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Where to Fish During Runoff???

June 3, 2009
Author: Trouts Staff

Every year as Runoff kicks into full swing, there is always a large contingent of anglers who hang up their gear for a month, thinking that nothing is worth fishing. Yet despite the recent monsoonal rains and near record flows on our high country streams, fishing remains fantastic on a number of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs across the state! The key to success this time of year is to do your homework, think out of the box, and be willing to fish new and different waters. Read more….

Denver area lakes, ponds and reservoirs: spring is a great time to get out and enjoy some great close to home fishing.  Bass, carp, pike and trout are all gearing up for their annual spawn, which typically brings big fish into shallow waters that are easily accessible to fly anglers.  Ideal tackle for these species is a 9′ – 10′ 6 wt. fly rod with a floating or intermediate sink tip line.  Effective fly patterns will vary on species, so check with us in the shop for some of our favorites.    The real beauty of fishing these waters is that you don’t need a full day to get out and enjoy some fishing.  I often find myself hitting one of my favorite local ponds from sunrise to 9am, then head in for a good full day of work.
Delaney Butte Lakes:  off the beaten path of the I-70 corridor, Delaney Butte offers some great early summer fishing for BIG rainbows and browns.   Located right outside of Walden, CO., the area is comprised of the following lakes: Lake John, South Delaney Lake, East Delaney lake and North Delaney Lake.  Chronomids are coming off in force, and damsel nymphs are making their way to shore, creating some ideal Stillwater conditions.  This area is best fished from a boat as it allows you to access areas wade fisherman can’t, in addition to giving you the ability to cast to fish cruising the shallows.  Don’t have a boat?  We’ve got some great options that can fit any budget (staring at $250).
Colorado River: the Colorado from Radium to Hot Sulphur Springs may be off color and seem unfishable, but there is a hidden secret beneath the mess… Salmon Flies!!!  Every year right as runoff kicks into high gear sending many anglers home with their tail between their legs, the infamous salmon hatch occurs bringing some truly remarkable and memorable fishing conditions.  This isn’t a hatch that lingers for long though, which means that when the adults are on the bank, you need to be at the river.  Currently, the salmon flies are around the Pumphouse area, and will be migrating slowly upstream towards Hot Sulphur Springs.  Check with the shop for the most up to date info on the hatch.
South Park:  South Park can be a true haven during runoff due to the multitude of fishing options available.  You can fish the infamous tailwaters of the Dream Stream or 11-Mile Canyon, or head over the one of the many reservoirs including Antero, Spinney, 11-Mile or Tarryall.  Currently, the Dream Stream and 11-Mile have good flows, and fishing should be heating up.  All of the holding ponds are also fishing great, as their strong rainbow populations leads to active and aggressive fish prowling the shallows as they prepare to spawn, followed by a feeding frenzy on chronomids and damsels.  Keep in mind that 11-Mile and Tarryall also have great Northern Pike populations that can be a great alternative to trout fishing.
Frying Pan: flows on the Frying Pan have stabilized at around 300 cfs, which is a prime flow for fishing.  The warmer temperatures this month will get the insects moving, and we should be seeing strong PMD and Green Drake movement by the end of June.  In the mean time, fishing mysis, BWO, and caddis patterns (wet and dry) will provide some great fishing action.  Don’t dismiss the lower river as well, seeing as their is some great public water access, and typically zero crowds.


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