Winter has arrived, but we're still seeing occasional nice fishable days. Smaller high country streams are beginning to freeze up, but larger rivers are still in good shape. BWOs and midges are the primary hatches through the winter, especially on tailwaters. The Arkansas above Canon City is fishing very well. Upper stretches of the Poudre are fishable. Tailwaters like the Frying Pan, the Dream Stream and Eleven Mile Canyon are excellent venues now as well. Our local Big Thompson tailwater below Lake Estes is in excellent shape. Keep in mind that the flows reported below are of the day of the report. Note that N/A means that the gauge is currently frozen. Check your favorite waters at the DNR link below for up to date flows. The hatch information is best case; high, cold water may inhibit hatches, and warmer water and overcast days will stimulate them.
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. Most are not yet frozen, but that will soon change. Ice fishing will soon be the order of the day. Get out the gear and go fishin'!
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|
|25 cfs below Lake Estes
||Midges, very prolific at times, caddis, PMDs.||Nymphing is your best bet, with double nymph rigs (eg, Flashy, PT or CJ trailing a Zebra Midge, Deep Blue Poison Tung, Barr Emerger or pink SJW). Midge dries/emergers. Attractor dries with a dropper can work at times. Fishing has slowed somewhat from the past weeks.||Dries: BWO dries/emergers, Para Adams, Griffithhs Gnat, midge dries. Nymphs: Prince, Hot Wire Prince, Pheasant Tail, Micro May, Two-Bit Hooker, Graphic Caddis, Tabou Caddis Emerger, Tarheel Caddis, pink or purple San Juan Worm. Streamers: Buggers, Pat's Rubber Legs, etc.|
|Rocky Mountain National Park|
|N/A cfs in Moraine Park.
Everything is frozen. See you next year.
|BWOs, caddis, midges||Dry fly fishing is slowing down somewhat. Fish are still looking up, but a San Juan Worm dropper under an attractor dry or hopper will probably take the majority of fish. Try Sprague Lake, Dream Lake or the Loch for lake fishing. Tiny Para Adams or midge patterns are best at Dream and other high lakes. Small buggers and dark midge larva patterns should work there, too.||Dries: BWO dries/emergers, Elk Hair Caddis, Garcia's Mini-Hot, Stimis, Lime Trude, Para Adams, small hoppers, ants, beetles. Nymphs: Pheasant Tail, Micro May, Two-Bit Hooker, Graphic Caddis, Tabou Caddis Emerger, Tarheel Caddis, pink or purple San Juan Worm.|
|N/A cfs In Lyons
||Unknown||Buttonrock Road (CR80) is open only on the lower section. S St Vrain along Hwy 7 has open water and we've heard of fish being caught above mm 25. The Middle St Vrain above Peaceful Valley/Camp Dick is an option.||Same as the the Big T or RMNP above.|
|Cache La Poudre|
|N/A cfs at canyon mouth.
||Midges, BWOs, stonefly nymphs and caddis.||Fishing well above the North Fork confluence. The higher you go, the better the fishing. Nymphing is still excellent, but watch for trout rising to eat on top. Attractor dries with a dropper a good choice.||Dries: BWO dries and emergers. Para Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, Stimulator. 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.|
|110 cfs below Dillon Res.
||Midges, Mysis shrimp.||The usual tailwater nymphs, midges and San Juan Worms. Mysis patterns are working best. North of town, fish PMDs, Green Drakes and Yellow Sallies. Big attractors working.||Dries: Adams/Parachute Adams #16-26, Griffiths Gnat, BWO dries and emergers, ants, midge adults. 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, San Juan Worm, etc.|
|273 cfs below Green Mtn Res.||Caddis, midges.||Unknown||Same as Silverthorne except Mysis.|
|90 cfs at Avon
N/A cfs at Gypsum.
|BWOs, midges.||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, BWO and BWO 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.|
|103 cfs below Reudi Reservoir.||Midges and BWOs. Mysis below the dam.||Fishing very well right now. Nymphing morning and late afternoons, dries/emergers during midday to afternoon hatches. Dry fly fishing up and down the river is good. Lots of Mysis on the flats below the dam, with some big fish being landed.||Dries: Green Drakes, BWO and BWO emergers, midge patterns, Stuck in the Shuck midge emergers, #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: 337 cfs above FP confluence near Basalt. ~440 cfs below confluence to Carbondale.||Stonefly nymphs, midges, eggs, BWOs, PMDs, caddis.||Excellent level for floating. 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. Fish are to be found in braids, side channels and along the banks.||Dries: BWO dries and emergers, caddis patterns. 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: 569 cfs at Glenwood Springs.||Stonefly nymphs, midges, eggs, BWOs, Green Drakes picking up.||Same as above.||Same as above|
|Parshall: N/A cfs
Pumphouse: 590 cfs
Glenwood Spgs: 1600 cfs.
