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 under, "Water We Guide On." Looking for general Colorado fly fishing and lake information? Visit our General River Information Page.
Nice Rainbow caught on the Blue River in Silverthorne. Thanks (again), Matthew!
We are currently taking reservations for our 2015 guide schools. We have 2 spots left for the Spring 2015 school. The Spring guide school will be held from Sunday, April 26th through Saturday, May 2nd. The Fall guide school will be held from Sunday, September 27th through Saturday, October 3rd. 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: 3/3/15
We resumed a bottom release from the Dillon Dam in late January. Since then, flows on the Blue River have fluctuated between 160 and 310 cfs. We have been running at 166 cfs for several weeks now and, consequently, the fishing has been good.
That all said, we are beginning to see "paired-up" rainbows which signals the rainbows are in, or near, spawn mode. Spawning fish tend to eat only for parts of the day or not at all. So be prepared to suffer through some slow periods until the fish decide its time to eat.
Mysis Shrimp are back in the system and should be among your primary fly patterns. Assorted Midge larvae patterns in sizes 20-26 black or red) are fooling fish sub-surface. With the higher water, 4X and 5X Fluorocarbon should be all you need. We advise continuing the use of small, white yarn indicators. Small white or "glow-in-the-dark" Thingamabobbers are also effective. Fishing without an indicator, although tricky, can be deadly as well.
For you dry fly enthusiasts, use size 18-24 patterns imitating Midges and BWO's. Try Matthew's Sparkle Dun, Midge Clusters, extended body BWO's, and classics like the Adams (both the Standard and Parachute versions). The water temp has been in the upper 30's in town.
Here's a Blue River access map for Silverthorne (courtesy of the Town of Silverthorne):
Today's Tip: Don't give up your nymph fishing, but try a streamer now and then. You might find the results eye opening. Tan, black and white are working. Sizes 14 through 4. Some days, the fish really key in on streamers with "eyes."
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of guide tested flies that kill it on the Blue River in Silverthorne.
Nymph Patterns to try:
Mysis Patterns: #16-#22, Top Secret Midges: #20-#24, Smith's Tidbit Midge: #20-#24, Red Rojo Midges: #20-#22, Black Beauties and Mercury Black Beauties: #20-#24, Pearl or Red Disco Midges: #20-#24, Miracle Nymphs: #20-#22, Mercury Blood Midges: #20-#22, Dailey's Tailwater Assassin in Red or Black: #22-#24, 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, WD-40's in Black, Gray or Olive : #20-#24, Standard Pheasant Tails: #18-24.
Dries to try:
Parachute Adams: #18-#24, Griffith's Gnat: #18-#22, Morgan's Midge: #22-#24, Brooks Sprouts: #24-#26. Black and Gray are the dominant color of adult midges in the Blue River.
Need a Blue River map?
Midges have been the dominant insect hatch. But trout that live north of Silverthorne will often take a variety of fly patterns (please see below). The Blue River is ice-free from Silverthorne to just below Heeney Bridge. Fishing has been fair at best.
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: Stonefly Nymphs of all sizes, Black Pure Midges: #20-24, Prince Nymphs: #16-22, Standard Pheasant Tails and Tungsten CDC Pheasant Tails/Hare's Ears: #16-20, JuJu Baetis (standard and purple): #18-#22, 2-Bit Hookers:#16-#18, Split-Back BWO Nymphs: #18-#20, Buckskins, Egg Patterns and San Juan Worms.
Dries: Smaller Royal Wullfs and Parachute Adams.
Need a Blue River map?
The only (somewhat) reliable hatch on the Colorado near Parshall has been midges. But the fish are looking for size 18-22 Mayfly, size 6-18 Stone Fly nymphs and size 14-18 Caddis larvae as well. The timing on the daily midge activity has been inconsistent. Some days the little buggers come off early in the day while, on other days, we aren't seeing many adults until mid day (or later). So don't despair if the fishing is tough early on. As often is the case, the patient, persistent angler will be rewarded.
Visibility on the Colorado River is currently very good (2-3 feet or more) below the Williams Fork confluence (think Parshall, Breeze, Sunset accesses). The river is iced over above the confluence. The Colorado is also iced over near Kremmling. That said, most of the public water between the Williams Fork confluence and Kremmling is fishable. The Reeder Creek access has limited open water at the moment but, with the warmer weather in the forecast, that should change soon.
Recent guide trips to the Colorado near Parshall have been very successful.#20 Pheasant Tails, #16 Buckskins, #8-#10 Pat's, #14-#18 Tugstun Yellow Sallies and #20-#24 Black Beauties or gray RS-2's have been the ticket for hooking up. Weight is key as well. Try changing (primarily adding) weight before changing flies. If your flies aren't ocassionally ticking the bottom, and you aren't hooking up, add some weight until you at least occasionally get hung up and/or have to clean moss off your flies. The opposite, of course, can also be true--it is just less common! If you are constantly cleaning your flies, take off a bit of weight. Our guides have been using 5X fluorocarbon tippet to small natural (i.e. no flash) Pheasant Tails trailed by 6X fluorocarbon to small black midges (e.g. Black Beauties and Pure Midges). Weight varies from one #4 tin shot to 2-3 #BB tin shot, depending on the water's depth. Look to find fish in water that has about 50% (or less) of the river's maximum velocity that day.
