Welcome to the Trouts Monthly Frisco/Mountain Forecast!
The middle of February is always a little eye-opener for warmer temperatures to come. The days are getting a bit longer, and it almost feels like there is time for after-work activities. It seems like every year, right around Presidents Day weekend, I get a feeling of spring in the air. We will, of course, see some more winter weather, but the promise of some warmer temperatures is right around the corner. I know I will be using some of these warmer days for breaking out the boat and maybe some other fun activities.
The Blue below Dillon Reservoir:
While the tailwater section below Dillon reservoir promises year-round fishing. This is the time of year when the ice will start to drop north of Silverthorne. This can be a great time to expand your winter fishing horizons and check out many of the public water options north of Silverthorne. If the ice drops and there is open water, this is a great opportunity to be one of the first anglers to fish in one of these locations.
The Colorado River at Parshall:
For the next couple of months this is a favorite winter fishing escape. This section of river offers everything from dry fly fishing, to nymphing, and streamer fishing this time of year. You can also make the trek to the Williams Fork and fish two great fishing rivers in a day. One thing to look at is the weather in Kremmling. Winter can bring some air inversions and very cold temperatures. So make sure you check that out before you make your trip there.
The Arkansas River at Salida:
As you all know, this is a favorite to fish all winter long. However, the next couple of months is quite possibly my favorite time of year to fish this area. The river is still quiet from other anglers and the fish are getting fired up with warmer temperatures. Look for good midge activity, the chance to see some blue-winged olives, stoneflies on the move, and caddis getting active with the Mother’s Day caddis hatch not that far off.
The Colorado River below Glenwood Springs:
In the month to come, expect to see this river start to come alive. With the bank ice receding, the potential for slush diminishing, and water temperatures starting to rise. The fish and bug activity will rise with these. Like the Arkansas River, expect to see good midge hatches, look for blue-winged olive hatches, and stonefly and caddis activity.
The Wild Card*- The Frying Pan River below Ruedi:
The Frying Pan is one of Colorado’s premier tailwater fisheries. If you haven’t checked it out, the winter months are a great time of year to fish this area. Think small midges, nymphs, and mysis on a nymphing rig. The fish can be quite large and this is a great time of year to check this river out.
This is quite possibly one of my favorite streamer patterns. In a baby and a large version, as well as in four different colors, this pattern can be very successful for any occasion. Tied as an articulated fly, the swimming action will get your attention as well as the trout.
As we are talking about stoneflies starting to be on the move. This is a favorite stonefly pattern to fish in low and clear conditions. With its light color, this fly fishes well in low and clear water. Add in a little flash and this fly just attracts attention from the trout.
This is a smaller light-colored stonefly or attractor pattern. I love to fish this pattern this time of year as another alternative to the Tungstone. With its UV dubbing, this fly looks great in the water and makes the fish want to eat it. I fish this as either the first large fly or one of your other droppers in a nymphing rig.
This fly is always present in my fly box in some color or size. This time of year, I will start with the larger sizes as one of my last couple flies on my nymphing rig, then downsize if necessary. It’s really hard to beat this fly in its various sizes and colors.
As we emerge from the dead of winter, I will start using some of my standby patterns. The KGB in black and blue has quickly become one of these. In the springtime, I will start fishing these in smaller sizes to act as an attractor or as a blue-winged olive nymph. With its unique blue flashback, this pattern gives a different look to the fish. Sometimes this is all you need to trigger aggressive strikes.
The Blue River at Highway 9 Bridge below Breckenridge- 15.5 CFS
The Blue River Below Dillon Reservoir- 79.2 CFS
The Colorado at Kremmling- 432 CFS CFS
The Williams Fork below Williams Fork Reservoir- 54.8 CFS
The Arkansas at Salida- 345 CFS
The Arkansas at Wellsville- 367 CFS
The Roaring Fork at Glenwood Springs- 347 CFS
The Colorado at Glenwood Springs- CFS 1090
The Frying Pan below Ruedi Reservoir- CFS 67.3
While I have been feeling the first signs of spring or at least the first tastes of warmer temperatures. The next couple of weeks are going to bring a few weather systems and wintery weather conditions through Colorado. As we move into March, I expect to see the trend of a weekly system moving through, but warming temperatures in front and behind these systems. Look for warming days for some great fishing conditions in the weeks to come.