Fishing Outlook for September

With the arrival of September comes some of the best fishing of the year. The crowds of summer have started to dwindle down, and we've noticed fewer anglers out on the water, especially on weekdays. Mornings have been greeting us with cooler fall temperatures, pushing back the peak fishing time to around 11:00 a.m. I'm finally getting the morning frost on my windshield, meaning I can probably sleep in another hour to let things warm up. Even with things cooling down, lower elevation rivers are still seeing a lot of hopper eaters, more so in the middle to later parts of the day. The "big bug" dry fly season passes by faster than I'd like it to. Take advantage while you can! For people that don't mind fishing smaller dry flies, tricos and blue winged olives will be on the menu for the next month or two. Word on the street is that streamer fishing is starting to pick up on freestones like The Colorado and The Eagle. When streamer fishing in the fall, I like to use bright colors like yellow, gold, and white. A little (or a lot) of flash in the streamer can also help trigger those hungry pre-spawn brown trout. 

As September rolls on, I'd like to mention how the brown trout spawn will gain traction and our responsibility to remember to steer clear of brown trout redds. Some of our higher elevation streams are already showing signs of the brown trout spawn. If you don't know what a trout "redd" is, remember the image below so that next time you encounter one you don't mistakenly disturb their eggs or spawning habits. 

The Colorado River is in prime shape with raised flows out of all the tributary tailwaters and no angling restrictions. Float fishing or wading any section of The Colorado is a good option at the moment. As always, expect turbidity changes due to rain or even man-made construction or restoration projects. Although, as of late, clarity hasn't been as much of an issue compared to last year. Hatches have been varied, so be prepared with patterns to match red quill, trico, baetis, small caddis and pale-evening dun emergences. As tends to happen in the fall, bigger fish are feeding more regularly. Look for baetis to become more prevalent in the weeks to come and the hopper fishing to peak as the fish look to pack on the protein while it is still available. 

As the Arkansas River float season comes to an end, it's prime time to wade-fish all of your favorite holes that were too high to get into. Browns Canyon Access or below Salida are great places to find solitude in the fall, especially with the bulk of the rafting season behind us. The Upper Ark near Leadville will become more finicky as fall rolls on. I typically fish less dry flies his time of year at the higher elevation rivers and begin searching around with a streamer to find some of the larger fish lurking around. 

The Blue River is fishing consistently well with sustained flows of 100 cfs. Sight fishing is the name of the game right now with pods of rainbows scattered around town. If you don't see any fish in a run, it's best to go find a few before getting your line wet. Small baetis and midge imitations dropped below attractors like pheasant tails, egg patterns, or mysis shrimp are what most of our guides are running on their rigs. 

Tungsten Sunkist 18
RS2 Black, Gray, Olive 18-22 
Two Bit Hooker Jigged 
Tungsten Jig Perdigon Gray 16 
Tungsten CDC Pheasant Tail 12-18
Schmidt Trico Emerger (shop custom) 18-22 (shop custom)
Sizzling Red Squirrel Nymph 14-16 
Jimi's Ninja 18-20 (shop custom)
Rainbow Warrior 18-20
Parachute Adams 16-20

Sign up for our Newsletter

* indicates required