Pump House Recreation Area offers campsites with amenities, fishing access, and boat ramps to the general public. For the wade fisherman Pumphouse holds miles of river both downstream, and upstream of the parking area. Downstream of the parking area the Colorado River winds through a large meadow, featuring braids, riffles, and undercut banks. Hiking upstream of the parking area will gradually lead the angler into the mighty Gore Canyon, which contains breathtaking spires, powerful rapids, and some first class trout fishing.
For the float fisherman Pumphouse is the first viable put in for angling on the Upper Colorado. Below Pumphouse there are miles upon miles of fishable river to be floated, and numerous boat ramps for loading and unloading.
The Colorado River in this area has very healthy and diverse aquatic insect life. Prominent hatches include Giant Golden Stoneflies, Salmonflies, Yellow Sallies, Skwala Stoneflies, PMDs, Red Quills, Baetis, Tricos, and midges. This diverse bug life provides the angler with both nymph, and dry fly fishing opportunities. Streamer fishing can also be a productive technique here, as the Colorado contains baitfish such as sculpin, whitefish, and juvenile trout.
Nymphs to Try: black or coffee or brown Pat’s Rubber Legs size 10-12 | TDJ Golden Stone size 10-16 | Tungsten Flashback Pheasant Tail size 14-16 | Two-Bit Hooker black size 16-18 | Tungsten CDC Flashback Hare’s Ear 14-18 | black or grey Sparkle Wing RS2 size 18-20 | Black or purple zebra Midge size 18-20 | Demon Midge size 18-22 | pegged eggs in dull colors like 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 | CDC Morgan’s Midge size 18-22 | Snowshoe Midge Cluster size 18
Streamers To Try: Galloup’s Dungeon in black olive or white | Barely legal white/olive | Sparkle Minnow olive | Home Invader tan or white | white wooly buggers size 8 - 12, Articulated Goldie | Slump Buster olive/black, olive, and natural size 2-6 | Leaches in wine or black
River flows are in the mid 500 CFS zone, with a mix of open water and ice. Cold fronts, and lots of snow will create more slush/ice here but warmer spells of weather are often fishable. Nymphs, or even a small streamers are your best bet here, although warmer days could see midges hatching and few rises. Keep in mind that Trough Road can get nasty in the winter.
Unfortunatley last weeks powerfull storm system, combined with this weeks extreme cold front have iced over this section of river. However a warm front is moving in next week, and daytime temps in the 40's could produce some fishable water here.
Flows here are about 526 CFS, with water temps varying through the 40’s. There is not much in the way of ice shelves along the river yet, but the banks and boat ramps are snow/ice covered. Shuttles for float fishing are also done for the year. Wade fishing has been decent with eggs, midges, and attractor patterns. Dry flies and streamers can always be an option here as well.
River flows are just below 600 CFS, with water temps in the 40s. The river is still free from ice shelves, and open for floating and wade fishing. Keep in mind we did just get several inches of snow in the area so boat ramps will be snowy/icy, bringing along a high quality tow rope or winch could be a good idea. Stonefly nymphs, Baetis, midges, trout eggs, and smaller fish have all been producing takes from trout.
River flows have been fluctuating between 700-500 CFS here this week, and are currently about 600 CFS. Water temps will be slightly colder here than the colorado near parshall, as a large part of the water is coming from cold tailwaters such as the lower blue. Some boat ramps are snowy/icy but the river is ice free and very floatable. There have been some decent midge hatches here and a few BWOs but fishing with imitations of aquatic insects has been a bit slow on some days. However Streamer fishing has been productive in general, and egg patterns have been producing as well. Spawn season for brown trout is nearing its end, but some fish are still activley spawning so please be aware of spawning beds, and do not fish near, or wade over them.
The Colorado River near Pumphouse Recreation Area has level out in flow near 650 CFS. Water temps will be varying between the low 40’s to high 40’s depending on daytime air temps. Weather patterns have been warmer recently, so we are still not seeing much in the way of ice on the river. However boat ramps are snowy/icy for the most part, so come prepared for slippery launching conditions if you are floating. Hatches include BWOs and midges at the moment, with stonefly nymphs, caddis larva, eggs, and baitfish also available to trout.
