Welcome to the Trouts Frisco/Mountain Forecast!
I know you probably have read me say that this next stretch is a favorite time of year to fish. To be honest, they all really have their strengths and all offer fun in different ways. However, this next month, without a doubt, is my favorite.
This is for a few different reasons. First off, we usually see our peak runoff around the middle of June. The flows will slowly start dropping and the river's temperatures will start rising. With this rise in temperature, all the major summer hatches will start to emerge. This means tons of bug life, a little color in the water to disguise your fly, higher flows to add to the fish’s comfort, and offer plenty of sections of river to fish and float. Fish tend to be highly aggressive this time of year with so many different bugs hatching and on the menu. It’s not uncommon to see caddis, yellow sallies, pale morning duns, and more all hatching at the same time. You can see why this is my favorite time of the year.
This year could be a little different - especially on the Colorado - with many reservoirs holding flows back to until they fill to capacity. Despite this fact, there will be plenty of opportunities - whether fishing headwaters, freestones, and tailwaters. An ongoing theme this summer will be watching the flow gages. We'll be verifying if sections are getting too low, if there are upstream releases, and how water temperatures are fairing.
Always feel free to call Trouts at our Denver or Frisco locations to talk strategy for the weeks to come.
A few places I think about visiting this time of year:
The Eagle River
As the Eagle rounds into shape post runoff, it's hard to beat fishing big bushy dry-dropper rigs and/or streamers as flows drop and clarity increases. While flows appear that they may have peaked this week, pay attention to the hydrograph to ensure we're on the falling limb of runoff. Clarity will continue to increase as flows decrease and fishing should take off!
The Arkansas from Leadville to Buena Vista:
This section comes alive with tons of bug activity as the flows are dropping and water temperatures are rising. Look for fish in every nook and cranny as the fish will be spread out during this period of time.
The Roaring Fork River:
The Roaring Fork also comes alive this time of year and with so many bugs flying. With yellow sallies, caddis, pale morning duns and more all hatching the fish will be hungry and active. This is a must-fish experience as it doesn’t get much better if you hit it right.
The Colorado near Dotsero:
Talk about my favorite time of year to float this area. Water temperatures are elevated upstream near Kremmling and until water is released from those upstream reservoirs, the upper Colorado will be generally out of the picture. If you hit it right you can have non-stop action throughout the day. So much so, your net arm might get a little tired. This is still the time of year for using the big bugs, but maybe trail a caddis emerger or prince nymph for some great fishing.
The Dream Stream
While this section can be quite busy in the summer months, if you haven’t fished the trico hatch, this is the time of year to start thinking about checking it out. Get to the river early and look for noses and rise forms. This can be an extremely frustrating hatch to fish, but can also be very rewarding. Also look for caddis, pale morning duns and more hatching for some good activity whether nymphing or dry fly fishing.
This Solitude Fly Company pattern is a great floaty dry fly attractor pattern. Tied in tan and orange, this fly looks like everything from a hopper to a Salmon fly. This pattern floats like cork and is great for suspending dropper rigs and fish just love to eat it.
As flows start dropping and rivers clearing, this lighter stonefly pattern is a key player in my flybox. With its tungsten bead and flashback, this pattern sinks fast and attracts the fish's attention. This pattern is a go to as the fish start to getting selective.
Tungsten Flash Prince
The classic prince nymph, but tied with some flash for it’s wings. This pattern works great in off color and bright conditions. Give it a try! I think you will like the results.
This is a favorite pattern to throw close to the banks. I like this pattern as flows start dropping and fish start to get selective. If I feel I am getting refusals I will sometimes pull the rubber legs for a lower profile.
CDC Pale Morning Dun
This Solitude Fly Company pattern is a favorite PMD pattern to fish as we start to see PMD hatches. This pattern looks so realistic it will be hard to determine your fly from the naturals. The hope is that the fish will have the same problem.
The South Platte Above Eleven Mile Reservoir- 160 CFS
The Arkansas Near Leadville- 330 CFS
The Arkansas at Granite- 822 CFS
The Colorado at Hot Sulphur Springs- 302 CFS
The Colorado at Kremmling- 490 CFS
The Williams Fork below Williams Fork Reservoir- 17.8 CFS
The Blue below Dillon- 55.7 CFS
The Blue below Green Mountain Reservoir- 66.2 CFS
Piney River at Statebridge- 251 CFS
The Colorado at Catamount Bridge- 906 CFS
The Colorado at Dotsero- 2730 CFS
The Roaring Fork at Emma- 1390 CFS
The Roaring Fork at Glenwood Springs- 2980 CFS
It looks like the typical Colorado June is upon us with an abundance of sunshine and warmer temperatures. This is helping most rivers peak in their runoff season. As we start nearing July look for afternoon thunderstorms to start entering the picture. In the meantime enjoy the June weather.