The Colorado River Between the towns of Kremmling, CO and Parshall, CO offers several public fishing access along U.S. Route 40.  The river gradient is fairly mellow through out this section, and offers slow runs, gentle riffles, and deeper holes.   This water is excellent for both nymph, and dry fly fishing.  If you don’t see risers, then fish nymphs. Since this water is a little slower, and shallow in spots, a heavy rig is not usually needed.  

 

Nymphs to Try: olive, black, or tan Pat’s Rubber Legs size 8-12, TDJ Golden Stone size 10-16, Tungsten Flashback Pheasant Tail size 14-16, Two-Bit Hooker dark olive size 16-18, Pyscho Baetis olive size 18-20, Charlie’s Chronic Caddis olive size 14-16,  Barr’s Graphic Caddis tan size 14, Ju-Ju Baetis purple size 18, Sparkle Wing RS2 black size 18-22, Barr’s Drowned Trico size 18-22, Zebra Midge black size 18.

Dries To Try: Chubby Chernobyl black/tan size 8-12, Fuzzy Wuzzy tan size 10-14, Chew Toy Stimulator olive size 10-14, Parachute Adam's size 16-22, I-Wan-E BWO size 18-20, Para-ant size 14-16, Biot CDC Rusty Spinner size 14-16, Pearl and Elk Caddis size 14-16, Cutter’s E/C Caddis size 14-16, yellow Elk Hair Caddis size 16-18, Barr’s Vis-A-dun Trico size 18-22, Brook Sprouts Midge black size 20-22

Streamers To Try: Sculpzilla olive or sunrise size 2-4, Thin Mint size 2 - 6, Goldie size 2 - 6, Craven's Gonga brown or rainbow trout theme, Sparkle Minnow olive, black or white wooly buggers size 4 - 6, Slump Busters size 4-6 various colors, Meat Whistle various colors.

 

9/13/2019

        The Colorado River below the Williams Fork confluence near Parshall has risen about 100 CFS over the last week into the 400 CFS zone, mainly do to an increase in CFS being released from Williamsfork Reservoir.  This flow should make trout a bit less spooky on sunny days, as they will have more water to take cover in.  Large golden stoneflies, Baetis, Tricos, midges, and caddis have been the most important hatches recently.  Terrestrial insects are also still active along banks, and are another viable food source for trout.  Hopper-dropper rigs and dry flies have been productive in this zone, but a nymph rig is sometimes needed to get further into the water column on days when there is not much in the way of hatch.

 

9/6/2019

       The Colorado River below the Williams Fork confluence near Parshall has been flowing between 300-400 CFS this week, and has been in that range for several weeks.  Current hatches include Red Quills, MPDs, caddis, Baetis, Tricos, and midges.  Tricos, Baetis, and caddis have been hatching in the highest number, and have therefore been getting the most attention from trout.  Terrestrial insects are also still active, and are searching out water closer to our river systems as fields dry out more.  These insects will be an important food source until we start to see consistent heavy freezes.  Hopper-dropper set ups have been effective here, and are currently the go to set up, but you never know when a nymph rig or dry flies might be necessary to catch fish.  We have been targeting trout feeding on terrestrials and nymphs in faster riffles, or sipping dries along banks for the most part.

 

/23/2019

       The Colorado River below the Williams Fork confluence near Parshall has been holding in the mid 200 CFS range for the last 5 days.  The water is now much lower and clearer than it has been all summer, and we are seeing smaller aquatic insects like Tricos, BWOs, and midges starting to hatch in larger numbers, so think smaller in both your tippet and fly sizes ( 4x and 5x tippet, size 10-22 flies).  Other hatches include caddis, PMDs, and Red Quills. Larger nymphs like golden stoneflies, and Salmonflies are always food sources here as well. 

       Trout are feeding at all depths in the water column depending on the conditions at hand, so come prepared to fish nymphs, emergers, and dries. This stretch of river is especially conducive to a dry dropper set up, as it contains a lot of shallower riffles where trout sit in pockets and feed opportunistically, as both nymphs and adult insects drift by.

