone Buck and Hot Sulphur Springs) can be substantially different from the fishing below the confluence; you can think of it as fishing a different river. The water temperature of the Colorado below its confluence with the Williams Fork is usually significantly different than the water temperature above the confluence. 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 near Pumphouse is fishing poor due to water clarity issues. Visibility is currently at 6 inches or less.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of custom flies that crush on the Colorado River near Pumphouse.
Best Flies for this Stretch: #6-#10 Black or Olive Pat's Rubberlegs, #18-20 Red Copper Johns, #18-#20 Split-Cased BWO's , #16-#20 CDC Pheasant Tails, #18-#20 Psycho Beatis, #16-#20 Black Zebra Midges, #16-#20 Bead Head Pheasant Tails and Hare's Ears, #18-#22 Black RS-2's #20 Gray Sparkle Wing RS-2's, and Black WD-40's. Extended-body BWO's, and Parachute Adams are taking fish off the surface, especially after the noon hour. Streamers of all shapes and sizes are still productive at times but most days you will catch more fish by nymphing.
Need a Colorado River map?
Things are improving on the upper Arkansas but the water is still plenty chilly. Midges are the thing this time of year but Ark fish will eat a variety of standard, attractor patterns as well.
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: Olive or Black Zebra Midges (#18-#22), Black or Standard Pheasant Tails (#18-#22)), CDC Hare's Ears (#14-#18), Egg Patterns, and Pat's Tan or Black Rubberleg in #8-#12.
Dries to try: Parachute Adams (#22-#18), Gulper Specials (#18-#20), Stuck-in-the-Shuck Midges (#18-#22), and Stacker Midges (18-#22).
Need an Arkansas River map?
On the warmer days, the action on the Arkansas River near Salida has been good to very good. Midges, Baetis and molting Golden Stones are the thing this time of year. Keep in mind that Ark fish are almost always opportunistic. They will often eat a variety of offerings. Pat's Rubber Legs, Golden Stonefly Nymphs, standard Princes, Hot Wire Prince Nymphs and Bead Head Pheasant Tails will all take fish this time of year as well. Final thought, the Baetis nymphs on the Arkansas River tend to be very dark in color.
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.
Nymphs to try: Light or Dark Stonefly Nymphs (#8-#16), Red or Black Ro-Jo Midges (#18-#20), Black or Olive Zebra Midges (#18-#20), BWO Nymphs including CDC Pheasant Tails (#16-#18), Psycho Baetis (#18-#20) and Split-Case BWO (#18-#20), Tungsten Sallies (#16-#18), Black and Standard Pheasant Tails (#18-#22), Standard or Red Copper Johns (#16-#20), and Black or Red Two-Bit Hookers (#18).
Dries to try: Gulper Specials, Matthew's Sparkle BWO, CDC Baetis Duns, Parachute and Standard Adams.
Streamers to huck: Mike Tyson's (#6-#8), Slump Busters (#6-#8), Leech Patterns in Black, Olive and Purple (#12-#10), Standard Wooly Buggers (#6-#14).
Need an Arkansas River map?
Water clarity is currently day to day. If you can catch a day with a foot or more of visibility. It will should fish very well.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of flies that Roaring Fork trout eat like it's their job.
Before water clarity became an issue, the fish were eating Pat's Rubber Legs, in Black or Olive (#6-#10), Tung Teasers (#10-#16), Egg Patterns, Golden Stone Nymphs (#12-#16), JuJu BWO's (#18-#22), Tungsten Beaded CDC Hare's Ears and Pheasant Tails (#14-#18), Smaller Natural or Black Pheasant Tails(#16-#22), Standard Hare's Ears (#14-#18), Morrish's Anato Mayfly (#14-#18), PT Cruisers (#16-#18), CDC or Standard Prince Nymphs (#12-#16), and 20 Inchers (#10-#16).
On the surface: Parachute Adams, Griffith's Gnat, Wilcox's Midge, Gulper Specials, and extended Body BWO's.
Need a Roaring Fork River map?
The current 83 cfs is a very fishable flow for fishing the Dream Stream. There are a few of the bigger lake fish lurking around but expect to have to hunt to find them. Midges, Scuds, Egg Patterns and small BWO nymphs are your go-to flies right now.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of flies chosen to consistently produce trout on the Dream Stream..
