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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Water We Guide On: 7/01/15
The current flow on the Blue River below Dillon Reservoir is 900 cfs. Expect the Blue to continue to drop from here but, believe it or not, this is a good level for fishing the Blue River in Silverthorne. The fishing is still challenging at this level but there are considerably more "soft water" spots to fish now that the water has dropped from 1800 cfs to 900 cfs.
That said, please be mindful of the power of the river at this flow. Don't risk being swept away while trying to get into position to make a cast or by doing a "Brad Pitt" while trying to land a fish. There are many places on the Blue in Silverthorne where you can spot nice sized fish, or a likely holding lie, safely make a cast and land your trout.
You will find some monster trout holding in the soft water along the banks of the Blue River in Silverthorne. This is the time of year when we often hook, and sometimes land, the biggest fish that call the Blue River in Silverthorne "home." That said, not all the fish are giants.
If you want a visual of the kind of water you should be looking to fish, check out our short video, "Fishing High Water:"
The additional water coming out of the dam brings more Mysis Shrimp into the river. The best Mysis patterns of late have been Charlie's Mysis, the BTS Mysis and the Epoxy Mysis, all in sizes 16-20.
Assorted midge larvae and midge emerger patterns in sizes 18-26 (black, gray or red) are also fooling fish. Purple Juju's and red tungsten Baetis are good choices. For the most part, 3x or 4x fluorocarbon will do the job. Using heavy tippet will be your only shot of landing the big ones. You'll also need to add more weight. Using a 6 or 7 wt rod isn't a bad idea either. Many of the bigger fish will find relief from the increased water velocity by hugging the bottom and situating themselves behind protective bottom structure (e.g., boulders, downed trees or sunken logs).
We still advise using the smallest, least conspicuous indicator you can see, especially if you are fishing to the trout that are hanging on the bank. For the trout calling the soft, deep water "home," use an indicator that will float the weight needed to get down to the fish. You can get away with a medium sized indicator at this flow and, probably, a large sized indicator. White or black yarn indicators, medium or large 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. 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.
For you dry fly enthusiasts, your opportunities will be very limited to non-existent. That said, a large dry fly might trigger a strike or draw fish nearer your smaller, more realistic dry offering. Look to find fish feeding on top in the soft areas of the river, especially along the bank. Size 18-24 patterns will imitate the Midges and BWO's that live in the Blue River. Try Matthew's Sparkle Dun, Midge Clusters, extended body BWO's, and classics like the Adams (both the Standard and Parachute versions). A Royal Wulff or Chubby Chernobyl often brings surprising results when the Blue River is at elevated levels. The Chubby makes a great strike indicator as well.
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.
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.
Streamers to try: Sex Dungeons, Barely Legals, Home Invaders, Houdini, Thin Mints, Super Buggers and all sizes and colors of the standard "Woolly Bugger."
Dries to try: #6-#10 Chubby Chernobyl's, #12-#14 Stimulators, #12-#14 Madam X's, #12 Lime Trudes.
Need a Blue River map?
Now that the Blue River has dropped from 1800 cfs to 1000 cfs, the river has become somewhat more manageable for the wade angler. Even so, the fishing is not easy and you must give the river the respect it deserves. Be careful out there.
The determined wade angler will find the soft water that holds trout at this elevated flow. 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.
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. 2x-3x 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: Stonefly Nymphs of all sizes, Prince Nymphs: #10-16, Standard Pheasant Tails and Tungsten CDC Pheasant Tails/Hare's Ears: #10-16, JuJu Baetis (standard and purple): #18, 2-Bit Hookers:#16, Split-Back BWO Nymphs: #18-#20, Buckskins, Egg Patterns and San Juan Worms.
Dries: #6 Chubby Chernobyls and #8-#10 Golden Stones.
Need a Blue River map?
Bring your bug spray. The mosquito's are already out in big numbers.
The Colorado River near Parshall currently has 2 feet (or more) of visibility. We have passed the peak flows of this year's runoff and the flow is receding rather quickly. But the Colorado River is still very high. The fish are still there--you will just need to find them. This is typical high water fishing; look for the softest water and give it a go. You'll often need to walk a fair ways in between good-looking spots. Be safe out there. There is no need to step into the heavy, swift water. The fish are not there. They are in the kind of water that you feel is safe to stand in.
