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
Salmon Fly Hatch Update: No sign of the big bugs yet. Water temperatures have crept back into the low 50's. Since it is generally accepted that Salmon Flies need sustained water temperatures in the mid 50's to begin their emergence, it looks like we are closer to a Pteronarcys hatch than we were just a few days ago. Current visibility on the Colorado River below Pumphouse is 6-10 inches. Please don't hesitate to give us a call at the shop for the latest info: 970-262-2878.
Spring is big fish time
Our Fall guide school will be held from Sunday, September 25th through Saturday, October 1st. For more info about our school, give us a call at 970-262-2878 or drop us an email at email@example.com.
***Summer Hours: 7am-7pm Daily***
Water We Guide On: 5/24/16
The Blue River below Dillon Reservoir is running at a healthy 750 cfs as of 9:45 am this morning. The river has been at this level for a few days now and the fish are accustomed to it. Fishing isn't easy at this level but it isn't impossible either. Many of the biggest fish of the year are caught in the higher waters of spring. This is true almost all of our rivers, not just the Blue River.
With the increased release of water, look for increased numbers of Mysis shrimp to be in the system. Some days, a Mysis imitation will be all you will need to catch fish on the Blue River in Silverthorne. You should be able to use a bit larger fly, including Mysis patterns, at this flow. 4x fluorocarbon tippet should get the job done but go back to 5x if you aren't hooking up. 4x tippet should get the job done. Keep in mind that at flows of 900 cfs and above we typically use 3x tippet and will even use 2x tippet if the water is murky. We still advise keeping your indicator small and that you stay away from brightly colored indicators.
Keep in mind that there are days, and times of the day, when Mysis patterns seem to be of little interest to the trout that live below Dillon Reservoir. So come to the Blue River in Silverthorne prepared to use small Midges, small Mayfly nymphs, Golden Stones in all sizes, Caddis larvae and a selection of worms and streamers.
In addition to every Mysis pattern you can think of, our guides have been using: #18-#20 standard Pheasant Tails, #20-#22 red Imposters, #20-#22 Rainbow Warriors, #20-#22 Black Beauties, #20-#22 gray Sparkle Wing RS-2's, #20-#22 Top Secret Midges (or Smith's Midges), #20-#24 chartreuse or orange Desert Storms and #18-#22 black or orange/red Pure Midges. Squirmy Wormies and rubberleg worms have been producing as well.
We haven't seen many fish feeding on the surface. Almost all of the action has been subsurface. The overcast days hold the greatest possibility to find fish feeding on the surface. But don't expect to find "lights-out" dry fly fishing on the Blue River in Silverthorne on a consistent basis.
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."
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.
Need a Blue River map?
The Blue River below Dillon Reservoir is running at 750 cfs today as of 9:45 am this morning. If you concentrate your efforts on the soft water along the bank and on the inside of river bends you will find hungry fish willing to eat your flies.
The Blue below Silverthorne is fishable all the way from Silverthorne to Green Mountain Reservoir. The first few miles of the Blue below Silverthorne have good clarity. The clarity becomes slightly impaired, but still very fishable, the closer you get to Green Mountain Reservoir.
Egg patterns, Pat's Rubberlegs, small Golden Stones, Mayfly nymphs, Caddis larvae and Midge larvae are all available food sources for the trout at this time of year and are good choices to imitate with your flies. Streamers are always worth a try as some days they are very effective.
The inlet area to Green Mountain Reservoir is beginning to fish well. Be aware that this area can be a muddy mess on a warm day.
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.
FYI: The Blue River between Silverthorne and Green Mountain Reservoir has been delisted from the 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!
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-Case 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 Colorado near Parshall has 10-18 inches of visibility and is flowing at about 1950 cfs. We consider these to be fishable, but difficult, conditions. If you are having a tough go on the Colorado River, you may need to switch gears and fish a local tailwater like the Williams Fork or Muddy Creek. The flows on these tailwaters are increasing almost daily so pay attention to the streamflow graphs.
Now is the time to fish larger flies that the fish can see. Examples of these flies include: Salmon Fly Nymphs, Golden Stone nymphs, larger Caddis larvae patterns, San Juan Worms and Blue Wing Olive nymphs. Flies that are taking fish include: #12-#18 natural Pheasant Tails, #6-#10 Pat's Ruberlegs in olive, black or coffee, #14-#18 Sizzlin' Squirrels, and #12-#18 Tungsten Yellow Sallies. San Juan worms in pink, worm brown and red are producing good results as well.
