Harlan's January Fishing Outlook


Happy New Year everyone! It's time to start thinking snow. January arrived quickly and our snowpack is lagging behind a bit. Over the last couple of years it seems that we've been receiving most of our snowpack later in the winter season. Hopefully thats just the trend again this year and we can catchup to our average snowpack during the months of January, February and March. We are about to receive some insanely cold weather over the next week or two. Might not be the best fishing weather, but lucky for you our tying wall is full stocked and ready for anything you might need to hit the vice and tie up some bugs.

As of January 7th the Upper Colorado Headwaters is sitting at 73% of average snowpack. As you can see Southern Colorado is struggling quite a bit and we hope they can catchup sooner than later. 

Fly fishing has been very productive in town as of late. We think there has been a small migration of fish from downstream (where the river is iced over) into the town section where water temperatures are slightly warmer. Large rainbows and even some good sized brown trout have been spotted and caught. Keep the rigging simple this time of year. An egg pattern, pheasant tail, or mysis shrimp is a good option for your attractor pattern. Below that, a UV Midge, Top Secret Midge, or Bling Midge in size 20-24 have all put fish in the net. Sight fishing is the most fun way to catch this time of year. Go for a walk, keep your hands warm and look for the fish before freezing your hands off blind casting.  

Besides the Blue, the only other river options close to home are the Williams Fork Tailwater and the Dream Stream. Flows at Willys is 40 cfs which is very fishable using light tippet and small flies. The Dream Stream is hovering around 50 cfs and can be a fun sight fishery this time of year. Small leeches and egg patterns will work as an attractor pattern with, you guessed it, midges tied as your second or third fly. 

We saw an influx of fisherman during the month of December with the above average temperatures and lack of snow. Although, I am expecting a much colder January with ideally, more snow in the forecast. With that in mind, a lot of us at the shop are transitioning our off days to go ice fishing! Most of our lakes are capped with safe ice but as always use caution. Dillon Reservoir has been fishing very well near the Snake River inlet as well as around Dillon Marina. Focus your efforts on anywhere from 10 - 20 feet of water. Atomic Teasers and Dynamic Tungsten Ice jigs are very productive lures right now. If you're looking to target lake trout, Green Mountain Reservoir has been producing good numbers, mostly in the 15-20 inch range. There are giants out there, so don't be afraid to jig some larger Jake's Tubes or Dynamic HD Ice Lures. 

Flies for January:
1. Black Pheasant Tail 18-20
2. Rainy's Real Meal 18-20 
3. JUJU Bee Midge Any Color 20-22 
4. Two Bit Hooker Brown 14-18
5. Disco Midge Red 20-24
6Matthew's Sparkle Dun 18-22
7. Bling Midge Brown, Charcoal, Tan 20-24
8. UV Midge Black #24

Sign up for our Newsletter

* indicates required