RUNOFF IS HERE! An example: on Sunday, May 12, the Big T in Moraine Park was flowing at about 50 cfs; three days later it hit 200 cfs. The St Vrain in Lyons is now nearly 400 cfs from 250 cfs on the weekend. Streams across the state are about the same. Tailwaters are looking great by comparison, because many reservoirs are very much below normal levels. Water managers around the state will have to strike a balance between refilling storage reservoirs and sending water to downstream users. Despite the improved snowpack, flows could once again remain below normal this summer in those rivers. Best destinations right now are the Big Thompson from the dam at EP downstream through the canyon, the Arkansas, the Yampa below Stagecoach, the Fryingpan below Reudi and the Ark below Pueblo Res.
Warm water ponds and lakes on the Front Range are fishing pretty well for bass and other warm water species. Examples are MacIntosh Lake, McCall Lake, Lagerman Reservoir, Pella Crossing, Boyd Lake, etc. High altitude lakes are still iced up. x We hear that caddis are moving and starting to pupate on the lower Ark, but few adults have been about. The Mother's Day caddis hatch on the Ark is living up to its reputation this year.
It's time for spring BWOs at lower elevations, and they are out and about on the Arkansas, the Big T, the Roaring Fork and the Fryingpan. Nymphing, however, is the primary name of the game right now, though you'll often see midges hatching on sunny days, with fish rising to take them on or just under the surface. No significant numbers of caddis have been seen locally yet. It pays to use smaller fluorocarbon tippets (6x-7x) and small flies during low water conditions.
Some of the best tailwaters around the state are the Taylor below Taylor Park Reservoir, the Frying Pan below Reudi Reservoir, the Blue below Dillon Dam, and locally, the Big T below Olympus Dam in Estes Park. Give us a call before heading out as we may have some info based on what we have heard from customers and our own trips.
Current streamflow conditions are available for these and other streams at the
Colorado Department of Natural Resources.
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|River and Conditions||Hatches/Activity||What's Working||Go To Flies|
|119 cfs below Lake Estes. Some fishable open water up and down the canyon.||Midges, a few BWOs.||Nymphing is the best bet. Double nymph rigs productive (eg, Flashy, PT or CJ trailing a Zebra Midge, Deep Blue Poison Tung, Barr Emerger or pink SJW). Dries/emergers to match the hatch of the moment.||Dries: Para Adams (#16-26), any good BWO or BWO emerger pattern, Barr Emerger, RS-2. Nymphs: Purple or pink SJW, Prince Nymphs, Hot Wire Prince and other stonefly nymphs, Deep Blue Poison Tung, Ray Charles, red, black or olive midge larvae, PT, CJ, Hare's Ear, Tarheel Caddis Larva, Mike's Improved Bling Midge.|
|Rocky Mountain National Park|
|166 cfs on Big T in Moraine Park. Has been over 200 cfs this week.||Very little insect activity other than a few midges in open water areas.||Nymphing your best bet unless fish are rising to hatching and emerging bugs.||Same as the the Big T above.|
|379 cfs at Lyons. This is the combined North and South.||Midges, stonefly nymphs and a few small (size 18) black stonefly adults. A few BWOs||Match the hatch when fish are rising. Beadhead prince nymph trailing a SJW always a good bet.||Same as the the Big T above.|
|Cache La Poudre|