When the clarity of a river water is impaired, trout often seek the shelter of slower, deeper water. In particular, and perhaps surprisingly so, you will often find trout hanging within a few feet (or less) from the bank when the water clarity is less than ideal. This is especially true in the spring as trout will stay near the banks looking for migrating Salmon Flies as they make their way to the bank for their emergence.
Weight is key to catching fish at any time of year but especially when water conditions are less than ideal. If you can only see your fly for about a foot in the water, the same holds true for the trout. If you are floating your nymphs 14 inches above a trout, in water that has 12 inches of visibility, that trout may never see your fly. Moreover, a trout may not be feeding aggressively enough to move even 8 inches despite being able to see your fly. This all says to us that to be better anglers we need to play around with our set-ups and their weights more than most of us do. Sometimes getting it right will pay off in a much bigger way than just getting it close.
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?
At 3400 cfs and impaired water quality, the Colorado River below Pumphouse is currently a difficult fish. But don't let that scare you off. You can catch decent numbers of fish, and some big ones at that, but you'll have to work at it. Recent float trips have produced decent to good numbers of trout but most of the fish were caught by pulling over (i.e. nosing up) and working the slower pieces of water. Not many fish were hooked while floating down the river and casting to the bank.
There have been clouds of Caddis over the river lately but we aren't seeing many fish keying on them as a food source. Rather, we are having better luck with Mega-Princes, Pat's Rubberlegs and San Juan Worms. We are hooking a few fish on smaller flies like bead head Princes, Tungsten CDC Pheasant Tails and Tungsten CDC Hare's Ears.
Giving your nymph rig a bit of a twitch during its drift seems to be a winning tactic at the moment. The twitch probably helps alert the fish to your flies as the visibility is only about 8 inches. We are hoping that as the water stabilizes, probably at much higher levels, the fish will settle in and the water clarity will improve. We have had very good fishing during high water conditions in the past, with last spring sticking out as a prime example.
If we see an improvement in water quality, expect smaller flies to become of more interest to the trout: #16 Tungsten CDC Pheasant Tails, #18-#20 Barr's BWO Emergers, #18-#20 Juju Baetis (black and purple), #20 gray Sparkle wing RS-2's and #14-#20 standard Pheasant Tails. Other patterns that are working include: CDC Hare's Ears, Olive Caddis Larvae, Sizzlin' Squirrels, #12-#14 Prince of Darkness, and #12-#16 CDC Pheasant Tails. As always, call us (970-262-2878) for the most current report.
The streamer bite has slowed quite a bit but the best streamers have been: white or olive Dungeons, Barely Legals, Sparkle Minnows, Olive Gongas and tan Home Invaders. The fish seem to want big, lightly colored streamers at the moment. But that could change in an instant so come to the party with a good selection of pattens in different sizes and colors.
We haven't seen much top-water action yet but come prepared for it: #12-#18 Elk Hair Caddis, #14-#16 Spot-Light Caddis, #14-#16 Peacock Caddis, #18-#26 Parachute Adams, #18-#22 Matthew's BWO Sparkle Duns and #18-#20 Gulper Specials and #18-#20 Extended Body BWO's.
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. If your "pattern" begins to let you down look to change up what you are doing in hopes of finding another "pattern" to the trout's feeding. Here's what most guides do: Change flies, change where in the river they are fishing them and play around with how deep they are fishing them.
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. That said, the fishing is improving on the upper Arkansas, especially in the Buena Vista area. Some days have been worthy of 3 to 4 stars. Come to the river armed with BWO nymphs/dry patterns, Golden Stone nymphs, Caddis larvae/dry patterns, and streamers.
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?
Recent snowmelt and reservoir releases have, at times, reduced the visibility in the Ark. It is still very fishable though. Take advantage of the clear water days over the few days on the Arkansas before run-off shuts it down for real. Spring fishing on the Arkansas River near Salida is some of the best fishing of the year and should be on your list of destinations until run-off blows it up. It has been a 4 star experience on occasion. The current 800 cfs is a very comfortable level for both the wade and float angler. Nymphing is very good and the dry fly action has varied from fair to spectacular.
The Blue Wing Olives (BWO's) are still popping, especially on the overcast days. On the warmer, sunnier days, the caddis are very active from the Bighorn Sheep Canyon up to slightly above Brown's Canyon.
Dry Flies: #16-#20 Parachute Adams, #18-#20 Gulper Specials, #16-#20 BWO Sparkle duns (and Comparaduns), #16-#20 Extended Body BWO's, #18-#20 CDC Baetis Duns, #16-#18 black foam Caddis, black or brown Elk Hair Caddis, #16-#18 Peacock Caddis, and #14-#18 attractor style dries (think #14-#18 Royal Wullf's, Trudes, Chubby Chernobyls).
