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
These guys didn't let the weather get 'em down. Way to go gang!
Our Spring 2015 guide school is now fully booked. 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.
***Spring Hours: 8am-6pm Daily***
Water We Guide On: 4/18/15
Despite the return of winter for a few days, the Blue River in Silverthorne is in good fishing form. Flows have been consistent a175 cfs for almost 3 weeks. After what was likely a break in the action due to the annual rainbow spawn, anglers are having significant success again. That said, the spawn is probably not completed, so be prepared to suffer through some slow periods until the fish decide its time to go (it's always up to the fish anyways!).
Mysis Shrimp should be among your primary fly patterns. Assorted Midge larvae patterns in sizes 20-26 (black or red) are fooling fish sub-surface. 6X fluorocarbon is still the call but 5X may get the job done, especially if you catch an overcast day. 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.
Here's an update from one of our good customers, Matthew Campanella, about his most recent Blue River angling experience. Matthew generously offers insight into his suucess:
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, Black, Pearl or Red Rainbow Warriors: #18-#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 we are beginning to see some Blue Winged Olives on the stretches near Green Mountain Reservoir. Trout that live north of Silverthorne will often take a variety of fly patterns (please see below). The Blue River is ice-free. Fishing has improved, especially at, or near, the inlet to Green Mountain Reservoir.
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 Colorado near Parshall is currently off-color but very fishable. The fishing has been day to day (as has the amount of clarity). Don't let the color of the water stop you from giving it a try. If the action is slow, take the short drive to the Colorado near Pumphouse. This section of the Colorado River has been providing the more consistent action. The Blue Wing Olive hatch has begun, with the cloudy days seeing the best hatches.
The midge hatch on the Colorado near Parshall has intensified and is occurring with regularity. Besides eating Midges, the fish are looking for Blue Winged Olive (BWO) nymphs. BWO's are definitely in the mix now, particularly when overcast conditions exist.
We have been catching fish on size 18-22 Mayfly nymphs and Midge larvae patterns, size 6-18 Golden and Dark Stone Fly nymphs and size 16-20 egg patterns. The daily Midge activity can begin as early as 9 am but some days we aren't seeing many until closer to noon. Look for the Blue Wings to begin hatching around noon but the hatch can begin as late as 4pm. 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 fair (1-2 feet or more) below the Williams Fork confluence (think Parshall, Breeze, Sunset accesses). The river is now ice-free above the confluence and is beginning to really turn on after a long winter.
Recent guide trips to the Colorado near Parshall have been very successful. #20 Pheasant Tails, #18-#22 JuJu Baetis, #18-#20 Split-Cased BWO's, #16-#20 Olive, Red or Black 2-Bit Hookers, #8-#10 Pat's, #14-#18 Tungsten Yellow Sallies and #20-#24 Black Beauties have been the ticket for hooking up. Black, olive or gray RS-2's are crushing it some days.
Weight is key as well. Try changing (primarily adding) weight before changing flies. If your flies aren't occassionally 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.
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
The Colorado near Pumphouse has about 2-3 feet of visibility. The fishing has been fair to very good. Boat anglers are having more success than wade anglers, especially those boaters willing to stop and do some wade fishing (please be respectful and don't wade fish on private land.)
While we are still seeing fish locate in their "winter water," the rising water temperature has encouraged the trout to move to medium fast water to feed. This is especially true during a significant insect hatch like the annual spring Blue Wing Olive (BWO) hatch. We are seeing more BWO's every day.
In the absence o a significant hatch, all sizes of Stone Flies, midge larvae, midge emergers and size 16-22 Mayfly nymphs are your go-to flies. Eggs are of less importance now but should still be in your box. Many days, a size 6 Pat's Rubberleg in black, olive or coffee will receive most of the fish's interest.
Patterns to consider using include: Black or Coffee colored Pat's Rubberlegs (size 12-4), Black or Olive Zebra Midges (size 18-24), Mercury Miracle Midges (size 18-20), Black or Gray Sparkle Wing RS-2's (size 20-24), Tungsten Yellow Sallies (size 16-18), natural Pheasant Tails, JuJu Baetis in black or red (size 18-20), Psycho Baetis (size 20-22) and Split-Cased BWO (size 18-22).