|591 cfs at canyon mouth.||Midges, BWOs||Nymphing still the best bet. Double nymph rigs productive (eg, Flashy, PT or CJ trailing a Zebra Midge, Deep Blue Poison Tung, Barr Emerger or pink SJW). Dries/emergers to match the hatch of the moment. Try small (16-20) attractor dries.||Dries: BWOs and BWO emergers, Para Adams. Nymphs: Tak's Go2 Prince,Hot Wire Prince, PT, SJW, midge larvae/pupae patterns, Ray Charles, Poison Tung, large stone flies such as 20 inchers, Prince Nymph, Golden Stones. Pink or red SJW, Psycho Prince, Tarheel Caddis Larva, Mike's Improved Bling Midge. Streamers: Buggers in black, olive or orange, leech patterns.|
|55 cfs below Dillon Res.||Midges, the usual tailwater stuff. Mysis below Dillon Dam/Res.||The usual tailwater nymphs and midges. Mysis patterns below the dam. North of town, fish BWO nymphs trailing a San Juan Worm or midge larva- dries during hatches.||Dries: Adams/Parachute Adams #20-26, Griffiths Gnat, BWOs #20-22 Nymphs: Barr's Pure Midge, black or gray RS2, Miracle, JuJuBee, Black Beauty, red midge patterns, Mercury Midge, PT, CJ. Hare's Ear, etc.|
|68 cfs below Green Mtn Res.||No reports.||Dry/dropper or hopper dropper rigs. Double nymph rigs.||Dries: BWOs Para Adams, Griffiths Gnat Nymphs: Stoneflies, Prince, Barr Emerger BWO. Streamers: Girdle Bug, Woolly Buggers|
|1920 cfs at Gypsum. River is muddy in the Eagle/Gypsum area; much clearer in the Avon/Edwards stretch.||Eggs, stonefly nymphs.||Nymphing is the best producer. Attractor nymphs trailed by an RS2, midge or mayfly nymph are good combos. Midge and BWO dries will produce during hatches.||Dries: Parachute Adams, BWO and BWO emergers, RS-2. Midge dries like a Griffith's Gnat, BWO, Barr Emerger. Nymphs: Eggs,PT, Micromay, Prince, CJ, etc. Tarheel Caddis Larva. Streamers: Black or olive Slumpbusters, black or olive Buggers, etc.|
|114 cfs below Reudi Reservoir. Fishing very well right now.||Midges am and afternoon, some BWOs, primarily midday, eggs, Mysis below the dam. Good midge hatches.||Nymphing morning and late afternoons, dries/emergers during midday to afternoon hatches..||Dries: #20-24 BWO Sparkle Duns and Comparaduns, #22-26 Para Adams, Barr Emerger, Jujubaetis, RS-2, grey or black midge dries down to size 30 or 32. Nymphs: PT, Midge pupae and larvae, eggs, Rainbow Warrior, Zebra/Black Beauty midges (black or red), Brassies, Eggs, Mysis, pink San Juan Worm, Tabou Caddis Emerger. Streamers: Use smaller sizes: Black or olive Slumpbusters, black or olive Buggers, etc.|
|Basalt to Carbondale: 674
cfs above FP confluence near Basalt. Approx 788 cfs at Carbondale, and muddy all the way to the Colorado.
|Stonefly nymphs, midges, eggs, BWOs.||Trail a midge larva or BWO nymph behind a big stone nymph. Otherwise, double nymph rigs or driy/emerger combos (during hatches with surface feeding activity) are the order of the day.||Dries: Same as the Pan. Nymphs: stonefly, caddis and mayfly nymphs, Pat's Rubber Legs, PT, eggs, SJW. Streamers: Autumn Splendor, Black Bugger, Northern Lights, White Clouser.|
|Carbondale to Glenwood Springs 1950 cfs at Glenwood Springs.||Stonefly nymphs, midges, eggs, BWO nymphs.||Same as above.||Same as above|
|Parshall: 712 cfs
Pumphouse: 1410 cfs
Glenwood Spgs: 2240, muddy
|Midges at both Parshall and Pumphouse.||Streamers are a good bet during these higher, off color water periods. Double nymph rigs with a standard beadhead nymph trailing a BWO emerger such as a Barr Emerger or RS-2. a midge pattern or red SJW. Try a smalll Adams or BWO during hatches.||Dries: Para Adams, Griffith's Gnat, BWO, PMD, hoppers (for hopper/dropper rigs), Elk Hair caddis. Nymphs: Midge larvae/pupae, PT, Prince, RS-2, PT, CJ. 20 Incher, Halfback midge larvae. Streamers: Buggers, Slumpbuster, Double Bunny, Bunny Leech, Girdle Bugs.|
|66 cfs below Stagecoach. 2140
cfs at Steamboat Spgs.
||Stagecoach: Midges, scuds, worms.