 

8/15/2019

        The Colorado River below the Williams Fork confluence near Parshall is still holding relatively steady, and has been flowing near 400 CFS all week.  These flows provide lots of good holding water for trout and allow the angler to cross the river in shallower areas.  The biggest change here recently is the start of the Trico hatch, a tiny black mayfly that usually hatches in large numbers.  Yellow Sallies, Red Quills, PMDs, and caddis are all still active as well. 
       Trout are feeding at all depths in the water column depending on the conditions at hand, so come prepared to fish nymphs, emergers, and dries. This stretch of river is especially conducive to a dry dropper set up, as it contains a lot of shallower riffles where trout sit in pockets and feed opportunistically, as both nymphs and adult insects drift by. 

 

8/9/2019

       The Colorado River below the Williams Fork confluence near Parshall has been flowing close to 400 CFS for the last 4 days.  This allows trout to hold in a variety of water, and also makes it possible for the angler to wade across the river in wider areas with shallow depth.  Hatches include caddis, PMDs, Red Quills, Baetis, and most recently adult Tricos are being seen on the water below Byer’s Canyon in LARGE numbers.
       Trout are feeding at all depths in the water column depending on the conditions at hand, so come prepared to fish nymphs, emergers, and dries. This stretch of river is especially conducive to a dry dropper set up, as it contains a lot of shallower riffles where trout sit in pockets and feed opportunistically, as both nymphs and adult insects drift by.

 

8/1/2019

       The Colorado River below the Williams Fork confluence near Parshall has been holding between 500 - 600 CFS, with fluctuations in flow coming from precipitation in the area, and dam releases upstream.  Current hatches include golden stoneflies, caddis, PMDs, and Red Quills.  Conditions in this stretch of river have not changed drastically since last week.  Trout are still being found in a variety of lies, and feeding though out the entire water column.  Major factors influencing where trout are holding/feeding include river flow, aquatic insect hatches, cloud cover, and angling pressure.  
       Lower flows entice trout to hold in faster more oxygenated water such shallow riffles, and we are starting to see a lot of fish moving to this type of water.  Before a hatch begins trout often feed on the river bottom as nymphs release their grip, and start to drift in the current while preparing to hatch.  At the start of a hatch trout often key in on emerging insects on their way to the surface, and then are more likely to feed on the surface as numbers of adult bugs on the water increase. Cloud cover can make trout more comfortable holding in the open, and feeding on the surface as it is harder for predators to spot them.  Heavy angling pressure has the opposite effect, and will send trout to deeper, more hidden lies.  These are just a few of the general factors influencing trout behavior, so do you best to evaluate the current conditions when you are fishing and rig your rod(s) accordingly.

 

7/26/2019

       The Colorado River near Parshall is currently flowing in the mid 600 CFS range, which can be a great time to fish this piece of water.  There is significantly more soft holding water for trout compared to the 1600 CFS of last week, which provides the angler with more room to spread out.  We are currently experiencing some nice hatches in this zone, including Giant Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies, a variety of caddis, PMDs, Red Quills, and midges.  Cooler, Cloudier days could also start to see the return of some fall Baetis in the near future.  
       The current flows also produce a wider variety of feeding behavior from trout.  They can be found feeding on nymphs near the bottom of deep seams or holes, eating emerging insects drifting through shallower riffles, gulping insects from the surface of recirculating back eddies, or lurking tight to river banks waiting for a surprise meal.  Rig your rod according to what you see happening on the river.  Rising trout will warrant a dry fly, while trout feeding sub surface in shallower water could be taken with a hopper-dropper rig.  Trout feeding in deeper water will need to be tempted with a heavy nymph rig.

 

7/19/2019

       The Colorado River below the Williams Fork confluence is flowing about 1400 CFS, and has been fluctuating due to changes in CFS released from Windy Gap, and Williams Fork Reservoirs.  Water clarity has settled into typical mid summer zones between 2 and 4 feet, barring heavy precipitation events which can stain the water significantly.  Current hatches include Giant Golden Stoneflies, Yellow Sallies, chartreuse and tan caddis, PMDS, and Red Quills. 
       Trout have been feeding sub surface on nymphs as well as rising to emerging insects, so a nymph rig, dry- dropper, or a pure dry rig are potential techniques at this time.  A nymph rig or dry-dropper will allow you to target more of the water column than just dry flies so we normally start out with either of these two rigs, and only switch to a dries if surface feeding action becomes more intense.