River Flows have dropped significantly here due to less water being released from Green Mountain Reservoir into the Lower Blue. Current flows are near 820 CFS, with water temps in the 40’s. There is not ice here yet, but the river banks are starting to show some snow from last weeks storms. Pumphouse is still prime for float, and wade fishing. Current food sources include BWO’s, midges, eggs, stonefly nymphs, and smaller fish. Nymphs, dries, and streamers all have potential here.
The Colorado River near Pumphouse Recreation Area is flowing near 1100 CFS. Water temps will be varying between the low 40’s to low 50’s depending on daytime air temps. We are getting into consistent winter weather conditions now, so water temps will continue to decline lower into the forties, but we probably won’t see much of an ice over until flows from the Lower Blue decrease. Food sources for trout currently include midges, BWOs, eggs, and small trout/baitfish. It is full spawn season for brown trout so please avoid fishing over spawning beds, or to spawning trout. A nymph rig, or streamer fishing have been the most productive methods here, but there has been some dry fly action as well.
The Colorado River near Pumphouse Recreation Area is flowing near 1000 CFS. Water temps will be varying between the low 40’s to mid 50’s depending on daytime air temps. Terrestrial insect action is about done for the year, but we are still seeing strong hatches of BWOs and midges. Our go to rig at the moment is a stonefly nymph trailed by Baetis and midge patterns, fished about 3-5 feet underneath an indicator. Streamers and pegged eggs have also been producing on some days. Dry fly fishing is another tactic to keep in mind as we have had good luck fishing BWO patterns tight to the bank during decent hatches.
The Colorado River near Pumphouse Recreation Area is flowing near 1200 CFS. Water temps will be varying between the mid 40’s to upper 50’s depending on daytime air temps, as we are in that time of year where it could be sunny and 65 degrees, or 20 degrees and snowing. Terrestrial insect action is about done for the year, unless you are fishing lower on the Colorado closer to Glenwood Springs, but we are still seeing strong hatches of BWOs and midges. As usual stonefly nymphs are an ever present food source for trout in this river basin. Trout are starting to move into deeper, slower lies, but some can still be found sitting in faster, shallow water as well. Nymph fishing under an indicator is a great technique to utilize at the moment as you can quickly adjust the depth of your flies to the piece of water you are fishing. This time of year can also be awesome for fishing streamers as brown trout are aggressive during their spawn season, and trout in general are looking for large meals before the long cold winter hits.
The Colorado River near Pumphouse Recreation Area has been flowing close to 1200 CFS for the last week with water temps in the high 50’s. Hopper fishing has slowed down significantly as temperatures at night have been dropping into the 20’s consistently, but a few eats are still being had here and there, especially on lower sections of the Colorado. The main hatches currently are Blue Wing Olives, midges, and a few Tricos and caddis. Trout are starting to move to deeper lies in general, and we have been running our rigs about 5 feet deep on average. However during strong hatches of BWO’s and midges trout have been feeding on, or near the surface, so keep an eye on the conditions at hand and adjust your set up(s) accordingly.
The Colorado River near Pumphouse Recreation Area has increased in flow from 1300 CFS to 1500 CFS during the last week due to increases in water release from reservoirs upstream. This increase in flow can make trout feel a bit more comfortable and willing to feed, especially when combined with a bit of a decrease in angling pressure. Immature Salmonfly nymphs, Baetis, Tricos, caddis, and terrestrial insects have been making up a large part of the trouts diet this week. Tricos have been most prominent in the A.M. followed by Baetis, while caddis and grasshoppers have been more active in the afternoon. A hopper dropper rig has been an effective technique lately, but dry flies and nymph rigs have also been effective at times.
The Colorado River near Pumphouse Recreation Area has increased in flow over the past two weeks, and is currently about 1300 CFS. The rise in flow is mainly due to more water being released from Green Mtn. Reservoir and Wolford Mtn. Reservoir. Water Temps have taken a dip into the 50’s, but recently climbed back up into the 60’s. At this time of year water temps in the 60’s can increase the intensity of hatches, and produce feeding trout. Hatches of importance include Red Quills, caddis, Tricos, Baetis, and midges. Terrestrial insects are also still found near the Colorado River in abundance, and will be an important source of food for trout until consistent heavy freezes set in. Dry-droppers, nymph rigs, and and dry flies are all productive methods of angling currently. As brown trout become more aggressive during their fall spawn, streamer fishing can become a very fun technique as well.
