What a difference a couple of weeks makes. Thanks to the very warm weather in the past two weeks, flows in almost every stream and river in the state we report on have decreased. Blue wing olive mayflies are pretty much done except in tailwaters. Red Quills/Rusty Spinners, PMDs and caddis are popping now and will continue through the summer. Green Drakes will be appearing soon as well. Streams in Rocky Mountain National Park and Indian Peaks Wilderness Area are open and fishing is turning on. A beadhead nymph trailing a pink or purple San Juan Worm is a great searching rig, as is a juicy dry like an Amy's Ant, Stimi or hopper pattern with a nymph, midge or SJW dropper. Tailwaters around the state are alive with the sound of slurping trout. The South Platte at Deckers, Eleven Mile Canyon, in Cheesman Canyon and the Dream Stream section in South Park should be on your list for spring fishing. Other great tailwaters include the Taylor River below Taylor Park Reservoir, the Frying Pan River below Reudi Reservoir, the Yampa River below Stagecoach Reservoir, the Arkansas River below Pueblo Reservoir and the Blue River below Lake Dillon. Keep in mind that the flows reported below are of the day of the report. Check your favorite waters at the DNR link below for up to date flows, or go to our home page for a link to the major streams across the state.. No matter where you go, wade carefully.
Don't forget about local lakes and ponds. We have many lakes to fish- Carter, Horsetooth, Boyd, Hahnholtz, Red Feather, the Delaneys, Union Res, and on and on. Ice is off on most lakes below 10,000 feet. Get out the gear and go fishin'!
A note on bugs, hatches and fly selection:
While certain insects are actively hatching at certain times as we note below, the larval forms of all insects are always available in the stream. There may be several age classes of stoneflies, for example, at any given time; there are usually several types of caddis in most streams that hatch at different times, and trout will eat them any time they find them- same with mayflies; midges hatch almost every day, so you'll find a mix of larvae, pupae and adults all the time. The point we're making is that you don't always have to use a "match the hatch" approach. If bugs aren't hatching, or if your PMD imitation isn't working in July when the bugs are on the water, try a different pattern that imitates something else that lives in that stream or lake. The bugs are there!
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.
Note: Fly patterns in red are Laughing Grizzly exclusives.
|River and Conditions||Hatches/Activity||Comments||Go To Flies|
|255 cfs below Lake Estes||Sparse BWOs and PMDs, some caddis||Double nymph rigs (eg, Flashy, PT or CJ trailing a Zebra Midge, Deep Blue Poison Tung, Barr Emerger or pink SJW). Midge dries/emergers. You may be able to tease a fish to to a meaty dry.||Dries: BWO and PMD dries and emergers, midge dries and emergers, Red Quills/Rusty Spinners, Amy's Ant, Chernobyl, Elk Hair Caddis, etc. 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, Hot Wire Prince, Golden Stones. Pink or red SJW, Psycho Prince, Pat's Rubber Legs, Tarheel Caddis Larva, Mike's Improved Bling Midge. Streamers: Buggers in black, olive or orange, leech patterns.|
|Rocky Mountain National Park|
|98 cfs in Moraine Park||BWOs, PMDs, Red Quills/Rusty Spinners||Don't forget Wild Basin. We've had successful guide trips there as well as the Big T and Glacier Creek. Wade carefully.||Same as the the Big T or RMNP above|
|195 cfs in Lyons||Midges and caddis||Best bet is above mm 26 on the S St Vrain along CO 7. The N St Vrain in the Buttonrock area will see some significant stream habitat improvements this year.||Same as the the Big T or RMNP above.|
|Cache La Poudre|
|741 cfs at canyon mouth.||PMDs and Golden Stones||Fishing well above the North Fork confluence. The higher you go, the better the fishing. Nymphing is still excellent: stonefly nymph trailing a worm or midge. Attractor dries with a dropper also a good choice.||Same as the the Big T or RMNP above|
|512 cfs below Dillon Res.||Midges, BWOs, Mysis shrimp.||At these higher flows, mysis patterns are the best choice. Otherwise, typical tailwater midges and small mayfly nymph patterns. Streamers can also be effective at times.||Dries: Small dries like a Para Adams, Griffith's Gnat and midges. Nymphs: Barr's Pure Midge, black or gray RS2, Miracle, JuJuBee, Black Beauty, Rainbow Warrior, red midge patterns, Mercury Midge, PT, CJ. Hare's Ear, dark to flashy midge larvae and pupae patterns, Golden Stone nymphs, San Juan Worm, etc.|
|848 cfs below Green Mtn Res.||BWOs, midges, Golden Stones||Use typical dry/dropper or double nymph rigs.||Same as Silverthorne except Mysis.|
|623 cfs at Avon
685 cfs at Gypsum.
