March has finally arrived! March is quietly one of the most productive months to be on the water in Colorado. Two things that stick out to me about March are high temperatures reaching the 60’s-70’s on a regular basis and the beginning of my favorite hatch of the year, BWOs. While, 5x-6x tippet and tailwaters have dominated the majority of our time the last few months, the option to escape the crowds is now viable. Besides a few days on different stretches of the South Platte, it’s a safe bet you’ll find my black truck in a empty parking lot somewhere along, the Ark, the Colorado, the Eagle, the Roaring Fork, the Gunny, the White or maybe somewhere else. Get the picture? There is a s***load of water that will produce amazing days, over the next month and if you have the opportunity, I encourage you all to get off beaten path and take advantage of it! I obsess about checking weather forecasts this time of year, searching for days with temperatures reaching into the 60’s, with afternoon clouds moving in. If you have ever caught a BWO hatch on any of our classic rivers, then you understand why. Here are 5 Flies to Get You Through the Month of March.
Psycho Prince- It’s crazy what fish will eat. A Orange Psycho Prince in sizes 12-16, is a go to of mine on any of our freestones this time of year. The water temps are finally heating up and fish will be up in feeding lanes/riffles looking for easy meals. People preach, hot belly PT’s and Hares Ears, well why not an entire hot pattern. I used to keep this fly secret from people if I had it on my rig. Now, I openly tell people I use them all the time and people look at me like I’m crazy. If you think I’m crazy, you’re probably right, but use this bug on the Ark in March and you’ll see for yourself.
Barr’s Emerger- My favorite BWO emerger out there! If you see me on any of the aforementioned rivers, chances are I won’t have a pack on, because I don’t have much of a need for more than one flybox. In that fly box you’ll find a few size 16-20 Barr’s Emergers.
Zebra Midges- I like the red variation in sizes 18-22. I mentioned, I still fished a few different sections of the South Platte through March. Fish in that river really turn their attention to the color red. The Zebra Midge will also produce regular results on just about any other river drainage this time of the year.
Parachute Adams- The best thing about hitting a hatch on a Colorado Freestone, is the fish won’t be overly picky about you matching the exact fly (that may not be the case on our more technical tailwaters) When you see one boil quickly turn into hundreds or even thousands of rises, as a BWO hatch takes over for a few hours during an afternoon, being prepared with something close enough is the only obstacle. I carry plenty of Parachute Adams from sizes 14-20. I will usually throw a size 14 trailed by a size 18-20. I’ll do this for two reasons. First, I don’t have the best eyes and get distracted easily so finding a big 14 Parachute Adams when I look back is easier than a size 20. Secondly, it’s a ton of fun watching trout hesitate to eat the bigger dry, then slide over and slurp your smaller trailing Adams.
Circus Peanut- It is inevitable I’ll be on a boat, at least a few times, this month. I don’t believe in watching a thingamabobber while floating down one of our great Western Rivers in a drift boat. I will gladly throw a Tan or Black and Red Circus Peanut against the Colorado River’s bank for 8-10 hours in a row. You may not catch as many as people if they are nymphing but, seeing aggressive trout hammer a Circus Peanut as the water begins to warm up in the spring is just about as good as it gets, to me at least!