Trouts Journal

Football or Fishing? Who’s getting out this weekend?

Ivan Orsic / Sep 9, 2016

With Labor Day behind us and football back on everyone’s mind, local waters should see a little less traffic than the previous weekends. Thankfully the Broncos play on Thursday night so fishing is just about all that I have on my agenda this weekend. The weather along the Front Range this weekend looks excellent, sunshine seems to be the theme. This is great news because it means just about anywhere you want to go should be fishing well. We are starting to see crowds grow on a weekly basis in areas like the Dream Stream and WIlliams Fork as the anticipation of Fall fishing starts to become a reality. With that said, below are a few places to keep in mind for the weekend.

Bear Creek- Rumor around the shop is that Bear Creek has been fishing lights out. This is a great close to home option for the weekend. Whether you want to spend the entire day exploring or are just looking for a few hours of fishing before having to be home and take care of weekend chores Bear Creek is a viable option. The weather forecast calls for Sunshine and 80s in Morrison all weekend. The water here is a little skinny this time of the year so focus on working the riffle runs and pockets around structure. A dry dropper rig should entice fish consistently for you here all day. Dry flies that have been working are smaller terrestrials, Olive Amy’s Ants, Pink Chubby Chernobyls and Orange Stimulators. If for some reason the fish don't want these bigger meals, switch over to a size 14 or 16 Parawulff or Purple Haze. Droppers to give a try are going to be Red/Chartreuse Copper John’s, Beadhead Hares Ears and Beadhead Barr’s Emerger.

Cheesman Canyon- One of the prettiest stretches of water along the front range Cheesman is another great option this weekend that is close to home. Fishing at Cheesman has been very productive lately as well. The weather forecast for the weekend here looks very similar to Bear Creek. With these warm temperatures fish will be feeding and very active throughout the day. Cheesman is a great place to sight fish for risers or fish feeding in columns. You will find fish in riffle runs here as well as any run around rocks. Also look for fish to stack in seams where two currents are coming together. Fly size is going to matter here a little bit, some great dry fly patterns will be Hippie Stompers size 14-16, Parachute Adams 18-22 and Royal Wulff 18-22. A handful of nymphs will produce. Keep them in the size range of 18-20. A few I’d recommend will be, Chartreuse Copper John 18-20, Gold Beadhead Psycho Prince Caddis Green 18-20, Flashback Pheasant Tail 18-20.

Eleven Mile Canyon- A little further from Denver, this stretch of the South Platte River is a great September destination. As crowds grow above Eleven Mile Reservoir, the stretch below the dam will see crowds diminish. The weather here looks great all weekend as well Sunshine and 70s. There is a great variety of water to fish here giving an angler a ton of options. Keep in mind that the closer you get to the dam, the fish will be more selective. Near the top of the dam focus on small emergers and dry flies. Look for the fish to be rising along the edges of riffles and in tailouts of runs. Eleven Mile Canyon is known for great hatches, and while this time of the year the most prevalent hatches have passed, keep your eyes open for BWOs, midges and tricos. Focus on emerger patterns like, Barr’s Emergers and RS2s. Another very successful bug on this water is a Buckskin. As you move down the canyon focus on Nymph Rigs and Streamers. For nymphs try bigger bugs, stone fly patterns, followed by standard Copper Johns, and Brassies. Streamer fishing here is very underrated, as the canyon offers numerous plunge pools and deep pockets. It is tough to get nymphs down fast enough in this water so give streamers a shot. Work areas with structure, around rocks and through deep runs. Most colors will see follows, Olive, Black, Brown and White are four to give a try. Circus Peanuts, Sparkle Minnows and Wooly Buggers in these colors are great options.

Arkansas Below Pueblo Reservoir- As the popularity of this stretch of River continues to grow, I like to focus my time here after flows fluctuate. If you look at the detailed graph you will see the river has dropped down around the 300-340cfs range over that last week. This will get the fish feeding and allow you to get your flies down, potentially leading to catching some very large Rainbows and Browns. I would focus mainly on nymph and streamer rigs here. A nymph rig consisting of San Juan Worms as lead fly, followed by an assortment of midges personal favorites here are Red/Black Midge Bombs, Juju Midge patterns, Rs2's and Pure Midges. As for streamers with the recent drop in flows the fish will be hungry packing on protien for the up coming winter. Start off with white or black and focus on riffle runs and tailouts. A dead drift or quick retrieve will be successly in the faster water. As you move to the tailouts, slow your retrieve down. This will give your streamer great action in s sinking/sporadic type of drift. Some streamers to try here will be White Sparkle Minnows, White Circus Peanuts, Black Galloup's Butt Monkey. If white and black arent working give olive a shot, Galloup's Olive Peanut Envy should move fish.

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