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Trouts Journal

Trouts Frisco Forecast | April 2023 Edition

Zeke Hersh / Apr 14, 2023

Welcome to the Trouts Monthly Frisco/Mountain Forecast!

Spring has definitely sprung in the high country, or at least it has for a short bit. As per usual, I expect some warm temperatures and then we will fall back into some cooler temperatures and chances for snow here and there. That's just the way it seems to go in Colorado in the springtime. Right now, I am going to ride the warm temperature highs and look for some rising trout on one of my featured rivers.

Here are some sections I will be looking to fish in the weeks to come.


RIVERS TO WATCH

Eagle River - Minturn to Gypsum:

The Eagle fishes great in the spring months. With ample amounts of bug life in the river system, fishing comes alive as the bug life starts getting active with the rise in water temperatures. Look for blue-winged olive hatches and caddis in the weeks to come. On warmer days, it is best to stay above Wolcott and the tributary of Milk Creek as this creek and a few others will ruin the clarity on these warm days.

The Williams Fork below Williams Fork Reservoir:

This time of the year is one of the best times of year to fish this section of river. With midges and blue-winged olives the most prominent bug life on the move, the fish will be actively feeding on representations of these insects. Also, look to fish caddis nymphs and stones as these bugs are starting to get more and more active with the spring temperatures.

Arkansas River - Granite to Salida:

The Arkansas is looking and fishing excellent right now. The blue-winged olives I have been seeing are absolutely huge, think size fourteen and sixteen. This is a welcomed source of protein for the trout and the fish have been reacting as you would expect. Look for activity from golden stones and caddis in the next few weeks and keep an eye out for reports of the first sightings of the caddis hatch starting to move up the river.

Colorado River - Kremmling to Dotsero:

This is a great time of year to break out the boat and float some of these sections. The river will ebb and flow with clarity for the weeks to come, so check the flows regularly. That said, we should have just slightly off-color conditions for the next few months. However, this can create some great conditions with usually just the right amount of color in the water. Look for blue-winged olive hatches in the weeks to come and plenty of bug life on the move subsurface. As we near the month of May, look for the caddis hatch to start making its move up the river corridor with its first sightings below Glenwood Springs.

South Park Reservoirs:

The South Park Reservoirs should be shedding their ice any day now and with that look to hear of the reservoirs openings for the year. If you hit it right this can be an unbelievable fishing experience. Fish should be cruising the banks looking to forage on a plethora of food offerings. Try fishing leeches, egg patterns, nymphs, and streamers should all be productive and look for the potential to catch some large trout.


ZEKE'S FLIES

Umpqua Stimulator

This fly has been a favorite of mine for many years and for many reasons. This pattern works great in its larger sizes for dry dropper fishing, then comes in so many great colors it's hard to pick a favorite. Lastly, this pattern does a great job of looking like so many different kinds of insects and it can fish well at many times of the year and in many different fishing conditions. This is a favorite pattern to throw a change-up during the caddis hatch.

Umpqua Tungsten Prince Nymph

With more and more insects starting to get active, move around and hatch, the prince nymph is a go-to nymph for the next few months. The heavy tungsten bead gets this fly down quickly which comes in handy as the river flows start to rise. Then with its white wings, these can represent a hatching insect and stand out in off-color water. Like the stimulator, this fly can look like many different kinds of insects and is a great attractor pattern.

Solitude Tungsten Yellow Sally

This is a great Solitude Fly Company pattern that I have been fishing for years. As we move through spring the golden stones and yellow sallies are getting active. This pattern has a super buggy look, with rubber legs and the tungsten bead gets the fly down and adds some flash. This is a great pattern to fish as your lead fly on a nymphing set up to bounce along the bottom and get the trout's attention.

Umpqua Shotglass Baetis

This is a great blue-winged olive or baetis nymph pattern that I like to use in the spring and fall. With its sparse tie, this is a great pattern for those picky trout in lower water situations. The glass bead adds some flash to get the trout’s attention and its great color options make this fly a winner in my book.

Umpqua Lil' Kim

This fly is a favorite lightweight streamer for this time of year and before the water comes up and turns off color. With lower and clear water this pattern will create a great profile without creating an obtrusive presence. This fly casts very easily, lands a bit softer than some, has a bit of flash, and moves well in the water. All of these make this fly a great pattern to have in your fly box for this time of year.


FLOWS | RIVER GAUGES TO WATCH

WEATHER OUTLOOK

Next month's weather outlook looks like we will be ushering out the winter and embracing the spring. We are sure to still have colder weather still moving through Colorado on a weekly basis, but it looks like the temperatures will be rising and staying with us more than we have seen for the last six months. I look forward to getting out on the water and fishing some of the season's first hatches. We hope to see you in the shop or on the water.

Stop by our Denver or Frisco locations to see what locations and flies are fishing best!

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