Welcome to the Trouts Monthly Frisco/Mountain Forecast!
This summer has been quite nice, with plenty of afternoon thunderstorms to keep our high country streams running full and cold. While many of the lower sections have had closures and made for some unfortunate fishing conditions, the high country conditions have been very favorable. Not only have these storms kept our high country streams and lakes full, but this will turn into water for the lower sections later in the summer and fall. We are already seeing some cooler water and temperatures beginning to enter some of our lower rivers and look for many of these closures to be lifted in the weeks to come.
The next few weeks will be good times to watch the flows and temperatures on lower sections of rivers and proceed when conditions permit. In the meantime get out on some high mountain lakes, streams, tailwaters, and upper river sections.
Here are some sections I will be looking to fish in the weeks to come:
The Williams Fork below Williams Fork Reservoir:
Tailwaters being one of the better options in play, the Williams Fork below Williams Fork Reservoir is a must-hit. Right now the river is running pretty high, so be careful wading. However, this should offer some good fishing with plenty of food being delivered to the fish.
The Frying Pan below Ruedi:
The Frying pan below Ruedi Reservoir is also one of Colorado’s premier tailwater fisheries. With flows also up on this river, this is a must-fish kind of time. Wading will also be a little tricky at high levels, but these high levels will produce some good fishing and happy fish.
The Arkansas River from Leadville to Buena Vista:
The Arkansas river above Buena Vista has been fishing well for most of the summer. Fortunately, this river has been benefiting from the afternoon thunderstorms and you can directly see this with the amount of water in the river and the happy fish ready to eat your flies.
The South Platte above Spinney Reservoir:
The upper sections of the Middle Fork and South Fork also have been benefiting from the afternoon thunderstorms. These rivers also have had a good amount of water moving down them. This is giving the bugs and trout cooler temperatures, oxygenated water, and plenty of cover to make for some great fishing.
High Country Alpine Lakes & Streams:
Every year I say I need to fish these places more. I hope to get the opportunity in the next couple of weeks as we are still in some warmer weather and the lakes and streams up high have not started to cool and wind down towards fall and winter. Cooler temperatures come fast to these high-altitude destinations, so get there soon.
This is a favorite low-profile attractor pattern. I like to fish it in its larger sizes for hopper dropper fishing for wary fish in the late summer and early fall. I also love to fish the smaller sizes of this pattern as the smaller dry in a double dry technique and fish this tight to the grass.
The Amy’s Ant is also a great low-profile pattern for this time of the year. Besides being a great option for hopper dropper and double dry setups, I love to fish this as a single dry when the opportunity presents itself.
This is a favorite nymph to throw in the mix when the usual suspects just arent’ catching fish. With the CDC this fly comes alive, then ad the flashback, and this fly really catches the fish's attention.
This is also a favorite pattern when the fish are being selective and the rivers are running low and clear. This pattern offers something different with the color of its flashback coming in copper. Sometimes tying something on that trout might not see much can make all the difference.
With some rivers at some lower levels, this slow swimming streamer can be very productive in the weeks to come. Fish this fly slower to make the marabou breathe and jig it through every suspecting piece of water looking for large prowling trout.
The Williams Fork below Williams Fork Reservoir- 270 CFS
The Frying Pan below Ruedi Reservoir- 263 CFS
The Arkansas near Leadville- 45.5 CFS
Lake Creek below Twin Lakes- 397 CFS
The Arkansas at Granite- 545 CFS
The Arkansas near Nathrop- 728 CFS
The South Platte above Spinney Reservoir- 97.7 CFS
The South Platte above Eleven Mile Reservoir- 221 CFS
The next few weeks look to keep up the trend of daily thunderstorms and rain showers. It looks like the high country will be seeing a good period of afternoons full of rain showers. This will be good for our water situation but will make getting on and off of the water early imperative especially on the high alpine lakes and streams.