It’s 11:30 am on Friday morning as I write this, and it’s been a steady downpour of rain all day in Frisco. Temperatures are in the upper 50’s, and it’s your quintessential monsoonal August day here in the Colorado High Country. While there is no debate that we’ve had a rough go of things as it pertains to winter snowpack, summer rain, and hot temperatures, it’s days like today when I’m starkly reminded that things aren’t all doom and gloom. Truth be told, things could be a whole lot worse in Colorado than they currently are, and all things considered, I feel like we have weathered this summer’s drought quite well.
With that said, there has been an abundant amount of misinformation floating around the interwebs, and I’m hoping to help set the record straight as it pertains to the current state of fishing in Colorado. First and foremost, fishing is fantastic right now throughout the state. While there are certainly rivers and areas that are struggling, there is fishable water to be found throughout Colorado, and the fishing has been quite good. It’s important to note that there are rivers where we are experiencing low water and high water temps, and it is imperative that ALL anglers be equipped with a river thermometer to monitor water temps throughout the day. There are also online resources where you can monitor water temps real-time. The following are river flow gauges that also offer water temps:
While a number of rivers and streams across Colorado are being affected by low and warm water, there is a larger percentage of rivers that haven’t been plagued by this issue. Tailwaters, higher elevation rivers, anything with reservoirs supplementing flows (think the Colorado River downstream of Parshal for example), and high country lakes and creeks are all fishing great, ALL DAY LONG!
Recently the BLM and CPW issued a voluntary closure on certain sections of the Eagle, Roaring Fork, Fraser and Colorado Rivers. While I applaud their efforts and aks that everyone mind these restrictions, it’s important to note that things on many of these rivers are only improving with the current weather pattern we’ve seen the past week to 10 days. For example, the Colorado River at Catamount Bridge hasn’t seen water temps above 65 degrees for over a week thanks to increased reservoir releases from Williams Fork and Green Mountain Reservoirs. The Roaring Fork has been the beneficiary of increased flows out of Reudi Reservoir, and we’re now seeing temps in the low 60’s on the Roaring Fork at Glenwood Springs.
While things are improving on many rivers across Colorado, we aren’t out of the woods just yet, so all anglers need to be diligent about monitoring the conditions around them, and always stop fishing when water temperatures get over 66 degrees. So instead of reading story after story about how bad things are in Colorado, get out and go fishing instead, I think that you’ll be pleasantly surprised.