The nymphing has been good on Black or Gray RS-2's (#22-#24), Black or Olive Pure Midges (#20-#24), Miracle Nymphs #20-#22), Blood Midges (#20-#22), Black Beauties (the larvae and the emerger), Natural Pheasant Tails (#20-#22) and #20-22 Split-Cased BWO's. It is worth restating: Timing and patience are keys to success in this stretch. Sometimes the fish feed better in the morning and sometimes things don't get rolling until mid-afternoon. If your schedule allows, it can be worth your time to fish into the sunset hours.
Things to think about for the upper Colorado River: 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?
Kayak Feature Being Installed Near Ramp 2 and What it Looks Like Now
Please be aware that on the colder days, and especially if the sun isn't shining, there can be some slush in the water near Pumphouse. With the unseasonably warm weather, that is currently not the case. Yesterday, several of our guides floated from Pumphouse to Radium. Fishing was quite good; 30 trout were landed. Only one Whitefish was landed. The mix was mostly browns but a couple of rainbows were willing to eat. Average size of the fish was 13 inches, with a couple of larger (and smaller) fish thrown in. Best fly pattern by far was a #6 or #8 black Pat's Rubberlegs. A couple of fish ate a black, #20 Zebra Midge or a #20 Psycho Baetis.
Please remember that this may all change if winter decides to return to the high country in a prolonged, meaningful way. Access to the river is currently not a problem. 4-wheel drive is always recommended though.
Even with the installation of the kayak feature just above Ramp 2, the Colorado River at Pumphouse has very good visibility. The fishing has been improving. It is decent but not hot enough to light a fire (yet). The fish are still locating in their "winter water." You know, the slower, deeper water. While egg patterns can be very important some days, all sizes of Stone Flies, midge larvae, midge emergers and small Mayfly nymphs are your go-to flies.
Patterns to consider using include: Black or Coffee colored Pat's Rubberlegs (size 12-6), Black or Olive Zebra Midges (size 18-24), Black Beauties and Black Beauty Emergers (size 20-24), Black or Gray Sparkle Wing RS-2's (size 20-24), Tungsten Yellow Sallies (size 16-18), natural Pheasant Tails, Psycho Baetis (size 20-22) and Split-Cased BWO (size 18-22).
Top-water action has been poor, even when a decent hatch comes off. That said, your best chance of surface success will be on the cloudy days. Flies to try include: Parachute Adams, Mathew's Sparkle BWO, Gulper Specials and Griffith's Gnats.
Streamers should be among your tactics to consider. The action has been day-to-day, and even hour-to-hour. Make sure to try all sizes of streamers and running them at all depths. Sometimes 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.
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 action on the Arkansas River below Leadville has been poor lately. Midges are the main food source. The extent to which the bugs come off on any given day will, in large measure, determine you success on the water. Water clarity is very good but there is significant ice above Lake Creek (i.e. the discharge below Twin Lakes).
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: Standard Pheasant Tails (#16-#22), CDC Tungsten Pheasant Tails (#16-#18), Prince Nymphs (#16-#18), Rojo Midges in Red, Olive or Black (#18-#22), Black Zebra Midges (#18-#22) and Pat's Tan or Black Rubberleg in #8-#12 and assorted Egg Patterns.
Dries to try: Parachute Adams (#18-#22), Brooks' Sprout Midge (#18-#22), Stuck in the Shucks (#18-#22).
Need an Arkansas River map?
The Arkansas near Salida area is running clear. The best action is occurring during the warmest part of the day. As for fishing strategy, with the colder water look for fish to be in their "winter water." You know, the slower, deeper water. Unless there is significant structure (and depth) on the bank, expect to find the majority of fish to be holding off the riverbank. If you catch a warm day, look for fish to move from the deepest, slowest water to the front of the pool or run. 5X fluorocarbon tippets, and even 6X fluoro, are recommended.
Two of our guides reported very good streamer action when they floated Salida East to Rincon on Friday, 1/30/15. They also caught fish while nymphing. They were using mostly tan streamers sizes 10 to 4, with the smaller sizes accounting for the majority of the hook-ups. Nymph patterns that worked included Pure Midges in black, Red Rojo Midges, Yellow Sally nymphs in sizes 14-18 and size 18-20 Pheasant Tails.
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: Stonefly Nymphs (#12-#18), Olive JuJu's (#20-#24), Egg Patterns (Oregon Cheese Sucker Spawn patterns crush some days), Black or Standard Pheasant Tails (#16-#22), CDC Tungsten Pheasant Tails (#16-#18), Prince Nymphs (#16-#18), Rojo Midges in Red, Olive or Black (#18-#22), and Black Zebra Midges (#18-#22).
Dries to try: Parachute Adams (#18-#22), Brooks' Sprout Midge (#18-#22), Stuck in the Shucks (#18-#22), Matthew's Sparkle BWO, Extended Body BWO's.
