The Colorado River Between the towns of Kremmling, CO and Parshall, CO offers several public fishing accesses 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: Mercers Poxy Back Micro Stone in drk grey or brown size 14-16 | TDJ Golden Stone size 10-16 | Tungsten Flashback CDC Pheasant Tail szie 14-16 | Sparkle Wing RS2 black or olive size 18-22 | Chocolate Foam Wing size 18-22 | Zebra Midge purple size 18-22  | Cheeseman Emerger olive size 20-22 | Mercury Black Beauty size 18-24 | pegged eggs in Peach/Pearl, Cream, and Dirty Roe.

Dries To Try:  Parachute Adam's size 16-22 | Solitude midge in olive, black, or cream size 18-24 | Hatching Midge grey size 20-22 | CDC Morgan’s Midge size 18-22 | Parachute Midge Brown size 22-26

Streamers To Try: Sculpzilla olive or black size 4-8 | Thin Mint size 2 - 6 | Goldie size 2 - 6 |  Slump Busters olive or black size 4-6 | Bead Head Mini Leech olive/black or wine size 8

 

2/13/2020

       River Flows hereshould be between 100-150 CFS, with water temps in the mid 30's - low 40's.  This area has been fishing well on some days, but we did just see a lot of snow in the area which closed some parking areas which are being  cleared slowly.  Nymphing has been our most productive technique, but some armer days have seen decent midge hatches and dry fly action.  We have been using attractor nymphs, trailed by smalley mayfly nymphs, midge larva, and caddis larva.  Egg patterns have also been picking up a few fish here and there.

 

12/19/2019

              The river flow gauging station has been shut off here for the winter, but flows at the moment should be in the 150-200 CFS range for now. The river should be free of ice on most days just below the Williams Fork confluence, but some ice shelves have been developing along the banks in areas.  The recent cold front that just moved through has also been producing some slush in the river, especially during mornings.  Conditions should improve next week as a warm front moves through, and temps are expected to climb into the 40’s.  Expect Stonefly Nymphs, caddis larva, and midge larva/emergers to be the main food sources here.  Egg patterns, or pegged eggs could also still produce a few strikes, and warmer days could even see a streamer chase or two.  In general a nymph rig fished close to the river bed is the best bet at the moment.

       

 

12/06/2019

       Gauges here are turned off for the season but our estimate is 150-200 CFS, with water temps varying throughout the 40’s.  Nymph fishing with eggs, midges, worms, and attractor patterns has been fairly productive.  Some days can also produce periods of some decent dry fly fishing, and streamer bites are a potential as well.  Keep in mind that most eggs will start to be a bit duller and more opaque at this time of year.

 

11/23/2019

       The river flow gauging station has been shut off here for the winter, but flows at the moment should be in the 150-200 CFS range for now. Midges and BWOs are still primary food sources for trout at the moment.  Stonefly nymphs, caddis larva, trout eggs, and smaller fish are also providing further food sources.  Dry flies, streamers, and nymphs are all viable methods of angling here at the moment. 
   
**Keep an eye out for brown trout spawning beds and please do not wade on, or fish over them**

 

11/15/2019

       The Upper Colorado near Parshall should be flowing about 150 CFS, slightly lower than last week due to a decrease in flow from the Williams Fork Reservoir.  Water temps should be in the mid to upper 40's as we have still been experiencing mild weather over the last few weeks.  The brown trout spawn is nearing its end but some fish are still activley spawning,  so egg patterns could be effective here.  Also please look out for spawning beds and do not wade on, or fish near them.  Trout are feeding on hatching Baetis and midges, as well as adolescent stonefly nymphs, and caddis larva.  Smaller trout, Sculpin, and leaches can also produce strikes here so dont disregard streamer fishing.

 

11/8/2019

       The river flow gauging station has been shut off here for the winter, but flows at the moment should be in the 150-200 CFS range for now. Midges and BWOs are the most active aquatic insects at the moment.  Stonefly nymphs, and caddis larva can be opportunistic food sources for trout here as well.  It is spawn season for brown trout, which means loose eggs can also provide trout with meal.  Also, smaller fish can often trigger strikes from brown trout that are extra aggressive due to spawn season. 

   **Keep an eye out for spawning beds and please do not wade on, or fish over them**

 

11/1/2019

       River flow gauge closed for season, estimated river flows should still be between 150-200 CFS, with water temps in the 40’s.  BWOs, midges, eggs, and smaller fish are all on the menu here.  Consider fishing a nymph rig featuring pegged eggs, attractor nymphs, and smaller mayfly/midge emergers.  Dry flies, and streamers could catch fish here as well.  The Williams Fork restoration project is finished so water clarity should be back to normal in this zone.

 

10/25/2019

       The river flow gauging station has been shut off here for the winter, but flows at the moment should be in the 150-200 CFS range for now.  Terrestrial insect action is done here, but there have been some strong midge hatches, and a few BWOs hatching as well.  It is spawns season for brown trout, which means eggs will also be a food source as well.  Please keep an eye out for spawning beds, or trout that seem to be displaying spawning behavior and do not attempt to catch them.  Smaller fish are another food source for bigger trout at this time, as high protein meals are welcome before the long cold winter.  Nymph rigs, dry flies, and streamer fishing are all viable techniques currently.

   **Also keep in mind that the water here has been turning off color by midday on most weekdays due to stream restoration work upstream in the Williams Fork Tailwater**

 

10/18/2019

       River flows are about 150 CFS, with water temps in the mid 50’s on warmer days.  We are experiencing some cold wintery weather on some days,  and this has put a serious hold on terrestrial insect activity for the year, although you may see a few lingerers here and there.  Main food sources for trout at the moment include Blue Wing Olive mayflies, midges, eggs, baitfish, and small trout.  A nymph rig will be the best bet at the moment, but dry fly, and streamer fishing can have their moments here as well.  A pegged egg could be a good lead for a nymph rig at the moment, if you are inclined to fish eggs.  **Also keep in mind that the water here has been turning off color by midday on most weekdays due to stream restoration work upstream in the Williams Fork Tailwater**

 

10/10/2019

       The Colorado River below the Williams Fork confluence near Parshall has dropped about 50 CFS, and is flowing near 130 CFS.  This decrease in flow is mainly due to the Williams Fork tailwater also dropping in flow down into the 30 CFS range.  Water temps will be varying between the mid 40’s to upper 50’s depending on the daytime air temps, which can be anywhere from well below freezing to over 60 degrees this time of year.  This latest cod snap we have just experienced will put a serious hold on terrestrial insect activity for the year, although you may see a few lingerers here and there.  Main food sources for trout at the moment include Blue Wing Olive May Flies, midges, eggs, baitfish, and small trout.  A nymph rig will be the best bet at the moment, but dry fly, and streamer fishing can their moments here as well.

 

10/6/2019

        The Colorado River below the Williams Fork confluence near Parshall if flowing near 175 CFS, with daytime water temperatures in the upper 50’s.  Fishing has been good here, but keep in mind that water clarity has been poor here in the afternoons on most week days due to stream restoration work upstream in the Williams Fork.  Prominent hatches currently consist of Blue Wing Olive Mayflies and midges, but keep in mind that larger stonefly nymphs, and caddis larva are always present in the colorado.  Nymphing with a stonefly attractor pattern, followed by smaller BWO or midge patterns has been a productive technique.  Dry flies can also be productive during strong BWO and midge hatches, while streamers could tempt some aggressive fall brown trout.

 

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.