COLORADO FISHING REPORT
The most current, accurate Colorado fishing reports and information are key to a good day on the water. In addition to providing quality Colorado fishing reports, we also supply real-time streamflow data. To see a detailed fishing report for a specific river, and view it's real-time streamflow, simply click on a river from the lists below. Looking for general Colorado fly fishing and lake information? Visit our General River Information
Time to go fly fishing
Our fall 2016 guide school is sold out. Our tentative spring 2017 guide school dates are Sunday, April 23 - Saturday, April 29th. For more info about our school, give us a call at 970-262-2878 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
***Summer Hours: 7am-7pm Daily***
Water We Guide On: 9/17/16
While you can catch fish in Silverthorne using larger dry flies like Caddis and Stimulators, the trout seem more interested in smaller, subsurface offerings (i.e., tailwater nymphs). The fish in the photo (above) was caught on a size 22 black Pure Midge under a tiny indicator. 6x fluorocarbon tippet was necessary, as was a # 4 tin shot. Other flies that are working include: size 20-22 natural Pheasant Tails, size 20-22 red Tailwater Tiny's, size 20-22 cream Bling Midges and size 20-22 Juju Zebra Midges.
Mysis Shrimp are still on the menu, especially in the morning and the evening. But flies imitating tiny midges and small mayflies have generally been more productive.
We are seeing occasional, light Blue Wing Olive hatches in town on some of the gray, rainy days. Midges are also hatching most afternoons. If you travel down river 15 miles or so, you will likely run into better Blue Wing Olive activity.
Unless it is cloudy, we haven't seen many fish feeding on the surface during the day. Most of the action has been subsurface. That said, you can sometimes entice a trout or two to eat a size 14-18 Elk Hair Caddis, a size 14 Amy's Ant or a size 14-18 Parachute Adams. As a general rule-of-thumb, the late evenings and the overcast days hold the greatest possibility of finding fish willing to eat on the surface. But don't expect to find "lights-out" dry fly fishing on the Blue River in Silverthorne on a consistent basis.
We suggest using the smallest, neutral colored indicator that you can still see. Brightly colored indicators often alert the trout of your presence and they will either spook or just refuse to eat your fly. White or black yarn indicators, small sized white or "glow-in-the-dark" Thingamabobbers are always good choices when fishing the Blue River in Silverthorne. Fishing without an indicator, although tricky, can be deadly as well.
If you don't use streamers on the Blue River, you should consider doing so. This is especially true during the fall into the early winter. Streamer fishing is, at times, a very effective strategy and is an underused technique by most anglers fishing the Blue River in Silverthorne. Don't be afraid of using the big, articulated patterns available these days. Trailing a black or olive Houdini behind a black or white Dungeon is often a winning strategy.
Streamers to try: Sex Dungeons, Barely Legals, Home Invaders, Houdini, Thin Mints, Super Buggers and all sizes and colors of the standard "Woolly Bugger."
Question: What's going on with the Gold Medal status of the Blue River?
Answer: The Blue River between Silverthorne and Green Mountain Reservoir has been delisted from Colorado's Gold Medal list. The Blue within the city limits of Silverthorne is still listed as Gold Medal water. There are still great fish to be caught on the Blue north of Silverthorne. If you check in with us regularly, you have seen hundreds of photos of fish that were caught in this stretch over the years. And we try to post current pics regularly. It's true; you won't find the numbers of fish that you will see in Silverthorne. But you will find fewer anglers and less selective fish!
Here's a Blue River access map for Silverthorne (courtesy of the Town of Silverthorne):
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of guide tested flies that kill it on the Blue River in Silverthorne.
Need a Blue River map?
The Blue River below Dillon Reservoir is running at 110 cfs today. This flow is a very angler friendly level as the river is accessible bank to bank. We are seeing Caddis and small Golden Stone Flies (i.e., Yellow Sallies) hatch from Silverthorne to Green Mountain Reservoir. The hatches tend to be strongest as you head north, away from Silverthorne, but you can currently encounter strong, localized hatches on almost any stretch of the Blue.
