We're excited to introduce a new feature to the blog. Our very own Zeke Hersh from Trouts Frisco will be updating us on the blog every two weeks on what's in store for fishing every two weeks! We're calling it the Trouts Frisco Forecast. Super Original...we know. Without further adieu...
Up in the high country we are seeing late fall ushering into early winter. With a snowstorm coming through the mountains on a weekly basis and lasting a few days, the waters have been cooling. What this means is that fish will start moving to the deeper holes and the diversity in aquatic insects will start moving towards nymphs, midges and larvae.
While we are still seeing some blue-winged olive hatches on some rivers, look for these to diminish in the weeks to come. Streamer fishing can slow down as we get into winter as well. This means nymph fishing becomes the most productive way to catch fish in the winter months. However, don’t put all your dry flies away as on any day you can see some great midge hatches and rising trout.
Some standout locations for the next couple of weeks.
Arkansas from Buena Vista to Canyon City:
This section of river stays mostly ice free for the winter. The next couple of weeks you can still find some good blue-winged olive hatches in this area. Then nymphing the deep holes and runs can be quite productive. And look out for rising fish to a midge hatch on many winter days.
The Upper Colorado and Williams Fork:
With the Williams Fork tailwater spilling into the Colorado with warmer tailwater flows, this keeps a couple miles of the Colorado open and fishable all winter long. Still look for some blue-winged olive hatches in the next couple weeks and keep an eye out for smaller midge hatches. Standard nymphing with smaller midge patterns and egg patterns should be the most productive when the bugs aren’t hatching.
The Blue River:
The Blue River offers a couple great sections for fish year-round. The tailwater section below Dillon fishes quite well all winter long. The next few weeks still offer some great opportunities for dry fly fishing with blue-winged olives and midge hatches. Then standard small fly and light tippet nymphing is the most common approach to this section.
The second section of the Blue that fishes well all winter long is the section of water up by Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge. This section is overlooked in the winter, but offers some great year-round fishing. With some warmer water bubbling up from underground and a water treatment plant the water is warmer and full of bug life. Look for blue-winged olive and midge hatches in the weeks to come. Then some small water nymphing or dry dropper rigs will do the trick. This section also offers some great year-round streamer fishing, but think a bit smaller here.
The Eagle River:
The Eagle can offer some year-round fishing in the Vail valley. Some sections will ice up soon, but there can be open water in many other areas in the valley. You can still see some blue-wing olive hatches for the next few weeks, then turning to midge hatches. Nymphing will be the most productive when you don’t see fish rising.
The Colorado below Glenwood Springs:
The Colorado river below Glenwood Springs will still be offering some good fishing for the weeks to come. The wade fishing can be excellent as the fish will be stacking in the deeper holding water and holes. The float fishing can also be good, but now, don’t just target the banks, target the deeper runs and holes with long dry dropper rigs, nymph rigs or streamers.
Pat’s Rubber Legs
While most would think stonefly season is over, there are still a few crawling under the rocks. This is a great fly to use as a weight to help get your other nymphs or dry dropper rigs down and don’t be surprised at catching some fish on this big piece of protein.
A great realistic blue-wing olive baetis pattern. Have some of these in your fly box from size #16-#24.
The classic! I like to use large Parachute Adams on some of the technical tailwater sections, as either the top fly in a dropper rig or the point fly in a double dry set up.
Tungsten Rainbow Warriors
I am sure you have heard me preach on how I like this fly. I love to fish this on a nymphing rig or dry dropper set up. Start large and if you’re not catching any on the large sizes, drop sizes until you do.
I like to have both the red and blue colors in my fly box. This pattern really catches fish and have it in sizes #20-#24.
Colorado at Kremmling- 516 CFS
Williams Fork below Williams Fork Reservoir- 124 CFS
Colorado below Glenwood Springs- 1300 CFS
Eagle below Milk Creek near Wolcott- 90.1 CFS
Blue River below Dillon- 59.3 CFS
Arkansas at Salida- 278 CFS
The ten-day forecast looks fairly normal for the high country for the next ten days. We will keep the trend of winter storms coming through on the weekends, with one coming through this coming weekend and dropping highs into the lower 30’s. Then a warming trend on the following week will bring the highs into the low 50’s. This should be quite nice for fishing, either in the bad weather for some blue-wing olive hatches and streamer fishing or fish those warmer sunny days with possible Blue Wing hatches and some good nymphing or streamer fishing.