For those willing to make the effort to fish the high water, the nymph fishing has been fair to good. You'll need to use plenty of weight, possibly as much as 2 AB's. Vary the depth of your rig according to the depth of the water. Our guides have been using heavy rigs set between 4 feet and 7 feet. The dry fly fishing has been poor.
Most of the action has been on size 6-8 Pat's Rubberleg Stone Fly imitations and pink, red or purple San Juan Worms. Black and Olive have been the best colors lately. Bubble-Back BWO's and purple Psycho Princes have been taking fish when the trout are keyed in on the Baetis. Caddis larvae are also an available food source. We are seeing decent numbers of Caddis some days. Fish are being caught on Buckskins, Hare's Ears and Sizzlin' Squirrels. San Juan Worms have been particularly effective when the water is rising and/or the water clarity is less than 12 inches.
While some trout are "bank hugging," we are finding that fish are further from the bank than you might expect. We are catching fish as close as 1 foot from the bank and as far out as 15 feet from the bank, depending on the speed of the water you are fishing. Should the water clarity deteriorate, expect the trout to move closer to the bank.
Focus on the water that is moving at half, or less than half, of the maximum velocity of the river. That is, look for the fastest part of the river and fish the water that seems to be moving at half, or less than, that maximum speed. Often times, the water you are looking for has a surface that looks like a bowl of Jell-O that is being gently wiggled (hence the term, "Jell-O Water"). If the "Jell-O Water" has a ledge, drop-off, or other structure, it is even more likely to hold fish.
Don't spend a lot of time fishing the bank water if it doesn't look conducive to holding trout (any bank that has water deep enough so that you can't see the bottom is a candidate to hold fish). If the bank water is too shallow, or too fast, to hold trout, look for the nearest water that is deep enough to hold fish. Depressions in the river bottom, even those that may seem rather insignificant, are great places to find trout. Also, you will find fish holding in the soft pockets and in the soft, tail out portions of seams. The inside part of a seam is also a good location to find feeding fish when the water has impaired visibility and/or is higher than "normal."
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 0X-2x 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 thought 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?
Over the last 6 days the Colorado River has dropped from over 7000 cfs to today's 3300 cfs. The float fishing has been very good to outstanding. With the drop in flow, the wade fishing has improved as well--it just isn't quite as good as the float fishing. The water is
more manageable for the wade angler and not so darn fast for the float angler. Barring any major rain events, we expect the Colorado River to continue to slowly decline over the next few days and weeks.
The wade angler is back in the game with the drop in flow on he Colorado near Pumphouse. There is still no way to cross the river on foot but the number of good wade fishing spots has increased. Believe it or not, there are still Salmon Flies hatching above Pumphouse. You'll need to walk at least half-way up Gore Canyon to find them but they are there (many thanks to our own Jacob Lutz for that info).
Our guides floated below 2 Bridges yesterday. Caddis and Yellow Sallies were the dominant insects on the water. But we saw a few Pale Morning Duns (PMD's). An olive Pat's Rubberlegs was the ticket to the biggest fish of the day, but Yellow Sally nymphs and Caddis Larvae/Pupa accounted for the majority of our hook-ups. With the water both dropping and clearing, the San Juan Worms have been less effective for our guides recently. There's always an exception though, Matt Weiler had a good day using a purple Sparkle Worm.
Fish are rising, but only here and there. The fish are beginning to spread out now that the water velocity and water volume are dropping. We are seeing fewer "pods" of fish; they are more spread out along the banks. They are still seeking shelter from the heavy current so look to find feeding trout on the inside of the faster seams and at the tails of seems where the water velocity has diminished. The soft pockets along the banks are also holding better numbers of feeding fish.
You still need to be prepared to deal with annoying bottom snags and bottom "strikes." Be sure to check out every tick of your indicator by lifting the rod. Otherwise, you'll be missing fish. We advise floating below State Bridge. The river is wider below State Bridge, has fewer gnarly rapids and provides more fishable water. If you are capable of safely running Yarmony Rapid, the fishing between Radium and Rancho Del Rio is improving daily.