|Caddis in sparse numbers, but they should be increasing daily.||Attractor nymphs trailed by an RS2, midge or mayfly nymph are good combos. Dries during hatches or as a change of pace. Streamers have been working well. Best stretch is Avon to Wolcott.||Dries: Parachute Adams, caddis dries (Elk Hair Caddis, eg),and emergers, RS-2, EHC, Barr Emerger. Nymphs: Eggs, PT, Micromay, Prince, CJ, etc. Tarheel Caddis Larva. Streamers: Black or olive Slumpbusters, black or olive Buggers, etc.|
|221 cfs below Reudi Reservoir.||Geen Drake nymphs, Stoneflies, Caddis, Worms, PMDs, BWOs, Mysis below the dam||Fishing very well right now. Nymphing morning and late afternoons, dries/emergers during midday to afternoon hatches.||Dries: BWO and PMD adults and emergers, midge patterns, Stuck in the Shuck midge emergers, #20-24, #22-26 Para Adams, Barr Emerger, Jujubaetis, RS-2, grey or black midge dries down to size 30 or 32, Elk Hair and other Caddis. 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.|
|1090 cfs above FP confluence near Basalt
~1300 cfs at Carbondale.
|Green Drake nymphs, Stoneflies, Caddis, Worms, PMDs, BWOs||Look for quiet water on the edges. Trail a midge larva or BWO nymph behind a big stone nymph. Otherwise, double nymph rigs or dry/emerger combos (during hatches with surface feeding activity) are the order of the day.||Dries: BWO and PMD dries and emergers. Nymphs: stonefly, caddis and mayfly nymphs, Pat's Rubber Legs, PT, eggs, SJW. Streamers: Autumn Splendor, Black Bugger, Northern Lights, White Clouser, Pat's Rubber Legs.|
|Carbondale to Glenwood Springs: 1800 cfs at Glenwood Springs.||Green Drake nymphs, Stoneflies, Caddis, Worms, PMDs, BWOs||Same as above.||Same as above|
|Parshall: 588 cfs
Pumphouse: 1730 cfs
Glenwood Spgs: 5050 cfs.
|Caddis in small numbers||Dries to match the hatch. Fish dead drifted wooly buggers, Pat's Rubber Legs or stonefly nymphs in shallower, quieter water along the edges. Bead head nymphs and San Juan Worms are also working. Streamers also a good choice.||Dries: Small midge dries, Griffith's Gnat, size 20-26 Para Adams, black RS-II, Elk Hair and other caddis. Nymphs: Pat's Rubberlegs, midge larvae/pupae in red or black, small (18-20) PT and Hare's Ear, RS-II, 20 Inchers, Two-bit Hookers. Streamers: Pat's Rubber Legs. Buggers, Slumpbuster, Double Bunny, Bunny Leech, Girdle Bugs.|
|156 cfs below Stagecoach.
333 cfs in Steamboat Spgs.
|Stagecoach: Midges, scuds, worms.
