The Colorado River at Pumphouse Recreation Area offers miles of water for the wade fisherman, as well as several boat ramps for float fishing access. The wade fisherman will find slower water with a few braided sections below the boat ramps, and faster pocket water upstream into the Gore Canyon. Camping is also available at Pumhouse Recreation Area. Our go to set up for this area is a triple nymph rig, or a hopper with a few nypmhs dropped off the back. However, the angler that keeps a close eye on the water can be presented with rising fish if the conditions are right. The Colorado is primarily a freestone river, and it hosts a large variety of aquatic insects, including several species of stonefly, Blue Wing Olive Mayflies, PMD’s, Green Drakes, Rusty Spinners, Trico’s, caddis, and many more.
Nymphs to Try: Pat’s Rubber Legs size 6 - 10 in black, brown, or olive, CDC prince nymph size 10-12, Biot Tungsten Golden Stonely Nymph, Bead Head Pheasant Tails 12-18 in natural, red, or purple, Phsyco Prince Nymph in purple size 14-16, black or red Two-Bit-Hooker size 14-18, Master Windu Valdez purple size 18, Zebra Midge black size 16-22, Killer May Fly black size 20-22, red or purple Ju-Ju Baetis size 18-22, grey Foam Wing Emerger size 18-22
Streamers To Try: white, black, or olive Sex Dungeons, olive/white Barely Legal, Double Gonga in Rainbow Trout, Sculpzilla sunrise size 4, black or white Wooly Bugger size 4-6, olive Sparkle Minnow, Thin Mint, Bead Head Mini Leach.
Dries To Try: Thing From Uranus size 6-8, Chubby Chernobyl orange, tan, or purple size 4-8, Matthew's Spakle Dun olive size 20-22, Parachute Adams size 16-22, Extended Body Blue Wing Olive size 18-22, Missing Link Caddis size 14-16, Brook Sprouts Midge grey size 18-22, CDC Morgan's Midge size 18-22
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.