While the wade fishing has improved, the drop in flow means that now is prime time for float fishing the Colorado River. Instead of using the boat to find the "pods" of fish stacked-up in the giant eddies, we are able to catch fish while casting to the banks while floating down the river.
The banks holding the most fish are the ones that have good structure and a medium to slow current. It is important to "pattern" the kind of water in which you are hooking your fish. The speed of the water needs to be just right; not too slow and not too fast. 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.
Best nymphs have been #6-#8 Pat's Rubberlegs in olive, #12-#16 Prince Nymphs, #14-#18 Tungsten Yellow Sallies, #14-#18 Iron Sallies, #14-#18 Tungsten CDC Hare's Ears and #10-#16 pink or purple worms.
Dry flies to try: #14-#18 yellow or orange Stimulators, #14-#18 Elk Hair Caddis, #14-#18 Peacock Caddis, #14-#16 X-Caddis, #14-#16 Parachute PMD's and #14-#18 Parachute Adams.
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. 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?
At 630 cfs today, the Arkansas River below Leadville is running high and has 2 feet of visibility. It is very fishable.
Try using a heavy, short (3-4 foot) nymph rig. Caddis Larvae, attractor nymphs and Golden Stone nymphs are working well. The surface action is improving with some days being outstanding. That said, some days the top water action isn't very good. So it goes with the Arkansas River! Stimulators and Elk Hair Caddis will fool most of the top-water feeders. Try skating or twitching your dry fly if the dead drift doesn't produce any action.
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-#18), Pat's Rubberlegs in olive or black (#10-#12), CDC Tungsten Pheasant Tails (#12-#18), Olive Caddis Larvae (#14-#16), Prince Nymphs (#14-#16), Rojo Midges in Red, Olive or Black (#18-#22), Black Zebra Midges (#18-#22) and Tungsten Yellow Sallies in #12-#16.
Dries to try when flows recede: Parachute Adams (#16-#20), Extended Body BWO's (#16-#20), Matthew's Sparkle Dun (#18-#22), black, olive or tan Elk Hair Caddis (#14-#18), black Foam Body Caddis (#14-#18), all colors of the Neversink Caddis (#14-#16).
Need an Arkansas River map?
The water clarity on the Arkansas River near Salida is improving. And while the river is still very high, it is very fishable. We recommend fishing from the bank. The float fishing is just too difficult (fast) at this flow. Please keep in mind that when we suggest that you fish from the bank, we are not saying you should get into the river and wade around. There is absolutely no need to get in the river at this flow.
Use a dry-dropper set-up and walk the bank looking for any soft water or pocket to throw your flies into. The strikes typically occur on the first or second cast when the water is this big. If you don't get a strike after a couple of casts move on. A size 12 or 14 Yellow Madam-X or Stimulator trailing a size 12-14 bead head Pheasant Tail, Yellow Sally Nymph or Hare's Ear will usually get the job done. Copper Johns are also good producers on the Ark at these flows.
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 Roaring Fork is currently a bit high but very fishable. Visibility is fair but it's more than enough to catch fish. The next two-three weeks should offer some of the best float fishing of the year on the Fork. We like to fish the Fork as it by mid-week. We'll let you know soon how it's fishing.
We were there on Tuesday, June 9 checking out the NRS, 14-foot Freestone Drifter. The flow was 4200 cfs. For those not familiar with this craft, the Freestone Drifter is an inflatable drift boat. We were somewhat skeptical going in but left the river impressed with the Freestone Drifter (read our review). The same can be said about the float fishing. It was, unexpectedly, quite good. We were the only fishing boat on the Fork.
We started out rating the fishing as a "C" but by the end of the day we all agreed it was a "B." We did best "nosing up" but caught fish on the run as well. We do have a caveat: You need to be a pretty good stick to hit the spots and read the water. Best flies were: Black Sex Dungeon, Pink (Chenille and Sparkle) Worm, #12 Tungsten CDC Hare's Ear and #8 Mega-Prince. Indicator nymphing produced the more consistent action but the streamer was certainly productive at times.
Surprisingly, the Colorado River below Glenwood appears to be clear enough to fish successfully. We ran out of daylight so we didn't get a chance to see how the action was on the Colorado River.
Need a Roaring Fork River map?