Steamboat area: PMDs, midges.
|Nymphing deeper runs and holes. The usual tailwater rigs and flies for the Stagecoach tailwater.||Dries: PMD dries and emergers, 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: 612 cfs at Granite.||Yellow sallies, golden stoneflies, caddis and craneflies||Fishing well. Hayden Meadows is a good choice. Dry/dropper rigs the way to go||Dries: Dries: Para Adams, dries/emergers, Stimi, Elk Hair Caddis, Yellow Sally. Nymphs: Golden stones, Pheasant Tail, Prince, Hares Ear or Copper John, Zebra Midge, Black Beauty, WD-40 or Top Secret Midge.|
|Buena Vista to Salida: 1020 cfs at Salida.
||Golden stoneflies, yellow sallies, pale morning duns, caddis||Fishing is excellent. Use dries/dry-dropper rigs to match the hatch, or nymph with a stonefly, caddis or mayfly nymph.||Dries: Para Adams, dries/emergers, Stimi, Elk Hair Caddis, Yellow Sally. Nymphs: Golden stones, Pheasant Tail, Prince, Hares Ear or Copper John, Zebra Midge, Black Beauty, WD-40 or Top Secret Midge.|
|Salida to Canon City: 1040 cfs at Canon City.||Golden stoneflies, yellow sallies, pale morning duns, caddis||Fishing is tough because of high flows.
Focus on the edges. Dries to match the hatches- dry/dropper rigs a good choice. Stonefly nymph trailing a midge pupa/larva.
|Dries: Para Adams, dries/emergers, Stimi, Elk Hair Caddis, Yellow Sally. Nymphs: Golden stones, Pheasant Tail, Prince, Hares Ear or Copper John, Zebra Midge, Black Beauty, WD-40 or Top Secret Midge.|
|Below Pueblo Res: 637 cfs.
||Midges and BWOs.||Flows are high and variable almost daily. Fish the upper river.||Dries: Parachute BWO #20 - 22, Elk Hair Caddis #14 - 18, Tan Elk Hair Caddis #14 - 16, Griffiths Gnat #16 - 20, Ants/Beetles #14 - 16, Hoppers #8 - 12. Nymphs: Mercury Midge #18 - 22, RS II #18 - 22, WD40 #18 - 22, Graphic Cadis #14 - 16, Tabou Caddis # 14 - 16, Hares Ear #8 - 16, San Juan Worm #12 - 16 Streamers: Buggers, Near Nuff Crayfish, Pat's Rubber Legs, Thin Mint|
|318 cfs at Deckers.||Midges, Baetis nymphs, caddis, scuds, and aquatic worms||Midge, worm behind a beadhead nymph, scud or cranefly larva. Dries for rising fish.||Dries: Griffiths Gnat and other midge dries, BWO dries and emergers, Para Adams- all very small- #20 and smaller, RS-2, WD-40, Barr Emergers. Nymphs: Very small PTs, Hare's Ears, Micro May, Mercury Midge, Zebra Midge, Rainbow Warrior, eggs, Top Secret Midge. Medallion Midge, San Juan Worm (red, wine, pink, brown), Two-bit Hooker, Orange or tan scuds, Graphic Caddis, Barr's Cranefly Larva.|
|303 cfs below Cheesman Res.||Midges, Baetis nymphs, scuds, caddis larvae and pupae, and aquatic worms||Pretty much the same as the Dream Stream. Fishing is fair to good.||Pretty much the same as Deckers.|
|126 cfs in Elevenmile Canyon.||Midges, blue-winged olives, yellow sallies, and caddis||Pretty much the same as Cheesman. Fishing is good.||Dries: BWO and BWO emergers. 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.|
|102 cfs at Charlie Meyers State Wildlife Area (Dream Stream).||Midges, yellow sally nymphs, PMD nymphs, and caddis larvae and pupae.||Double nymph rigs: nymph trailing a midge larva/pupa or San Juan Worm. Dries to match the hatch.||Dries: RS-2, WD-40, Para Adams, midges, Griffith's Gnat, Matt's Midge. Nymphs: Buckskin, red, pink or orange SJW, Chamois Leech, Rojo Midge, Mercury Black Beauty, Brassie, Red PT, Rainbow Warrior, Flashback PT, caddis larvae/pupae patterns, Pure Midge, olive scuds or egg patterns, Top Secret Midge, Medallion Midge, Buckskin. Streamers: Try Autumn Splendors, Woolly Buggers (olive, black, brown), Girdle Bugs in mottled colors.|
|Grey Reef: 2500 cfs.
Miracle Mile: 2500 cfs
|Midges, cranefly larva. orange scuds, black Zebra Midge.||We've had some reports of big fish being caught, and fishing is very 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|