Steamboat area: Midges, BWOs
|Nymphing deeper runs and holes. Dries may work during hatches, which are usually pretty sporadic.||Dries: Midge dries, Griffiths Gnat, RS-2. Nymphs: Tabou Caddis Emerger, Rainbow Warrior, midge larvae/pupae in black or red, typical tailwater nymphs, scuds in olive, rust orange, cream or tan, red or pink SJWs, Hare's Ear and Chamois Leeches, Miracle Nymph.|
|Leadville to Buena Vista: 330 cfs at Granite.||Midges, stonefly and mayfly nymphs.||Same as BV-Salida below. Best fishing on warm afternoons.||Same as BV-Salida below.|
|Buena Vista to Salida: 550 cfs at Salida.||Midges, stonefly and mayfly nymphs, some BWOs hatching. Caddis will come on soon.||Attractor nymph with a trailing midge pupa/larva.||Dries: Para Adams (22-26), RS-2, Griffith's Gnat. Nymphs: Prince, 20 Incher, midge larvae and pupae, BH PT, Hare's Ear, chartreuse caddis larva, golden stones, CJ- black, red, chartreuse. Streamers: Autumn Splendor, buggers.|
|Salida to Canon City: 375 cfs at Canon City.||Midges, stonefly and mayfly nymphs.||Same as BV to Salida section.||Same as BV to Salida section.|
|Below Pueblo Res: 212 cfs.
||Midges, BWOs.||Double nymph rigs with a beadhead/attractor nymph (esp a big stonefly) trailing a midge larva pattern or SJW. Dry/dropper rigs.||Dries: BWO, BWO emergers, Parachute Adams, RS-2, Griffith's Gnat. Nymphs: Prince, Copper John, Juju Baetis, Pheasant Tail, Brassie, eggs, San Juan Worm (orange, pink or red), typical tailwater midge patterns. Streamers: Buggers, Near NUff Crayfich|
|102 cfs at Deckers.||Midges, BWOs.||Midge behind a beadhead nymph. Dries for rising fish.||Dries: Griffiths Gnat and other midge dries, BWO dries, Para Adams- all very small- #20 and smaller, RS-2, WD-40, Barr Emergers, Elk Hair and other Caddis, Tricos (spinners and sunken). Nymphs: Very small PTs, Hare's Ears, Mercury Midge, Zebra Midge, Rainbow Warrior, eggs, Top Secret Midge. Medallion Midge.|
|50 cfs below Cheesman.||Midges, BWOs.||Midge behind a beadhead nymph. Dries for rising fish.||Dries: Griffiths Gnat and other midges, Para Adams- all very small- #20 and smaller, RS-2, WD-40, Barr Emergers, Tricos (spinners and sunken). Nymphs: Tan Graphic Caddis, Juju Baetis, very small PTs, Mercury Midge, Zebra Midge, Rainbow Warrior, brown body midge larva, midge pupa patterns,Top Secret Midge. Medallion Midge.|
|53 cfs in Elevenmile Canyon.||Midges, BWOs.||Copper John, SJW, RS-2, Rainbow Warrior, JUjubee, Jujubaetis fished deep. Dries to match the hatch of the moment.||Dries: Griffiths Gnat and other midges, Para Adams- all very small- #20 and smaller, RS-2, WD-40, Barr Emergers. Nymphs: Very small PTs, Mercury Midge, Zebra Midge, Rainbow Warrior, SJW, Top Secret Midge. Medallion Midge.|
|36 cfs at Charlie Meyers State Wildlife Area (Dream Stream).||Midges, BWOs.||Double nymph rigs, dry or dry/dropper||Dries: RS-2, WD-40, Para Adams, midges, Griffith's Gnat, small PMD patterns and PMD emergers (ie, Barr Emerger). Nymphs: Red, pink or brown SJW, Chamois Leech, Rojo Midge, Mercury Black Beauty, Brassie, Red PT, Rainbow Warrior, Flashback PT, midge larvae/pupae patterns, Pure Midge, olive scuds or egg patterns, Top Secret Midge, Medallion Midge. Streamers: Try Autumn Splendors, Woolly Buggers (olive, black, brown), Girdle Bugs in mottled colors.|
|Grey Reef: 900 cfs.
Miracle Mile: 1020 cfs
|Midges, cranefly larva. orange scuds, black Zebra Midge. We've had some reports of big fish being caught, and fishing is good.||Nymphing almost exclusively||Nymphs: Scuds, Red SJW, Chamois Leech, Hot Wire Prince, Cranefly Larvae. Midges: PAL, Bionic Black/Silver, Bionic Brown, Split Back Trico, Split Foam Back Baetis Red Rock Worm. Other: Vanilla Buggers, Primrose and Black, Blue Poison Tung, Gray RS2, Eggs|