|Midges, stonefly nymphs, a few BWOs at Pumphouse and Parshall.||Fish dead drifted wooly buggers or stonefly nymphs in shallower, quieter water. Beadhead nymphs and San Juan Worms are also working. Dry Fly action is good on occasion. The stretch below the Williams Fork is probably the best area.||Dries: Small midge dries, Griffith's Gnat, size 20-26 Para Adams, BWOs, black RS-II. Nymphs: Pat's Rubberlegs, midge larvae/pupae in red or black, small (18-20) PT and Hare's Ear, RS-II. Streamers: Pat's Rubber Legs. Buggers, Slumpbuster, Double Bunny, Bunny Leech, Girdle Bugs.|
|52 cfs below Stagecoach.
174 cfs in Steamboat Spgs.
|Stagecoach: Midges, scuds, worms, BWOs.
Steamboat area: BWOs, midges
|Nymphing deeper runs and holes. Dries may work during hatches, which are usually pretty sporadic.||Dries: BWO 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: 224 cfs at Granite.
||Midges and stonefly nymphs, BWOs and Caddis.||Very cold air and water. You're better off lower down.||Same as BV-Salida below.|
|Buena Vista to Salida: 415 cfs at Salida.||Stonefly nymphs, caddis larvae, midges, BWOs||Dries to match the hatches- dry/dropper rigs a good choice. Use a BWO emerger (eg, Barr Emerger, Jujubaetis) as the dropper. Stonefly nymph trailing a midge pupa/larva.||Dries: BWO dries and emergers, RS-II, Tricos, Elk Hair Caddis. 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: 434 cfs at Canon City.||Caddis, tricos, hoppers, golden stone nymphs, mayfly, caddis and stonefly nymphs.||Dries to match the hatches- dry/dropper rigs a good choice. Stonefly nymph trailing a midge pupa/larva.||Dries: #22-26 Para Adams, BWO dries and emergers, Yellow Sallies, Elk Hair Caddis. Nymphs: Prince, 20 Incher, midge larvae and pupae, BH PT, Hare's Ear, chartreuse caddis larva, golden stones, CJ- black, red, chartreuse, Two-Bit Hooker. Streamers: Autumn Splendor, buggers, Pat's Rubber Legs.|
|Below Pueblo Res: 62 cfs.
Flows should stay about this level through the winter.
|BWOs, Midges.||Fishing has picked up now that flows are at seasonal averages. Nymphing best; dry fly action will continue to only get better as the season progresses with BWO and midge hatches.||Dries: Trico Spinner #20 - 22, 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|
|145 cfs at Deckers.
||Midges and BWOs, golden stones, cranefly larvae, caddis larvae.||Midge behind a beadhead nymph. 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.|
|151 cfs below Cheesman Res.||Midges and BWOs, cranefly larvae, caddis larvae, scuds.||Pretty much the same as the Dream Stream. Fishing is tough, but productive.||Pretty much the same as Deckers.|
|54 cfs in Elevenmile Canyon.||Midges, BWO larvae, BWOs, caddis larvae.||Pretty much the same as the Dream Stream. 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.|
|51 cfs at Charlie Meyers State Wildlife Area (Dream Stream).||Midges, BWOs, worms, eggs.||An excellent flow with good fishing right now. Use double nymph rigs or a #24-26 Para Adams to rising fish feeding on BWOs. An egg/midge rig has been effective.||Dries: RS-2, WD-40, Para Adams, midges, Griffith's Gnat, small BWO patterns and BWO emergers (ie, Barr Emerger), Buckskin. Nymphs: Red, pink or brown 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: 450 cfs.
Miracle Mile: 550 cfs
|Midges, cranefly larva. orange scuds, black Zebra Midge.
PMDs, Yellow Sallies and caddis at Miracle Mile.
|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|