Patterns for this stretch:
Nymphs: #16-#18 Tungsten Yellow Sallies, Prince Nymphs: #16-18, Standard Pheasant Tails and Tungsten CDC Pheasant Tails/Hare's Ears, #16-#20 Iron Sallies, #16-#18 Bit Hookers, #18-#20 Split-Case BWO Nymphs, #18-#22 Miracle Midges and #18-#22 gray or olive RS-2's.
Dries: #16-#22 Parachute Adams, #14-#18 Elk Hair Caddis, #16-#18 Olive Chubby Chernobyls and #14-#16 yellow or orange Stimulators, #12-#16 Royal Wulffs.
The action on the Blue River north of Silverthorne is currently fair to good, with some anglers having success and others not so much. Keep in mind that the Blue north of Silverthorne tends to fish much better, during the summer months at least, on the surface than under it. There's no explaining this phenomenon but after years of guiding this water it has proven to be the case more often than not. Dropping a bead head nymph from a medium to large is often the best technique during the lower water flows of summer.
Medium to larger sized attractor nymphs, Pat's Rubberlegs, Golden Stone nymphs in size 8-18, Mayfly nymphs, Caddis larvae and Green Drake nymphs are good choices to entice fish to feed or to match the available food sources on the Blue River at this time. Streamers are always worth a try as some days they will out produce any other tactic.
The inlet area to Green Mountain Reservoir is fishing fair. This is usually a go to location at this time of year. The fact that the inlet isn't "on" right now is most likely due to the fact that Green Mountain Reservoir hasn't been stocked this year in an attempt to rid the Kokanee Salmon in the reservoir of gill lice. There are no plans to stock Green Mountain Reservoir this year at all. Current plans also call for no stocking of Green Mountain Reservoir next year.
The determined wade angler will find trout spread out in the best feeding lies. Don't expect to find fish stacked up like you will see in Silverthorne. The farther one gets away for Lake Dillon, the more the Blue River fishes like a freestone river. Moreover, you'll need to work a bit harder to successfully fish the Blue north of town; the fish population is lighter in the northern reaches of the river than it is in Silverthorne. The concentration of fish improves, however, in the mile or so above where the Blue River enters Green Mountain Reservoir (i.e. the inlet area).
Trout that live north of Silverthorne will often take a variety of fly patterns (please see below) and are, generally, less selective than the trout residing just below the Lake Dillon Dam. Again, when fishing this stretch, covering more ground often equates to more hook-ups. 5x fluorocarbon tippet is recommended.
FYI: The Blue River between Silverthorne and Green Mountain Reservoir has been delisted from the Gold Medal list. The Blue within the city limits of Silverthorne is still listed as Gold Medal water. There are still great fish to be caught on the Blue north of Silverthorne. If you check in with us regularly, you have seen hundreds of photos of fish that were caught in this stretch over the years. And we try to post current pics regularly. It's true, you won't find the numbers of fish that you will see in Silverthorne. But you will find fewer anglers and less selective fish!
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of hand picked flies that consistently catch fish on the Blue River North of Silverthorne.
Need a Blue River map?
FYI: The mosquitos are a still a factor on this stretch of the Colorado. We currently advise bringing 1 can of bug spray........you can now leave the second can at home
The Colorado near Parshall is in fine form. The river has about 3 feet of visibility and is flowing at 140 cfs above its confluence with the Williams Fork tailwater and 340 cfs below that confluence. With the onset of fall, there are now many fish stacked up in the shallow, fast riffles so don't overlook fishing the skinny water.
While the fishing on the Colorado River near Parshall has been fair to very good lately, it has been a day-to-day affair and often very fly specific. Don't be afraid to change flies often if you aren't hooking up and be sure to move up or down the river if you aren't having any success. Sometimes, just traveling a mile can make a huge difference in finding trout with better attitudes.
In general, we have transitioned away from the larger flies that we like during the higher spring flows into the smaller, fall insects. Tricos and Blue Wing Olives (BWO's) and midges are the insects of importance right now. There have also been some Red Quill Spinners around in the early evening hours. The best nymphs have been #22-#24 Miracle Nymphs, #20-#22 foam wing emergers in chocolate, gray and olive, #18-#22 Barr's BWO Emergers, #18-#22 natural Pheasant Tails, #20-#24 black or gray RS-2's and any spinner trico pattern fished as a nymph,
Dry flies have been effective during the early afternoon when the Tricos are falling into the water after mating and, on the cloudier days, when we are seeing the start of our fall BWO hatch. While the dry fly action can be good during the late mornings to early afternoons, the evening hours often provide the good dry fly action on Red Quill Spinners. Effective dry fly patterns include: #14-#18 Clear Winged Rusty Spinners, #18-#22 Parachute Extended Bodied BWO's, #18-#22 Matthews Sparkle Dun BWO's, #18-#20 Gulper Specials or Parachute Adams, #20-#26 Poly Wing or CDC Wing Trico Spinners, and #22 Pearl-Butt Trico Spinners.