Nymphs: #14-#18 CDC Pheasant Tails/Hare's Ears, #16-#18 Black Two-Bit Hookers, #16-#18 Black Pheasant Tails, #16-#20 Juju Baetis, #12-#18 Copper Johns in red, chartreuse and copper, Olive or chartreuse Caddis Larvae/Emerger patterns, #12-#18 Tungsten Yellow Sallies, #6-#10 black Pat's Rubberlegs, and # 16-#12 Epoxy Biot Golden Stones.
Streamers have been effective some days. Arkansas River trout seem to like smaller streamers like Slump Busters and Bead Head leech patterns. We have good results using size 6-12 streamers in black, purple or olive. But there are days when the fish can't resist a larger offering like #2-#4 black Sex Dungeon or a #8 tan or black 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?
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 Blue Wing Olive nymphs. There are still eggs in the river and fish will sometimes key on them at this time of year, especially when there aren't any insects to be had. Pegged eggs are often 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 300 cfs mark. Visibility is decent. The deer flies and the mosquitos are yet to arrive but with our warmer weather they are coming soon. We recommend giving the Muddy a try. It will have good water clarity and enough fish to keep you interested.
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.
Spinney Mountain Reservoir is now open and ready for business. Some folks have reported having 3 and 4 star days but since we don't have a ton of reports we'll keep the rating at 2 stars for now. But Spinney Reservoir is definitely worth fishing!
The lake is about 10 feet low. Water temperature is right around 46 degrees. The usual, early season flies have been working: egg patterns, Chironomids, red and chartreuse Copper Johns, Pheasant Tails and Streamers.
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 fishing on the Williams Fork has been good to very good lately. Keep an eye on the flow and try to avoid fishing the Williams Fork just after either a big spike or drop in the release from the dam. Fishing has been good when the flow has been steady for a few days.
We've been fishing the Williams Fork a bit lately. We have been using #14-#16 bead head Prince nymphs, #10 and #16 CDC bead head Pheasant Tails, San Juan Worms, #18-#22 olive Real Meals and #20 Sparkle Wing RS-2's. We haven't thrown streamers much lately but those should be in your box as well.
Other flies to try: Standard Pheasant Tails, Black Pheasant Tails, Olive or black Midges (size 16-20), Pheasant Tails, Juju Midges in Black, Purple and Red, Miracle Nymphs, olive or gray RS-2's, olive or gray WD-40's, Juju Baetis, Split-Cased BWO's, K's Latex Caddis in olive or chartreuse, Buckskins.
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.
The Middle Fork of the South Platte is fishing well. Try to hit this soon as run-off will come before you know it!
Hopper dropper, indicator nymphing, streamers and dry flies have all been effective. Standard nymphs and standard dries will get the job done. But we suggest having a few #14-#18 Tungsten Yellow Sally nymphs in your box.
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 consists of the approximately 1.5 miles or so of river bank located just below the reservoir. The public water ends at the private land/no trespassing 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 of you that are 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 (Montana law allows an angler to stand on private property up to the "High-Water" mark).
There is no commercial guiding (wade or float) allowed on this stretch of the Blue but most of the shop guys love to fish it when they get a chance. The current flow of 800 cfs is a good level for float fishing but not ideal for wade fishing. Both wade and boat anglers will need to focus on the slack water to find success. Nymphing with larger flies (#4-#10) will often bring trout to hand but don't overlook the smaller (#16-#20) BWO, Green Drake and Golden Stone patterns. San Juan Worms should also be in your repertoire.
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 fishing very well above Wolcott. Below Wolcott, Milk Creek (and misc smaller feeder creeks) are spilling in very dirty water. Visibility below Wolcott is 8-12 inches.
The rainbows are on the feed above Wolcott and we are seeing some nice ones. Flies that are working include: size 10 olive/brown Pat's Rubberlegs, #14-#16 Caddis larvae/emerger patterns and Blue Wing Olive nymph patterns.
Need an Eagle River map?
Gore Creek is running fairly clear but with our recent warm weather we are about to see some high, and dirty water in Gore Creek.
The inlet area into Dillon Lake is beginning to turn on. The river itself is running a bit high but is still very fishable.
High and stained water conditions exist from Georgetown to Golden. It is still an option though. The Clear Creek fish aren't terribly picky. Try using red Copper Johns, Pheasant Tails and Brassies.
It's time to hit the Snake. You've got a little time left before run-off hits.