The Colorado River near Pumphouse Recreation Area decreased in flow last week, down to about 800 CFS, but has increased by about 100 CFS in the last day or two. This increase in flow is mainly due to more water being released from Lake Granby and Wolford Mtn. Reservoir. Daytime water temperatures have been in the low 60’s on average, and the clarity has been over 4ft on most days. Trout are starting to feed on the usual “fall hatches” of smaller insects like Tricos, BWOs, and midges. However hatches of Red Quills, PMDs, and afternoon caddis are all still important food sources as well. The Colorado River is also seeing very good grass hopper action this year, so a hopper-dropper rig is currently a great method of presentation.
The Colorado River near Pumphouse Recreation has been on a slow declining trend in flow, and is currently sitting about 1200 CFS, down from 1500CFS. Water temps have been between 54 through 62 degrees, depending on the time of day. As water gets lower and warmer trout often move into shallower riffles which have more dissolved oxygen in them, but at this point fish are still being caught both deep and shallow. The most notable change in the Colorado recently is the start of the Trico hatch, otherwise hatches are still similar to those of last week. Imitations of Terrestrial insects, golden stoneflies, PMDs, Red Quills, Grey Drakes, and caddis are all currently producing strikes from trout. Hopper fishing has been very good recently, however on some days trout have been moving into deeper water to take shelter from bright sun, and heavy angling pressure. Fishing 5-6 foot deep in the 2nd seam off the bank, has been one place we are targeting these deeper lying trout.
The Colorado River near Pumphouse Recreation Area has been holding in flow close to 1500 CFS. This flow allows trout to choose their lies, which could include shallow riffles, pockets, and cuttbanks, or deeper seams and holes further off the bank. Imitations of terrestrial insects, golden stoneflies, PMDs, Red Quills, and caddis are currently producing the most strikes for us. We are also expecting strong Trico hatches to start any day in this zone, as they have started hatching on other parts of the “upper C” already. A hopper with a 2’ or 3’ dropper fished in shallow riffles, or tight to the bank has been a good technique on most days. However, on some days trout have been moving into deeper water to take shelter from bright sun, and heavy angling pressure. Fishing 5-6 foot deep in the 2nd seam off the bank, has been one place we are targeting these deeper lying trout.
The Colorado River near Pumphouse Recreation Area has declined in flow about 300-400 CFS, mainly due to a decrease in CFS released into the Lower Blue River. Hatches are still very similar to that of last week, and we are seeing Giant Golden Stoneflies, Yellow Sallies, PMDs (Pale Morning Dun), Red Quills, and a few BWOs (Blue Wing Olive/Baetis). Hopper-dropper season is in full effect as more terrestrial (land dwelling) insects are ending up in the water, as well as trout holding in shallower water which suitable for this teqnique. However, some days the amount of angling pressure seems to be moving fish to deeper lies. Starting off with a dry-dropper rig is often a good tactic to see if trout are looking up for food. Fish faster riffles and pockets tight to banks with this rig. If there is not much action in those shallower lies, then consider fishing a 4-5 foot deep nymph rig in seams (a visual distinction between faster and slower water) further from the banks.
The Colorado River near Pumphouse is currently flowing in the low 2000 CFS area, down from almost 4000 CFS of a week ago. This decrease in flow is causing more fish to hold in faster riffles, pocket water, and cut banks. However some trout are still being caught in deeper seams a few feet off the bank, or in large back eddies. In general trout have been feeding higher in the water column in the morning, while moving a bit deeper as the day heats up. Evening hours often see another increase in surface feeding activity as the suns rays become less direct. Current hatches include Giant Golden Stoneflies, Skwala Stoneflies,Yellow Sallies, Red Quills, PMDs, caddis, and midges. Also look for fall Baetis to start hatching on cooler, cloudy days in the future. Olive colored Skwala Stonefly nymphs have been one of our most consistently producing flies on a daily basis. Imitations of the other aquatic insect species listed above have had mix results from day to day. Visual clues such as adult insects on the water, combined with trial and error are the best way to determine what trout are feeding on at that particular time.
