Author: Trout's Staff
Hot damn, the Summer fishing season is upon us! Over the past week, we have seen flows across the state begin to begin to drop, signaling that runoff is finally over. Needless to say, this has been the most bizarre and long lasting runoff cycle I have ever witnessed, so I am very eager myself to finally enjoy some summer fishing.
While flows are still abnormally high for this time of year, freestone and tailwater rivers are all running clear and relatively warm (mid 40's to low 50's). As a result we have seen an abundance of insect life hatching, and the fish are taking notice by feeding very actively and aggressively throughout the day. Moving forward through the season there are a few key points that we all need to remember, as fishing conditions for the remainder of the summer will be unlike anything we have experienced in quite some time.
- The early bird may not be the one getting the worm: typically in late July, we begin to see flows at the low point, and water temperature beginning to climb. As a result, fishing was usually best during the morning and evening hours, while mid-day was slower due to increased water temperatures and bright sunlight. Yet seeing as we still have an abundance of water, and cooler river temperatures, fishing will remain productive through the entire day.
- Big water means big leaders, big tippets, and big bugs: we may be at the tail end of July, but the fish still feel like it is early June, so leave your 6X and size 22 flies at home. Instead, we recommend running large leaders (3X-4X) and tippet, as well as big nymphs and bushy dry flies.
- With high water, there isn't a need to wade too far out: wade fisherman seem to have this notion ingrained in their psyche that if you're wearing waders, you better be standing in water. Well the reality for the near future is that if you're standing in the water, you're most likely right where the fish want to be. So instead of walking up to hole/run/riffle and jumping right in the water, be sure and make a few casts while standing 5'-6' back from the bank. You'll be amazed at how many fish you'll catch in places you never thought they would be.
- The right fly will make all the difference: there is currently an abundance of insect life on all rivers in Colorado, and while this seems great, it can make fishing a bit tough particularly if you're not using the right fly. Fish will key in on a variety of bugs during the course of a day, so remember that just because they were eating stoneflies at noon, it doesn't mean they're going to be eating them at 5pm. Be observant of what bugs are above and below the surface, and always be willing to change up your flies if you're not catching fish.
I hope that these tips will serve you all well the next time you're on the water. As I've been noting in our previous Runoff Updates, whatever fishing we have lost in June and July, we're certainly going to make up for in August and September. The natural flushing cycle that has occurred the past 2 months will benefit our rivers for years to come. There will be more bugs, healthier fish, and amazing angling opportunities for the remainder of the summer and into fall. Hope to see you all in the shop sometime soon.
Owner, Trout's Fly Fishing