The "tailwater" section of Blue River through Silverthorne fishes fairly consistently year round. Water temps normally stay within the lower forties (fahrenheit), which doesn’t produce a large variety of hatches. For the most part, small midge larva, and Mysis Shrimp (small white shrimp inhabiting Dillon Reservoir), are staples of the trouts diet. Things start to get more interesting if Dillon Reservoir reaches capacity and “spills” through the top release of the dam, instead of the bottom. This causes a larger variety of aquatic insects that live in the Blue River to become active, and therefore more available to trout.
The best technique is usually nymphing under a small, inconspicuous indicator. Adjust your weight and indicator depth depending on the depth of the piece of water you are working, and to the depth at which the fish are holding. Seeing rising fish is a possibility, as is seeing some action on streamers.
Due to the dam release of water from Dillon Reservoir this stretch of river stays ice free, and 100% fishable all winter. Recent warm weather has seen most of the snow in Silverthorne melt.
Flows have been holding steady near 60 CFS.
Right around the 40 degree mark, typical bottom release from Dillon Reservoir.
Crystal clear most of the time, however spring snowstorms followed by hot weather can produce short periods of off color water.
Current Food Sources:
Mysis Shrimp | midges | small mayflies(BWO) | caddis larva | leeches, smaller fish etc.
Flies to Try:
Guides Choice Dozen $24.99
Two Bit Hooker size 16-20 dark olive or black | RS2 Dun Gray size 20-22 | Pheasant Tail natural or black size 16-22 | Killer Mayfly Nymph olive size 18-22 | Poison Tung olive/black size 18 | Bling Midge charcoal or cream size 18-24 | Pure Midge cream or black size 22-24 | UV Midge black or brown size 18-22 | Mercury Black Beauty size 18-24 |
Near Nuff Sculpin olive size 04-06 | Super Bugger Tan size 6 | Pop’s Bugger pearl/grizzly size 8 | Pine Squirrel Leech in black size 12 | Slump Busters in olive and natural | Crystal Bugger white sizes 8-12 | Halebop Leech wine no bead size 8
guide tip of the week:
Spring has sprung in the rockies, and temps are warming up. We are still in pre run off river conditions with low/clear water in most river systems. However we are still seeing snow storms, and fresh snowmelt can cause off color water on some afternoons. Aquatic insects are becoming more active, and we are seeing some decent midge hatches with a few BWO's here and there. Approach the Blue in town as usual... using stealth along the banks, and small/realistic imitations of midges and mayfly nymphs.
We love seeing and hearing about your outings as well. Send any fishing photos or stories you want to share over to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll throw 'em up in the reports.
11/3/20: We spent a day fishing in town with Kory Lewis to see how he fishes The Blue River. Sight fishing with very light indicator rigs was the name of the game. Kory was fishing a size 18-20 non-beaded pheasant tail as an attractor fly and a #22 gray RS2 Dun as his second fly. Not much weight was needed due to low flows.
Kory Sight fished to a nice rainbow that ate the #22 gray RS2
Blue River Rainbows
We caught several brown trout as well. A pleasant sight to see in the Silverthorne section of The Blue.
While sight fishing to a big rainbow, this brown decided to swoop in and eat the natural pheasant tail before the rainbow could.
Even though the release from Dillon Reservoir is now from the bottom of the dam with water near 40 degrees, we are still seeing a wider variety of aquatic insects than usual. Here is the most recent sampling of bugs from behind our shop... we are seeing small grey drakes, Baetis, and two different species of free living caddis.
A closer look at a Baetis Nymph, Grey Drake, and free living caddis.
A different species of free living caddis, you can see how much more of a green hue this one has.
We have been seining the Blue behind our shop regulary, and here is the sampling from 7/2/2020. Here we have a good variety of small mayflies including Baetis, drakes, and PMDs, a few tiny leeches, and a larger Cranefly Larva.
6/21/2020 "Fill and spill" started yesterday! You can see water draining into the aptly named "Glory Hole" below. Sun warmed water from the reservoirs surface will increase water temps in the Blue River below, and increases aquatic insect activity.
Local legend, and Trout Unlimited employee Tanner Banks has been making a point to harvest more data on the Blue River below Dillon Reservoir. He recently installed a temperature gauge in town, and here is the latest read out. (ignore the spikes intemperature, those where periods when the thermometer was out of the water.
Sometimes we like to play a game called visual fishing, here is a round from behind our shop on june 3rd. No rod, no flies, just looking, no touching. You will be suprised how much more you take in when just watching a trout without the added pressure of trying to catch it.
The Following pictures are examples of the type of water where you are likely to find trout holding at 1000 CFS in town...
A bend in the river can cause an area of slack water along the "inside" river bank. The lookers right river bank in this photo is perfect example of such a situation...
Jungle fishing in the willows is another likely place one could hook a trout at the moment...
After a bump in release from Dillon Reservoir, the flows have leveled out at about 400 CFS, and the river in town was nice and clear this Morning (5/8).
Flows from Dillion Reservoir where increased yesterday evening, and the water was a bit off color.
Picture 1 is a specimen of the Baetis nymphs currently found in town, we are seeing a ton of these in sizes 20-24.
Pictures 2 and 3 are from Michelle's outing on the Blue...... Sighting (the trout is underlined in black), and catching a brood stock rainbow trout on a black Crystal Bugger.