Top-water action has been improving but is still slow most days. That said, your best chance of surface success will be on the cloudy days. Flies to try: 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 improving with the warm weather. The water is still low and cold....just not as cold as it was. In addition to the Midges, Blue Wing Olives are now on the menu. Keep in mind that Arkansas fish tend to be opportunistic and attractor nymphs often work very well on all sections of the Arkansas.
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. The river is ice-free. We suggest focusing your efforts in the Buena Vista area, but the action is improving in the Hayden Meadows seaction.
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 or Black Pheasant Tails (#16-#22), 2-Bit Hookers in Red or Black (#16-#20), 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 has very good visibility. Reports for Brown's Canyon, and all the way downstream through Bighorn Sheep Canyon, have been very positive. The Blue Winged Olives hatch is in full swing, with the best hatches occurring on the cloudy days. Caddis Larvae, Midges and Golden Stones are also in the mix.
Flows are right around the 300 cfs mark, allowing the wade angler excellent access to the river. Floating is still an option but keep your boat light and consider leaving the third seat open.
The best action is occurring during the warmest part of the day. As for fishing strategy, in the mornings, look for fish to be in the slower, deeper water. As the water warms, look for fish to move from the deepest, slowest water to the front of the pool or into the riffle proper. 5X fluorocarbon tippets, and even 6X fluoro, are recommended.
While surface activity is getting better, nymphing has been the best technique. Streamers have also been working well. Try using small tan streamers, or tan and purple, in sizes 8-12. 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 (both in standard and in black.
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: Black Slump Busters (#6-#8), Sparkle Minnows (#4), Black Houdini (#8), Leech Patterns in Black, Olive and Purple (#12-#8), Standard Wooly Buggers (#6-#14).
Need an Arkansas River map?
Water clarity is 2-3 feet on the Roaring Fork and on the Colorado River below Glenwood Springs. The water is warming and the fish are beginning to move from the slower, deep water into medium speed water. Recent float trips between New Castle and Rifle have meet with mixed success. Although some large Rainbows and browns are being hooked, the fishing has been inconsistent. The annual, season midge hatch is well underway, and we are starting to see good Blue Winged Olive hatches as well. Expect fishing on the Colorado below Glenwood to improve significantly over the coming weeks.
If only due to its consistency, the Roaring Fork is fishing a bit better than the Colorado. 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?
Conditions are not ideal. A flow of 50 cfs is a bit low. The trout get to inspect your offering very closely at these levels. 6X fluoro and small indicators are standard fare at these flows. Typical tailwater flies will get the job done if you work slowly and with stealth. One of our favorite spring flies for this section is the chartreuse Desert Storm.
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 at 71 cfs on the Muddy. 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. The hot color is green right now. Throw something green and chances are you will be very happy.....that is, until green doesn't work anymore! Egg patterns, black midges and light colored scuds will also bring fish to hand.
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)
The Williams Fork is currently running at 70 cfs. Fishing has been fair to good. 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 certain to be nearby the spawning 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
This report includes the “Tomahawk” SWA.
The upper river is ice free and fishing is improving daily.
The Dream Stream section of the South Platte below Spinney Mountain Reservoir has been fishing best in the mornings. But that may be due to the wind that typically arrives after the noon hour. Jacob Lutz, a member of our shop staff who fishes more than almost anyone we know, had a good morning a few days ago using size 16-20 natural Pheasant Tails. Other flies that intersted the trout included olive midge larvae and Bear's Baetis.
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 297 cfs is a very good level for wade fishing. Midges and Blue Winged Olives are the primary 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, Split Cased BWO's, 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 Matthew'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 free from floating ice but be watchful for heavy staining below Milk Creek (just below Wolcott) on the very warm days.
Need an Eagle River map?
Gore Creek is open and is running low and clear. Stealth will be your best tactic. Eggs and midges will trick fish into eating. Fishing has been fair to good.
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?