 

7/12/2019

       The Colorado River in the Parshall area has come down about 800 CFS, and is still on the decline. The water clarity has been about 2 feet or more on most days. Currently hatching aquatic insects include; Giant Golden Stone Flies, Yellow Sallies, Caddis, PMDs, Red Quills, and midges.
       Nymph Rigs, hopper-dropper set ups, and dry flies all have the potential to catch fish at the moment.  Fish feeding in the upper water column will be targeted by a hopper-dropper, or dry fly set up, while a nymph rig will be able to penetrate deeper into seams, and eddies.  Keep an eye on what is hatching, flip over rocks, or run a seine to find out what the most prevalent bugs of the day are, and rig your set ups accordingly.

 

 

7/4/2019
       Sitting about 2,000 CFS the Colorado River near will seem to be moving fast, but the water clarity for fishing has been good.  Some days it has gotten stained up to about 8” of visibility, which is about all you need to have good chances of hooking fish. Target any areas of the river which appear to contain “softer water” that is more comfortable for trout to lie in.  Wider areas of the river, back eddies, and deeper pools are all good areas to search for softer water.  
         PMD’s, Yellow Sallies, caddis, and midges have been the primary hatches for the time being.  Higher water also stirs up other food sources such as worms, leaches, and baitfish.  Large stonefly nymphs are always present in the colorado river as well.  A nymph rig is our go to set up for now, and will allow you target a wider variety of the water column.  However, if you see fish feeding on or near the surface a dry dropper, or double dry set up is also a good option.

 

6/30/2019

  We have already seen the first wave of run off hit with the Salmonfly hatch, followed by a platuaue in CFS coupled with good water clarity for the past week or two.  We are currently seeing the next spike in run off flows, as the last week was the hottest we have seen yet. Water clarity has been variable from 6 inches to 3 feet, with productive fishing being experienced at a about a foot of clarity or more.  We have been seeing Giant Golden Stonelfies, Skwala Stoneflies, PMDs, Caddis, and Yellow Sallies hatching.  The streamer bite, and worm bite has alos been strong on some days.  A hopper-dropper rig fished tight to the banks, or a deeper nymph rig fished in eddies/seams are the best option at the moment.

 

6/13/2019

              The Salmonfly hatch has come and gone for the most part on the upper stretches of the Colorado River, although you may still see a few adults lingering near the banks.  Next years hatch is always in the water waiting in nymph form, so never count out this food source, even when the hatch is done.  
       We are seeing river flows rise as the upper elevation run-off starts to take effect, as result water clarity has been low on some days.  However the loose dirt is starting to get flushed out of the feeder drainages and water clarity is becoming more consistent.  We are experiencing about 1’ - 2’ of clarity most days, which is great for fishing.  A hopper-dropper, or nymph rig is the go to set up at the moment.  We have been fishing imitations of  adolescent Salmonfly Nymphs, Giant Golden Stoneflies, Yellow Sallies, Caddis, Baetis, midges, and worms.

 

5/22/2019

       The Colorado River near Parshall has been fishing fair.  The water clarity has been varying between about 1-2 feet of visibility.  This cold front should also help improve water clarity and we should be seeing about 2 feet or so of vis. until the weather pattern changes.  Stonefly nymphs, Baetis, and midges are still the most available food sources.  A few Caddis have been hatching as well, but not in large numbers yet so concentrate on fishing the larva stage vs the pupa.  Eggs, worms, and streamers have also been cathcing fish on more stained up days.

 

4/18/2019

       The Colorado River near Parshall has been fishing well with action being had on both nymphs and dry flies. Stonefly, Baetis, Midge, and Caddis Larva have all been hooking fish.  Some days have been seeing plentiful midge hatches, along with a few blue wing olives here and there.  During these times dry patterns can be effective if fish are activley rising.  It is starting to be spring spawn season so eggs can hook fish as well, or consider throwing some streamers if you are in the mood.