July Fishing Outlook with Reed Ryan

We've been blessed with one of the best Junes for fishing in recent memory. While runoff subsided rather quickly and the rivers have cleared, lower than average temperatures and steady precipitation have prolonged the post-runoff "honeymoon" period with excellent conditions on all of our main drainages. The only exception being smaller creeks, many of which have been a little on the high side and as such, slightly more difficult to manage. We're seeing tributary creeks drop to near optimal levels now so look forward to a dry-fly July on your favorite cutty or brookie stream. 
Matt Campanella captures the beauty of brook trout well.

All reservoirs in the Upper Colorado drainage have filled and are releasing at optimal levels. The middle Blue River through Silverthorne is benefiting from spillover on Lake Dillon and we are seeing daily hatches of caddis, BWOs, and even a few yellow sallies. These delicious insects are rarely on the menu for the persnickety tailwater trout so enjoy the silliness! 
A look at the increased bug life behind the shop on the Blue River as of 07/01/20.

Choosing where to float-fish right now is often the hardest part of the day for us guides. The internal monologue goes something like this:
"Olive stones and PMDS on the Eagle? Ooh, that sounds fun. But don't forget about that yellow sally hatch on the Lower Colorado. The big boys are out to play down there, and stupid!"
"Yes, but the drakes are hatching on the Fork. The trout are silly for those things! Yes, please!"
"Don't forget about the oncoming red quills on the Middle Colorado. It sounds good, but not as fun as the caddis and PMDS on the Upper Colorado."
"What about the drakes and goldens on the Ark? Now thats my jam, lets head south!"

What I'm getting at is that there's no better time to get out and explore. It's good everywhere and those are just the spots I'm willing to tell you about...
Kory Lewis and Charlie Schmidt out for a float on the Upper C.

July is starting to look a little more like the beginning of August in bug-time. Now, if you're worried about us running out of bugs, don't you worry. It's shaping up to be a great hopper season with habitat drying out early this year and trout have already started to look for these terrestrials during periods of non-hatch. Flying ants, beetles, as well as cicadas have been on the water as well. We're seeing a lot more cicadas than we normally do and when they are around, the trout go absolutely nuts for them! Thanks for reading and hope to see you out on the water!
An old warrior Cutthroat fooled by Jacob Lutz on a recent high alpine outing.

Sign up for our Newsletter

* indicates required