Overall River Rating:

3/5

Upper Colorado River Fly Fishing Report

Last Update 07/15/2016 - The upper Colorado River has slowed a bit from its post runoff glory days, but is still a great option when fished early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Tan/brown Caddis continue to be solid players with sporadic Golden stoneflies, Pale morning duns, and Yellow sallies mixed in. You can find the majority of the fish in deeper runs and shelves early, then transitioning to shallow riffles mid-morning. Trout will also seek these fast well oxygenated zones when the water temperatures climb to the mid/upper 60’s. Any cloud cover will provide fish with more incentive to move to a fly, be it streamer, nymph or dry. A great way to approach the river now is with a dry dropper rig or double nymph rig in the deeper margins. The last hour of the day can provide stellar dry fly fishing and see various bugs emerging as well as coming back to the surface to lay eggs.

River Information

Our great state's namesake river rarely disappoints and offers anglers the chance to catch large Rainbow and Brown trout. The upper section- between Windy Gap Reservoir and Kremmling- sees abundant bug life and has earned a Gold Metal rating due to it's thriving fish population. This freestone river offers ample public access and year round fishing.


Hatches

Pheasant Tail

size 16-22

Tungsten JuJu Baetis

size 18-22

RS2

size 18-22 (blk, olv, gry)

Rainbow Warrior

size 18-22

Two Bit Hooker Nymph

size 18-20

Tungsten Poison

size 18-22

Mercury RS2

size 18-22

JuJuBee Midge

size 18-22

Barrs Emerger

size 16-22

Black Beauty

size 18-22

 

Summer: Mayflies, Caddis, Shrimp

Pheasant Tail

size 16-22

Tungsten JuJu Baetis

size 18-22

RS2

size 18-22 (blk, olv, gry)

Rainbow Warrior

size 18-22

Two Bit Hooker Nymph

size 18-20

Tungsten Poison

size 18-22

Mercury RS2

size 18-22

JuJuBee Midge

size 18-22

Barrs Emerger

size 16-22

Black Beauty

size 18-22

Fall: Baetis, Shrimp 

Pheasant Tail

size 16-22

Tungsten JuJu Baetis

size 18-22

RS2

size 18-22 (blk, olv, gry)

Rainbow Warrior

size 18-22

Two Bit Hooker Nymph

size 18-20

Tungsten Poison

size 18-22

Mercury RS2

size 18-22

JuJuBee Midge

size 18-22

Barrs Emerger

size 16-22

Black Beauty

size 18-22


Seasonal Conditions

While the Colorado is fishable year round, the summer time, and it's abundant insect hatches are definitely what attracts many anglers to this river. Come late June, PMDs and Caddis certainly do their part in getting the trout interested, but it is the Stoneflies- particularly Salmonflies- that really get both the fish and fisherman excited. It's tough to beat spending a summer day throwing a 3" long dry fly to rising fish. Nymphs and Streamers will consistently put fish in the net here as well throughout the year. 


River Access

This section of River stretches from Windy Gap Reservoir (west of Granby) west to the confluence with Troublesome Creek (east of Kremmling).  This section is Gold Metal water and US Hwy 40 follows the Colorado for this section. You can also fish the headwaters of the Colorado River in Rocky Mountain National Park above Granby.