Streamers to huck: Mike Tyson's (#6-#8), Sparkle Minnows (#4), 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 very good to excellent on the Roaring Fork and on the Colorado River below Glenwood Springs. The cold, very clear water contributes to the fish finding comfort in the slower, deep pools. Fishing has been better on the lower stretches of the river. Recent float trips between New Castle and Rifle have meet with mixed success. Although some large Rainbows were hooked-up, the fishing was on the slow side. The usually amazing, annual early season midge hatch has yet to materialize. As a general statement, try to catch the second or third day of a warming trend.......clouds don't hurt either.
The Roaring Fork is fishing a bit better. The float fishing below Carbondale has been good to very good. Nymphing has been good on egg patterns, midge larvae and mayfly nymphs. The streamer action has been quite good as well. Our advice? Go to the Roaring Fork and satisfy your "Fishing Jones!"
Flies to try: Pat's Rubber Legs, in Black, Tan or Olive (#8-#10), Egg Patterns (#12-#18), Olive or Black Zebra Midges (#18-#22), Zebra, JuJu Midges and BWO's (#18-#22), Tungsten CDC Hare's Ears and Pheasant Tails (#16-#18), Natural or Black Pheasant Tails (#16-#22), Miracle Nymphs (#18-#22), Skinny Nelson's (#18-#22) and Purple Psycho Princes (#18-#20).
On the surface: Parachute Adams, Midge Clusters and Brooks' Sprouts.
Need a Roaring Fork River map?
This is a fantastic time to fish the Dream Stream; angling pressure has decreased and the fish are a bit less wary. Although it makes sight fishing more difficult, some overcast weather definitely helps the cause as well.
Flies to try: #20-#24 Juju Bee Midges, #22 Desert Storms in chartreuse, #20-#24 Black or Gray RS-2's, #16-#22 Scuds in light olive or orange/brown, #20-#24 Black Beauties and #20-#22 Miracle Nymphs.
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 are a bit low on the Muddy but fishing has been surprisingly good some days This is a somewhat fickle tailwater so if the action is slow consider moving on to the Colorado River.
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 (#14-#18), Red Rojo Midge (#18-#22), Brassie, Copper or Red (#18-#22), Black or Red Copper Johns (#16-#20) and WD-40's (#18-#22)
Antero is iced over and ready for your augers. Fishing has been fair to good. Check out this cool video from late 2014:
It looks like the draining of Antero is "on" again, beginning sometime in late spring or early summer. Consequently, as of 1/10/15, the possession limit is being increased from 2 trout to 8 trout per angler license. Happy hunting!
The Williams Fork is currently running at 45 cfs. This is barely an adequate flow for fishing the Willy's Fork and won't attact many rainbows into the river for spawning; they will be too exposed to predators. Even so, Shoiud you encounter spawning fish, please don't fish to paired up rainbows, especially if they are in shallow, clean, gravelly water (i.e. on a Redd).
For rainbows not actively spawning, and for the browns ceratin to be nearby the spawing rainbows, try using standard Pheasant Tails, Black Pheasant Tails, Olive Midges, Egg Patterns, San Juan Worms, smaller Zebra Midges, Pheasant Tails, JuJu Baetis in Black, Purple and Red, Barr's BWO Emerger, RS-2's and WD-40's. If you're not having any luck with the aforementioned flies, try using Miracle Nymphs and Cream San Juan's. Both of these flies have saved my bacon many a day while guiding on the Williams Fork. Streamers should also be on your list of flies to try.
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
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. Although the current 340 cfs is a bit on the high side for wade fishing, it is still within the comfortable range. Midges are the insects of interest to the trout. Mayfly nymphs and streamers (to some extent) have also been effective. Most of the action is taking place below the water surface but don't be surprised to see trout sipping midges or even BWO's in the surface film.
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: #10- #12 Pat's Rubber Legs, Egg Patterns, Olive and Black Zebra Midges, Standard Pheasant Tails, Gray WD-40's, Black, Olive or gray RS-2's, Charlie's "TDJ" Pheasant Tails, CDC Hare's Ears and CDC Pheasant Tails in all sizes.
Dries to Try: #18-#26 Parachute Adams, #18-#22 Mathhew's Sparkle Emergers, #20-#24 Brooks' Sprouts and #20-#22 "Stuck in the Shucks."
The wade fishing is improving with the warmer weather we have all been enjoying. That said, the fishing will be somewhat weather dependent until mid-March or early April. Try to fish the warmer days and the warmest part of those days. The Eagle is mostly free from floating ice. Some bank ice will be present in those stretches of river that receive minimal sun exposure.
Need an Eagle River map?
Gore Creek has some open water. It is running low and clear. Stealth will be your best tactic. Eggs and midges will trick fish into eating. Fishing has been fair.
Ten Mile Creek is mostly ice-free. Look to find fish in the slower pools that have enough sheltering depth.
Clear Creek is currently very fishable from Georgetown to Idaho Springs. 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 (until it the ice comes). It just might become you favorite place to get that "quick fix."
The Snake River is mostly frozen. There is very little open water available to the angler.
The Snake River inlet area (i.e. into Lake Dillon) has a good thickness of ice. Fishing is fair through the 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?