The Colorado River Near Pumphouse is currently flowing about 3500 CFS, and has been fluctuating do to changes in CFS released from Windy Gap, Williams Fork, Wolford Mtn, and Green Mtn. Reservoirs. Water temperature has been holding between 54 and 61 degrees, which is prime for trout fishing. Water clarity has settled into typical summer zones between 2 and 4 feet, which is also right where we like to see it. Currently hatching insects include Giant Golden Stoneflies, Skwala Stoneflies (olive), Yellow Sallies, Red Quills, PMDs, and a variety of caddis.
Trout are starting to hold more consistently in their “summer time lies” which include faster riffles, pocket water, and shelves/drop offs. However quite a few fish are also being caught in deeper seams, and large back eddies, so don’t discount this type of water, especially if there has been a few anglers before you roughing up the top water. A hopper-dropper set up is a great tool for targeting the shallower summer time lies, while a nymph rig is a must for getting into deeper seams/eddies.
The Colorado River Near Pumphouse is flowing about 3300CFS, and is still dropping. The water clarity has varied between 2 - 4 feet on most days. We have been seeing significant hatches of Giant Golden Stoneflies, Caddis, Yellow Sallies, PMDs, and Red Quills.
Trout have not been holding consistently in one type of water. They have been caught in back eddies, along cut banks, and in faster riffles/pocket water. Rig your rod according to the type of water you plan to fish most, or if you have several rods rig up a few different set ups. We have been running heavy, 4 - 5 foot deep nymphs rigs in back eddies and deep seams, while shallower hopper-dropper set ups have been productive for targeting banks and pocket water. The streamer bite has been decent on some days as well, olive and white seem to be productive colors at the moment.
River flows at Pumphouse Recreation Area are about 5,000 CFS, and the water clarity has been varying from about 2’ down to 6” at certain times. At these flows the most productive wade fishing targets will be pockets tight to the banks, or bigger back eddies that are accessible by foot. Float fishing anglers should concentrate on recirculating larger back eddies, anchoring up to hit pockets after river features, and fishing deeper seams on the move.
Our most Productive patterns have been imitations of olive stoneflies (Skwala), Yellow Sallies, chartreuse caddis, medium to small mayflies, and worms. Small trout, sculpin, and leach imitations have also been effective food sources to imitate if you are inclined to strip streamers.
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.
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. Keep in mind that the lower down the river you go, the more feeder creeks there are, potentially clouding up the water. Also expect flows to keep rising for quite some time, as there is still a huge amount of high elevation snowpack to melt.
A hopper-dropper, or nymph rig is the go to set up at the moment. We have been fishing imitations of adult Salmonfies, Adult Golden Stoneflies, adolescent Salmonfly Nymphs, Giant Golden Stonefly nymphs, Yellow Sallies, Caddis, Baetis, midges, and worms.
Salmonflies have been hatching for about a week in the canyons of the Colorado River. The start of the hatch was slow due to cold weather, but the last couple warm days saw a very substantial emergence of adult Salmonflies. Fishing has been fair, but it seems that heavy fishing pressure combined with trout feasting on emerging nymphs has slowed down the angling action a bit. Keep in mind that the tail end of the hatch can fish well, and produce more dry fly eats as nymphs become less available, while the adults are still ending up on the water. Also look out for off color water as recent snowfall melts during the warm days too come. Give the shop a ring, or stop in for the most up to date conditions.
Are the Salmonflies hatching!? No not yet. Conditions where seeming to align for the hatch, but mother nature has brought us another cold front, and the water temps have dropped back down into the forties. Look for sustained water temps in the mid fifties, and we will talk about Salmonfly potential again. For now keep throwing large Salmonfly nymph imitations, golden stone nymph imitations, baetis, caddis, and midges. Streamers, eggs, and worms, are also on the menu. White, and black have been good streamer colors recently.
The plus side of this cold front is better water clarity than we experienced during the hot weather of two weeks ago. Get out and take advantage of the good vis. before this fresh snow melts!
Pumphouse has thawed out nicely, both the banks and the boatramps. However you can still find some treacherous ice if you head very far up the Gore Canyon. Stoneflies, Baetis, Midges, eggs, baitfish/leeches, and worms have all been on the menu. Trout have been holding in a combination of winter and spring lies, including anything from slow tail-outs to the head of the riffle. There is both float and wade fishing available in the area at this time.