Flies to try: #18-26 thin, thread bodied midges, Olive or Orange Scuds #16-#24, Natural or Black Pheasant Tails, Split-Back BWO's, Bear's Baetis, Egg Patterns, San Juan Worms, Moorish's Ananto Mayfly, Black WD-40's and RS-2's. Fishing pressure has been minimal lately. We love fishing the Dream. And almost any warm winter day is an excellent time to give it a try.
Need a South Platte River map?
Conditions have been tough due to inconsistent flows. At the moment, flows below Wolford are 325 CFS, up from 75 cfs a few days ago. Have a look at the reservoir releases before heading to the Muddy. It might make or break your day.
Flies: Psycho Princes (#14-#16), Red Rojo Midge (#18), Brassie, Copper or Red (#18-#22) * Black or Red Copper Johns (#16-#20), WD-40's (#18-#22)
No report from Antero.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of flies that really do catch fish at Antero Reservoir.
At last look, the Williams Fork had a flow of 378 cfs. The flows have been on a steady increase over the past week, making for some difficult fishing. 378 cfs in the Willy's Fork is fishable with a ton of weight. But until the flows stabilize, you might do better someplace else.
Give these patterns a try when flows stabilize:
Use standard nymphs like Pheasant Tails, Hare's Ears and Midge Larvae. Egg Patterns, Prince Nymphs, JuJu Baetis, RS-2's, WD-40's, and Olive Zebra Midges are also working well. If you're not having any luck with the aforementioned flies try using Miracle Nymphs, Cream Crane Fly Larvae and Cream San Juan's. All of these flies have saved my bacon many a day while guiding on the Williams Fork. Streamers can also be effective.
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 a buzz
This report includes the “Tomahawk” and “Bull Basin” State Wildlife Areas.
Fishing is poor on these waters. Although the rivers are thawing, its been a cold, snowy winter down in South Park. It's a bit early yet for this area. But it shouldn't be too long before these areas begin to fish better.
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.
We don't guide this water but most of the shop guys love to fish here when they get a chance. The current flow of 769 cfs is very floatable but getting up there for effective/safe wading. At these flows, think twice before getting in the river. Most of the fish will locate near the banks and behind structure anyway so deep wading shouldn't be your primary strategy. Make note that the access down to the river is steep and can be very slippery.
Mountain Lions call this area home. Please consider leaving your dog at home and keep a watchful eye when hiking/fishing.
A variety of flies are working: Pat's Rubber Legs, Tung Teasers, Split-Backed BWO Nymphs, Barr's BWO Emergers, Olive and Black Zebra Midges, Gray WD-40's, BWO's in Black or Zebra, Charlie's "TDJ" Pheasant Tails, Moorish's Anato Mayfly Nymph, CDC Hare's Ears, Buckskins, Standard Pheasant Tails in all sizes, Parachute Adams (sizes 14-22), Gulper Specials, and BWO Sparkle Duns.
Try these Dries: Parachute Adams, Matthews Sparkle Dun, and Brooks Sprout Midges in Gray or Black.
See Spinney Mountain Reservoir report (above)
The Eagle is fishing very well. Midge larvae, BWO nymphs, egg patterns and attractor patterns will do the trick. The Eagle has been very stained to muddy below Milk Creek which enters the Eagle just below Wolcott.
Eagle fish will eat a variety of flies. These include: Stonefly Nymphs, all variations and sizes of Prince Nymphs, Pheasant Tails, Bubble Back BWO's, Psych Baetis, Pink Rubber Worms, San Juan Worms, and Parachute Adams.
Need an Eagle River Map?
Gore Creek is running low and clear most days. Gore Creek has good numbers of fish. Some of which are surprisingly large. Although we rarely fish it ourselves, we include it on our report to encourage you to go give it a try. It is a fun place to fish. And though much of the Creek looks private, in fact, most of the Gore is open to the public.
A bit early for this, but it should begin to improve soon as we move into longer days and warmer weather. This is a very under-loved fishery. Not many of those around anymore! The Ten Mile inlet into Lake Dillon also holds fish. Hit the deeper pockets and seams. Wading and crossing Ten Mile shouldn't be a problem for the careful angler at flows below 100 CFS.
We don't guide this water but I've always found very willing fish from Idaho Springs to Georgetown. The fish are on the small side, with the occasional eye-opener, but it's a very enjoyable river to fish. Give it a try. It just might become you favorite place to get that "quick fix."
Put this on your list of places to fish very soon. Those fish are gonna be hungry!