Try changing (primarily adding) weight before changing flies. If your flies aren't occasionally ticking the bottom, and you aren't hooking up, add some weight (or heavier flies) until you occasionally get hung up. The opposite, of course, can also be true--it is just less common! If you are constantly cleaning your flies, or hanging up, take off a bit of weight. Our guides have been using 4x-5x fluorocarbon tippet depending on the amount of water clarity on any given day.
Don't forget to try a streamer. Larger patterns often work best as they move a ton of water and create a larger vibration in the water. Trailing a smaller streamer behind the larger streamer can crush fish some days. Common set-ups include: Sex Dungeon (any color) trailing a Wounded Sculpin, Sparkle Minnow trailing a Houdini or a Home Invader (black, white or tan) trailing a Slump Buster (rust, black or olive).
Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when fishing the upper Colorado River near Parshall: In the winter, the water temperature on the Colorado River below the Williams Fork confluence will generally be warmer than the temperature of the Colorado above the confluence. In summer, the opposite is typically true; the water temp is colder on the Colorado River below the Williams Fork confluence and warmer above the confluence. This difference in water temperature will often trigger different insect hatches. For example, you might find Blue Wing Olives hatching below the Williams Fork confluence but not hatching above the confluence (and vice versa). It is not unusual to find better (or poorer) Fishing on the Colorado River near Parshall simply by moving a few miles upstream or downstream.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of hand picked flies that trout love to eat on the upper Colorado River.
Need a Colorado River map?
Th river is currently fishable from Pumphouse (and above) down to Dotsero. Fishing has been fair to very good depending on the day and the stretch of river you are fishing. The balance of fishing conditions favors the good to very good days, with a more difficult day thrown in here and there.
The fish are no longer only hanging out along the bank. Expect to find fish throughout the river, especially in the faster, skinny water that browns love in the fall. That said, when fishing the heavier current, you will find fish will find fish holding tight to the bank or in the soft pockets along the bans. The "fishing on the run" is as good as it gets right now. Still, don't overlook the importance of "nosing up" or wade fishing. There are fish stacked up in some of the river's fast moving, shallow pockets and runs.
Nymphs that are catching fish include: #8-#10 black or olive Pat's Rubberlegs, #16-#20 Tungsten CDC Pheasant Tails, #16-#18 red Two-Bit Hookers (or red Copper Johns), #16-#18 CDC Hare's Ears, #14-#16 Y's Caddis,, #18-#20 Tungsten Psycho BWO's, #14-#16 standard Pheasant Tails, and #18-20 Tungsten Split-Cased BWO's As always, call us (970-262-2878) for the most current report.
Dry flies to use: #12-#18 Chubby Chernobyl in gold or olive, #14-#18 yellow or orange Stimulators, #16-#20 Parachute Adams or Parachute BWO's, #12-#18 Elk Hair Caddis and Grasshopper patterns of all sizes.
We think the most effective technique at the moment is a dry-dropper set-up or a yarn indicator. At these flows, and with the subtle strikes we are often seeing, a dry fly (or yarn indicator) is better at detecting strikes than a Thingamabobber or an Air-Lock indicator. Both the Air-lock and Thingamabobber will detect the strike but you must trust it; set on anything that looks unusual! Since we are still getting decent action on the larger dry fly, we recommend using a #12-#14 Chubby Chernobyl and then dropping a few of the nymphs mentioned above off of the Chubby.
The streamer bite has been sporadic but it has been good to very good at times. The best streamers have been: Black or White Dungeons, Sparkle Minnows in Sculpin,Black or Tan/Yellow Gongas and black or tan Home Invaders. The fish seem to want big, lightly colored (cream colored streamers) at the moment. But that could change in an instant so come to the party with a good selection of pattens in different sizes and colors. Black, of course, is a color you should never leave home without.
