CATCHING UP WITH KORY LEWIS ON THE BLUE RIVER
Published by: Harlan Kimball
A native of Colorado, Kory Lewis has been fishing the Blue River longer than most of us. He knows the ins and outs of the fishery and I was lucky enough to tag along as we explored different sections of the water Cutthroat Anglers calls home. But first, a little bit about the man himself. His roots in fly fishing began at his grandparent's laundromat and dry cleaner in Golden next to Clear Creek. This gave him plenty of opportunities to sneak out for a few casts before returning to his chores. After receiveing his drivers license, Kory made it a goal to catch as many freshwater species in Colorado as he could. It's probably easier to list the species he hasn't caught than the ones he has. During the winter months you won't find Kory on the ski slopes, he would rather be huddled up on a frozen body of water fishing for pike and lake trout. I don't like to throw around the phrase "fishy" that often, but man, Kory is fishy as hell. Lets get on with it and see how Kory navigates the Blue River.
PART I: SILVERTHORNE TAILWATER
Quality polarized sunglasses are by far the most utilized tool when fishing The Blue. Low flows and gin clear water make it a sight fishery through and through. Kory uses the SMITH Guide's Choice with a Chromapop glass polarized brown lens.
The Abel TR and Scott G series 8'4'' 4WT is Kory's pick for the day. The G Series is a perfect fit for The Blue River. Using light tippet (6x) and small flies (20-24's) requires a rod that can handle gentle presentations and tippet protection, while also providing enough backbone to land the larger trout on the end of your line.
First things first, find a fish. Kory takes his time spotting fish and choosing his target instead of blind casting into a run. Even though it takes practice and a trained eye, this strategy will greatly improve your skills as an angler and make catching that much more rewarding.
Kory rolls one out to his target...
A small brown swooped in and stole the show from the big rainbow Kory sighted. Not what we wanted but a great sight to see nonetheless. This one ate the #22 gray RS2 on the swing.
Back to the rainbows... Kory found one cruising the shallows near some rock structure. Don't get discouraged if the fish you're casting to doesn't eat after the first 5 casts. It may take 20-30 drifts to get everything just right for that fish to feel comfortable taking your fly.
Hooked up! This one had a little fight in him as he took Kory up and over the rock structure.
The Scott G Series showed its colors fighting this fish on 6x.
A quick handshake.
PART TWO: THE MIDDLE MIDDLE BLUE
After getting our fix in town, Kory took me downstream several miles to a completely different stretch of river. One of our favorite characteristics of the Blue River is how the fishery and scenery change as you move around to different locations. Your rig downstream of town might consist of some larger attractor flies like, golden stones, egg patterns, larger pheasant tails, and caddis larva. Although, small midges and baetis are still going to be the bread and butter no matter what section you fish.
The views look a little different around these parts.
Kory sighted a colorful rainbow moving back and forth through the run...
With tiny baetis flying around, a small pheasant tail down to an even smaller RS2 with one small split shot had Kory feeling great about his rig. "Keepin it simple, people like to complicate things here." - Kory Freakin Lewis
Live Action: First Cast...
Rewards of sight fishing.
As the light was dwindling Kory had one more spot to fish, so I followed, as any smart person should.
The drifts were dialed and the fish were noticing.
Kory talked a lot about positioning. Putting your body in the right place can create a much easier casting and presentaion situation for you and your flies.
Finding feeding fish in shallow riffles makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, and you should too. Kory ending the day on a high note.
The Blue holds some of the most beautiful trout terrain in Colorado as it winds through the Gore Range all the way to The Colorado River. The fishing is very technical due to cold/clear water and small bugs. That being said, anglers will find success by slowing things down, using their eyes, and downsizing their gear. This is fish hunting at its finest.
Also, for you curious folks interested in conservation, there are several organizations actively involved in restoring The Blue River's Gold Metal status and actively improving overall watershed health. One of the the best ways we can give back to the fisheries that give us so much is to learn from these organizations and do everything we possibly can to support them.
The Blue River Watershed Group www.blueriverwatershed.org
Trout Unlimited https://coloradotu.org/
The Blue River Enhancement Workgroup email@example.com
Friends of the Lower Blue River https://www.
Friends of the Dillon Ranger District https://fdrd.org/