Despite the high water (745 cfs), the fishing has been fair on the Dream Stream. Most of the big fish that move into South Platte in the Spring have returned to their lake homes. Even so, there are plenty of nice fish to be caught. Try dead drifting Woolly Buggers, Crane Fly Larvae, San Juan Worms, larger Pheasant Tails and Caddis Larvae patterns. You can use 4x tippet or larger. Streamers are a great option as well. As is typical with high water conditions, fish the soft water that has enough depth or cover to hold fish. The fish won't be in the heavy current right now.
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 25 cfs mark. Visibility is good. The flow is a bit low for this tailwater. We recommend leaving this alone until the there is more water in the system. If you decide to go, bring your bug spray. The skeeters are thick!
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 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.
Fishing has been fair to good. Trout are spreading out and are seeking 13-17 feet of water. They are no longer bank hugging.
We did a scouting mission last Sunday. Static nymphing under an indicator worked best. We fihed fairly deep at 10-15 feet to our first fly (try using the slip bobbers that are sold at the Chaparral Park General Store). Size 14-16 Chironomid patterns in black, zebra, red and olive fooled the most fish. A few trout ate #6-#8 Wooly Buggers in black or olive. A varied streamer retrieve seemed to work best yesterday. We saw a couple of Callibaetis. Most of the Midge activity occurred mid-morning but we managed to catch a few fish were as late in the day as 2:30 pm. Overall, we thought the giant midge hatch was not as heavy as we were expecting to see. But that's fishing.
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 .
Fishing is fair to poor at the current flow of 428 cfs. While this flow stiil presents its challenges, this is a reasonable flow for fly fishing. Make sure you bring plenty of weight and 4x-5x fluorocarbon tippet. At this level, the Wiliams Fork confluence with the Colorado River usually fishes better than the Williams Fork proper. The fish will be in the soft water. Pink San Juan Worms and size 16 Tungsten CDC Pheasant Tails produced a few fish on our last visit.
Blue Wing Olives (BWO's), Midges, size 14-18 golden Stones (i.e. Yellow Sallies), worms and Crane Fly Larvae are some of the available food sources. The flow of 428 cfs is high for this piece of water but the visibility is good to very good. Look for fish to be holding in the usual high-water spots: Near the bank and/or in the soft water. The fish will hold in any location that provides shelter from the fast moving water.
Flies to try: 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. Dead drifting a size 8, olive bugger under an indicator sometimes works better than you would think. Just sayin......
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.
This report includes the “Tomahawk” SWA.
The section of the river is currently experiencing runoff. Try fishing the Dream Stream section below Spinney Mountain Reservoir. While the Dream Stream is a rather bloated 750 cfs, there are some big fish to be caught in the slow, flooded areas.
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. That said, the current flow of 1600 cfs is, practically speaking, only suitable for rafting. Fishing at these levels is pretty darn tough. If you have a fishing frame with leg braces on your raft, keep in mind that clearance becomes an issue with a few of the walkways when you get the Jones Ranch.
If you are an experienced angler, the wade fishing below the dam can be productive at this level. Streamers have been moving a few fish lately and deep nymphing with large Golden Stone and Caddis Larvae patterns has been improving over the past few days.
Large Stone Fly nymphs, San Juan Worms and streamers are your go-to patterns. Most of the action is taking place below the water's surface but there is a (very small) possibility of a few takes on large attractor paterns like size 10 purple Chubby Chernobyls or size 12 Parachute Adams.
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, 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."
The Delaney Lakes are fishing well. #12-#16 Pheasant Tails/Hare's Ears, #16-#20 Zebra Midges, #14-#16 Chironomids and streamers are taking fish.
The Eagle is clearing and dropping. If you like to float the Eagle, now is the time. And the wade fishing is improving almost daily as the river slowly makes its way down to summer levels. Expect the Eagle to fish very well over the next several weeks.
Need an Eagle River map?
Gore Creek is running a bit high but it is very fishable from a clarity standpoint.
A tough fish given the volume of water coming down. Look to fish in and around the Ten Mile's inlet into Dillon Reservoir
Like most of the rivers in the state, Clear Creek is on its way down from its peak runoff levels. And although it is still running high it is more than clear enough to catch fish.
The Snake River is running high. It has some visibility. Streamers pulled in any soft pocket or upstream along the undercut banks are your best tactics.
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?