Finding the "pattern" to the trout's feeding lies on any given day can make the difference between catching a couple of fish or hooking up many fish. Pay attention to where you are catching fish and look to find similar water elsewhere on the river. If your "pattern" begins to let you down look to change up what you are doing in hopes of finding another "pattern" to the trout's feeding. Here's what most guides do: Change flies, change where in the river they are fishing them and play around with how deep they are fishing them.
As always, call the shop for the latest info: 970-262-2878.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of custom flies that crush on the Colorado River near Pumphouse.
Need a Colorado River map?
At about 120 cfs, the upper Arkansas is at a perfect flow for the fall wade angler. Expect Blue Winged Olives to show up soon in numbers.
The overcast days present the best dry fly opportunity. But fish will often take visible, bushy dry flies in the faster water on the sunny days. Using a dropper off of your dry fly more than doubles your chances of hooking up. Try going below the Hayden Meadows section as that area has been busy this summer.
Nymphs to try:Standard or Black Pheasant Tails (#14-#18), Spilt-Case PMD's (#16-#18), Tung Teasers (#14-#16), CDC Tungsten Pheasant Tails (#16-#18), Barr's Graphic Caddis (#16) and Hare's Ears (#16-#18)
Dries to try:: Parachute BWO's (#14-#18), Peacock Caddis (#14-#18), yellow or orange Stimulators (#14-#16) and Chubby Chernobyls in olive or gold (#16-#18).
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of guide selected flies that will humiliate the trout on the upper Arkansas River.
Need an Arkansas River map?
The fishing can definitely rate 4 stars. We dropped it to 3 stars to reflect the slightly slower action we have seen since the water dropped into the mid 300's (cfs).
Float trips are doing well but the water is low. It's probably best to float 2 anglers per boat as the fish will spook off of the boat, leaving the second boat angler casting at what is often vacant water.
Flies are essentially the same as for the upper Arkansas. Please see the report above.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of proven flies that the fish can't resist on the Arkansas River near Salida.
Need an Arkansas River map?
The Roaring Fork River is still fishing well. The hot fall fishing is upon us.....especially on the overcast days. The river is still floatable at 700 cfs but it is getting bony, especially for a hard boat.
Nymphing has been better than either dry flies but the streamer action is heating up. The Blue Wing Olive hatch hasn't hit full stride but expect it to do so once we start to see some cooler, overcast/rainy weather come for a visit.
The fish are looking for BWO nymphs most days regardless if a hatch materializes. The fish are getting more selective so drop your fluorocarbon tippet down to 4x, or even 5x, and consider using a dry fly for your indicator instead of a Thingamabobber. You might even have to lose the bead on your smaller nymphs.
Need a Roaring Fork River map?
Tricos, BWO's and Grasshoppers are the insects of most importance. Fishing has been best from early morning until about noon. Some big trout are in the system again. Fishing has been fair to very good depending on the day........and the wind.
Streamers can be effective early and late in the day.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of flies chosen to consistently produce trout on the Dream Stream.
Need a South Platte River map?
Muddy creek is flowing at 50 cfs and is fishing well. We are seeing some big browns caught on streamers red Copper Johns and various Blue Wing Olive nymphs.
Have a look at the reservoir releases before heading to the Muddy, or any tailwater for that matter. It might make or break your day. Here's a must have link to the state's Colorado Streamflow page.
The summer hatches are dwindling. Scuds, Callibaetis and midges are still hooking some fish. The streamer fishing has been better than nymphing most days. The fishing has been fair to good.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of killer flies that work on most still waters, but specifically on Spinney Mountain Reservoir.
The flow dropped yesterday from 200 CFS to 150 CFS. This is enough of a drop to effect the fishing so give it another day or two if you are looking to head to the Willie's Fork. There are good numbers of browns in the river at this time. The brown trout spawn has begun but we aren't seeing too many fish paired up yet.
Best flies have been Pheasant Tails, gray or olive RS-2's, Caddis Larvae and olive, black or tan Midges. Keep your hook sizes between 16 and 22. Fishing isn't off the hook but it is worth the mile (fish) walk into the river from the parking lot. The streamer action is picking up.
