Reed's Fishing Outlook for August
Published by: Reed Ryan
August has arrived and has certainly kept us on our toes. This monsoon season has been the wettest that we have seen in 10 years! The moisture has been great--my neglected lawn sure looks nice for August. Unfortunately, we are seeing the burn scars from last year's historic wildfires affecting river clarity for extended periods of time. Colorado has been in the news a lot with mudslides closing I-70 in Glenwood Canyon. It has been awe-inspiring to see the power of nature and while we lament the closure of the lower Colorado River access, it has allowed us to explore some of the lesser used and lesser pressured areas of our vast permit area. Like everywhere in the west, we are seeing haze from the wildfires on the west coast. Although it can be bothersome, the haze mimics good cloud cover and often will incite a stronger hatch so we have been enjoying the benefits of good midsummer dry fly fishing. We've also observed that the haze filters out some of the UV rays and the solar input on the river has decreased and water temperatures have fallen as a result.
Our float guides have been spending a lot of time on the Ark recently to capitalize on clear cold water before they start drawing down the water after August 15th. Nocturnal goldens are still on the menu in Browns Canyon especially in the morning and afternoons have produced good PMD hatches, depending on cloud cover.
Alpine Lake Fishing
Everyone loves using the term "high-alpine". We were discussing in the shop how this term is redundant. By definition, the word "alpine" indicates that it is at high-elevation--beyond where trees grow. Anyway, August is prime time to target these areas before they start cooling down during the onset of fall. For the dry-fly fishermen, ant patterns and small parachutes continue to produce to cruising trout. If you aren't seeing fish feed, don't be afraid to drop a small beadhead off your rig or throw on a sinking leader and strip some small streamers. Some of my favorites are Mayer's Mini Leech, Tungsten Balanced Swim Leech, and the Thin Mint. The next few weeks we'll be seeing some of the best alpine fishing of the summer.
The Blue has been fishing the best it has all year. The recent rainfall fell on a full reservoir and Denver Water has stopped diverting water through theRoberts Tunnel to the Front Range since all of their reservoirs are full now as well. The result is a "fill-and-spill" with volumes of 200-400 cfs and perfect water temperatures in the 50-60 degree range, making for happy, feeding fish and a return of insects we don't generally see every year on the Blue. PMDs, drakes, golden stones, and caddis have been hatching and we have had a lot of happy guests roll through the shop with success both fishing dry flies and nymphs.
South Platte Drainage
Middle Fork and South Fork freestones have been producing when not dirty from rainfall. The Dream has been consistent as well for those willing to manage crowds and make the drive. Hopper season and tricos in full swing there!
The Monsoonal flow has seeped into the creeks and they have escaped from the dog days of summer for the moment. Fish are happy, the terrestrial fishing has been great (try the purple Hippie Stomper) and we're looking forward to more of the same through the fall.
CPW has a voluntary afternoon closure in place on the Eagle. Recent rains made it possible to float for a few days, but we're back to wading it in the mornings. Water is still off color slightly so the ticket here has been medium size Pat's Rubber legs in less-obvious lies. Once it clears completely, look for some hot trico action in the mornings! Porpoising Eagle River rainbows gives me goosebumps!
The Colorado River has been having a rough go. Heavy monsoonal flow has produced epic mudslides and filthy runoff in the burn scar areas of the Grizzly Creek, East Troublesome, and Williams Fork fires from last season. The Lower river has been hot and dirty since the end of June. The Middle River below PInball also had a significant mudslide in July and has been running red since then. Water temps below Catamount have been very high so CPW has the Colorado voluntarily closed from Red Dirt Creek all the way to Rifle. The upper part of the middle river has been good if you get out early with strong red quill hatches dominating the scene. Last weeks' deluge and subsequent mudding event has mostly cleared out and we have started fishing again between Catamount and Parshall. Clarity is best just below Parshall and below Kremmling. Tricos are the name of the game above State Bridge so bring your A game on the hookset and presentation! Hopper fishing has been a little lacking, but that might have more to do with increased angler pressure, so think outside the box!
Share this post: