Author: Will Rice
With water temperatures rising in the across the state of Colorado, it is important to take extra precautions when making decisions where and when to fish. Colorado Trout Unlimited just released a request asking for volunteer fishing closures on rivers that are especially hard hit by the recent drought conditions.
Specifically, Trout Unlimited is urging anglers to avoid fishing on the Fraser and Upper Colorado rivers during the hottest part of the day, or to fish in Grand County’s higher-elevation lakes or cooler tailwater areas until conditions improve.
If you are looking for some great fly fishing ideas for the remainder of the summer, here is a list of options to consider.
High Country Lakes and Streams – The Colorado High Country offers a near limitless amount of fishing options when it comes to high alpine lakes and streams. From smaller creeks, to meandering mountain meadow streams, to high elevation lakes, there are a lot of options for those willing to search them out. Rocky Mountain National Park has some great fly fishing options where you can beat the heat. For more on fly fishing Rocky Mountain National Park CLICK HERE. Or stop in the shop to pick up a copy of A Fly FIshing Guide To Rocky Mountain National Park by Steven B Schweitzer - we just received a new order.
Denver Area Ponds and Reservoirs – Also remember that there are a lot of fun and challenging species that will eagerly take a fly, especially during warmer summer months. There are many area ponds and reservoirs to explore. You most likely will not find a ton of trout in many of the lakes and ponds that surround the Mile High City, but you will find a large variety of warm water species that are all willing to eat a well presented fly. Small and large mouth bass, pike, carp, wipers, walleye, bluegill and crappie will all inhabit some if not all of our local still water fisheries, and the peak summer months can be one of the best times to target these species.
The Denver South Platte – considered the “home water” of Trout’s Fly Fishing, the Denver South Platte (DSP) is a unique fishery offering anglers a variety of fish species. Over the course of the past few years, carp have proven to be the game fish of choice in the DSP, but anglers in the know have learned that there is plenty more fish lurking below the surface of this urban fishery. Trout, small mouth bass, walleye are all species that can be found in the Denver South Platte River. Here is a great story by Barry Reynolds that was recently published in The Angler Magazine.
Wyoming, Montana, Utah, and New Mexico – Summer is a great time to take a toad trip to a classic western tailwater. While certain river flows might be low, reservoir levels are currently above average and we can expect good fishing at most western tailwaters. Consistent flows and water temperatures will ensure that the fish in these areas will be happy, healthy, and most importantly…feeding. Do be sure to check river flows before you head out, as certain fisheries will be more productive throughout the course of the summer season. There are a ton of great options across the Rocky Mountain West if you are willing to make a drive. Here are a few to choose from including the North Platte River in Wyoming, the Snake River in Jackson Hole, the Green River in Utah, The Bighorn in Montana, and the San Juan River in New Mexico. If you plan on making this pilgrimage, be sure and give the shop a call so we can offer you some of our Trout’s Approved Outfitters to seek out for some added fishing advice and expertise.
At this time of the year it is always a good idea to carry a thermometer and pay attention to water temperatures when fishing for trout. Use larger tippets and try to bring in fish quickly as to avoid over-fatigue and stress. Always take time to fully revive the fish before the release. When rivers hit 70 degrees it probably makes sense to give those trout a break to minimize high mortality rates if you are practicing catch-and-release.
Every summer is unique and dynamic in terms of fishing options and general productivity. There is never anything consistent about our weather or water conditions, so it is important to learn to be flexible and creative in choosing where and how you fish. If you are interested in where to go, what is fishing well, taking a guided fly fishing trip in Colorado or would like to learn more about how to fish wisely and conservatively during the summer months stop by the shop or give us a call at 303.733.1434.