Whether you prefer the 12 oz., or you are all in for the "40," this creek is always flowing cold and foamy. Use limes and salt as needed. Longnecks are the preferred choice, but almost any variety will catch you a buzz.
The Middle Fork of the South Platte above Spinney Mountain Reservoir is now down to fall flows (i.e. low). Attractor dries and nymphs should be all you need. But bring a few streamers in case the trout are in the mood to chase. Some big fish have moved up from the reservoir. Oh yeah, a size 14 hopper won't go wrong either.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order an array of angler tested flies that the trout like to eat on the Middle and South Forks of the South Platte River.
Need a South Platte River map?
Other Local Water
Because we do not guide on the following rivers, we cannot give the same detailed information that you find for the Water We Guide On. However, the streamflows are continuously updated, and we've done our best to give you a general idea of what to expect on these waters for this time of year.
Please remember that wade fishing is only allowed in the public stretches of the Blue River below Green Mountain Reservoir. This primarily consists of the approximately 1.5 miles or so of river bank located just below the reservoir. The public water ends at the private land/no trespassing postings. Float fishing is allowed below the reservoir but wade fishing on private property is trespassing, as is anchoring a boat on private land. For those of you that are new to Colorado's stream laws, the landowner does not own the water passing through private land but the landowner does own the stream bottom. Colorado's stream laws are not the same as the stream laws in Montana (Montana law allows an angler to stand on private property up to the "High-Water" mark).
There is no commercial guiding (wade or float) allowed on this stretch of the Blue but most of the shop guys love to fish it when they get a chance. The current flow of 800 cfs is a good level for float fishing but not ideal for wade fishing. Both wade and boat anglers will need to focus on the slack water to find success. Nymphing with larger flies (#4-#10) will often bring trout to hand but don't overlook the smaller (#16-#20) BWO, Green Drake and Golden Stone patterns. San Juan Worms should also be in your repertoire.
Please keep in mind that Mountain Lions call this area home throughout the year. Please consider leaving your dog at home and keep a watchful eye when hiking/fishing.
Nymphs to try: #10- #12 Pat's Rubber Legs, size 14-18 Tungsten Yellow Sallies, size 18-22 Olive and Black Zebra Midges, size 18-20 Split Cased BWO's, Standard Pheasant Tails, size 18-22 Gray WD-40's, Black, size 18-22 Olive or gray RS-2's, size 12-16 Charlie's "TDJ" Pheasant Tails and Golden Stones, size 12-18 CDC Hare's Ears and CDC Pheasant Tails.
Dries to Try: #18-#26 Parachute Adams, #18-#22 Matthew's Sparkle Emergers, #20-#24 Brooks' Sprouts and #20-#22 "Stuck in the Shucks."
Streamers are a good option right now on the Blue River below Green Mountain Reservoir. We love using large, articulated streamers but don't forget to try the more traditional, smaller streamers. You might be surprised how well the "oldies" produce!
Fishing has been decent from a boat using Pheasant Tails, Chironomids and Hare's Ears. The streamer bite at night has been good as has skating/twitching Caddis and Stimulators under the cover of darkness,
Despite very low water conditions, the fishing on the Eagle is has been quite good. The browns are just entering the aggressive phase of the spawn. Streamers and BWO nymphs/emergers/dries are the most effective flies at the moment. Egg patterns should begin to work soon.
Need an Eagle River map?
Gore Creek is running fairly clear (unless it rains) and is fishing well. Standard attractor nymphs and dries will do the trick.
The inlet areas (i.e. the Blue River Inlet, the Ten Mile Creek inlet and the Snake River inlet) into Dillon Lake have all slowed down now that the reservoir is at capacity. You can still catch a few fish at these inlets using attractor dries and nymphs. San Juan worms are still working some as well.
This is a great time to fish Clear Creek from Georgetown to Golden. The fish aren't terribly picky. Try using #14-#16 red Copper Johns, #14-#16 Bead Head Pheasant Tails under a #12-#14 Chubby Chernobyl or a #16 yellow Stimulator.
The Snake is running perfectly for fly fishing. Standard attractor nymphs, Eggs, San Juan Worms and smaller streamers will bring good results. In the late afternoon into the evening, Elk Hair Caddis, Stimulators and Parachute Adams will bring the fish to the surface.