The Blue River North of Silverthorne town limits contains some beautiful public water and breathtaking views. Unfortunately, it does not boast the highest trout population in some of its public sections. This does not mean there are no fish to be caught, but you may have to be patient and work a little harder to hook up. However, you do always have the shot at hooking the fish of a lifetime, a large trout that usually reside in private sections of the Blue sometimes venture into public waters. Happy hunting.
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River Flow (Cubic Feet Per Second):
Flows are currently between 800-900 plus CFS. Although this is a lot of water, it can be the perfect conditons to displace a trophy trout from its hiding spot, making it vulnerable to the public water angler.
Water Temperature (degrees F):
low 40's through upper 40's
The start of spring run off has been effecting water clarity, but most days are currenlty at least a foot or more.
Current Food Sources:
midges, Baetis, caddis larva, golden stonefly nymphs, eggs, worms, smaller fish
Flies to Try:
Guides Choice Dozen $24.99
Nymphs: TDJ Golden Stone size 12-14 | Tungsten Flashback CDC Hare's Ear size 14-18 | Tungsten CDC Flashback Pheasant Tail size 12-20 | Pat's Rubber Legs black size 6-10 | olive or grey Sparkle Wing RS2 in size 18-22 | Disco Midge pearl or red size 18-22 | Zebra Midge purple 18-20 | Silverman's Sparkle Worm pink, red, purple | Pegged Eggs Gold Roe, Peach Pearl, Montana Roe, or Ruby Roe |
Dries: Parachute Adams size 12-24 | Stuck in Shuck midge size 20-24 | Solitude Midge black size 20-24 | Biot Soft Hackle Midge size 18-22 | Brook Sprouts Midge size 18-24 grey, cream, and black
Streamer: Sculpzilla in black, olive, or natural size 4-8 | Near Nuff Sculpin olive and tan size 4-6 | Slump Busters black or white | Pop’s Bugger pearl/grizzly, or black/olive size 8 | Bead Head Mini Leech olive/black size 08 | Crystal bugger white size 12 |
guide tip of the week:
Our guide Mike Wallace came through with another stellar report on the Middle Blue give it a read below...
The Blue River between the Town of Silverthorne and Green Mountain reservoir, or the “Middle Blue” is a diverse and scenic section of river offering good fishing. I headed to a few spots along the 15 mile stretch to monitor runoff from the 10 or so creeks that feed the Blue from the Gore and Williams Fork ranges. As expected, the water has turned off color with clarity dropping to about 8-10”. However, the fishing is still good and the crowds have twindled due the clarity.
CFS: Blue at the dam is holding at 100 but expect that to bump up in the near future. The tributaries are each ramping up and pushing debris into the Blue so the mid section is upwards of 150-200 depending how far downstream one is.
WX: Clear skies in the morning with increasing clouds and small showers rolling through in the afternoons. Temps mid-upper 50’s to low 60’s on average. Winds Westerly 5-15 gusting in the 20’s when the showers pass over.
Water Clarity: Suffering but expected this time of year. Don’t let this discourage you. 5-10” is what you’ll find. The photo was at a distance of about 8-10”.
Water Temps: Dependent on the diurnal phase with the sun and air temps in flux. The sun will heat the water as it flows over the longer and shallower gravel bars. As this water mixes with the cooler snowmelt, water temps will be variable. I found temps from 38 in deeper holes to 46 in other shallower runs. Monitor the stretch of river you’re in and be mindful of creeks running in with cooler water. Other parts of the river with long shallow areas will be warmer. Bug activity will vary with these locations. On the bug note, some BWO flitting around but nothing major.
Trout Holding: I worked the tops of eddies and the hard seams for a while with mediocre action. Once I moved to the tail-outs and hit the upstream side of gravel bars the takes improved dramatically. Fish were holding in the medium speed seams and feeding well. The visibility is a touch better for them, especially when the sun is out and the buffet is coming right to their noses. This will be key in the dirty water; your presentations will need to be in their face. Not many risers in the murky water but did see a few.
Guide Tip: I don’t mind fishing dirty water because it creates different challenges and if approached right can make one a better fly fisher. First of all we get to use those highly visible sparkly synthetic flies that look so good in the shop bins. Second, the fish are burning more calories as the flows vary. This forces them to move around making them hungrier. More importantly, it’s great practice for reading the surface of the water and locating those subtle seams holding fish. When working my way downstream recently, I noticed a little seam coming off a submerged rock I had missed on the way up. The rock was obscured in the brown water but the bubbles revealed the slightest variation in water speed. Drifting a Squirmy Worm through the seam produced a nice Rainbow I would’ve have otherwise walked right past. Be tactical.
Flies: Standard Fare all the way around. Would recommend: Attractor Bead Heads with flashing size 14-20, Pink Squirmy and BH Sparkle worms in Pink, Red and Purple. I ran a 16 Oprah to a Pink BH Sparkle Worm followed by the Squirmy. All 3 produced fish. Surface action was none existent, even with some afternoon BWO’s hatching. Mostly a viz thing but the standard Midge and BWO dries would suffice if the fish are seeing them and rising.
The weather has been great, and the wildlife is out and about on the Middle Blue
A Middle Blue Drake Nymph doing what it does best....clinging. Learning about aquatic insects is one of the biggest steps to becoming a complete angler, this pocket guide to learn Western Hatches is a great way to start.
A fish eye view of the water clarity.....speaking of fish eyes have you read mikes blog on trout vision?
The Blue River makes for some pretty Browns. This one was fooled by a Silverman's Sparkle Worm