It's no secret that this year's snowpack wasn't as good as it has been over the past several years. With that, we are seeing seasonally lower water than normal on many of our freestones and tailwaters throughout the state. Fishing has been very good despite this low water and we've all enjoyed all of the early summer hatches on many of our favorite rivers. However, when you combine lower flows with hot temperatures like we've had over the past several weeks, water temperatures rise to levels that can be dangerous for trout.
As a general rule, trout are happiest when water temperatures are below 65ºF. Anytime water temperatures in moving water hit 67ºF, STOP FISHING. When water temperatures in moving water are between 65-66ºF we recommend getting out early in the morning and not fishing through the heat of the day. We also recommend "ROPING UP" and using heavier tippet so as to reduce the amount of time you fight a fish. This helps to reduce fish mortality.
When we see elevated temperatures on some of the bigger rivers, this is the perfect opportunity to hit the high country whether you want to fish lakes or streams. Conditions are perfect on many of our high country streams (see our recent video CREEKING) and fishing for carp and bass along the front range has been quite good.
Elevated water temperatures have been measured on the South Platte at Deckers and along the upper Colorado. So, with low water and high temperatures this summer, the angling community encourages us all to get out early, rope up, and avoid fishing when the water temps hit 67ºF. If you're looking for a great on the water thermometer, look no further than the Fishpond Swift Current Thermometer.
Check out the graphic below for a quick rundown on what temperatures are safe to fish for trout.