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Trouts Journal

Trouts Frisco Forecast | January 2023 Edition

Zeke Hersh / Jan 16, 2023

Welcome to the Trouts Monthly Frisco/Mountain Forecast!

First off, Happy New Year from all of us at Trouts Fly Fishing! We are looking forward to the year to come and we look to helping you with all your fly fishing needs along the way.

So far, the snowpack is looking great and I am just keeping my fingers crossed that this trend will continue. We could really use a normal run-off season and some full rivers for the summer to come.

The next month's outlook looks to be promising for the snowpack with the stormy weather continuing. This stormy weather may not be inspiring for fishing, but I can assure you there are some great options out there. If you’re not able to get out to fish, come up to play in the snow at one of the high country's ski areas. Just make sure and stop by the Frisco shop and say hello.

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


RIVERS TO WATCH

The Arkansas River around Salida:

If you all have read some of my blog pieces you know I love to fish the Arkansas River in the Salida area in the winter months. Most winter days in this valley offer minimal chances for snow and usually some warmer temperatures. The fishing can be quite good with the fish stacking up in the deeper holes and feeding consistently in the middle of the day.

The Blue River below Dillon Reservoir:

The Blue River below Dillon Reservoir has been fishing quite well for the last few weeks. The flows have been up over the minimum of 50 cubic feet per second and this has been energizing the fish with more cover and food opportunities. I have seen some nice wild brown trout caught in the last couple of weeks.

The South Platte above Eleven Mile Reservoir:

The South Platte above Eleven Mile Reservoir aka the “Dream Stream” is a favorite winter destination. With bend after bend of holding water, the fishing opportunities seem a bit endless. You will most likely be fishing small flies and tippets, and you have the opportunity to hook into some large trout that will test your angling skills, knots, and tippet.

The Colorado below the Williams Fork Confluence:

For me, this is a favorite closer destination from Summit County. It’s really hard to beat the fish activity here in the winter months with large numbers of fish feeding during the middle hours of the day. As I have mentioned before, if you want to catch a trout on a dry fly in the winter months, this is the place.


ZEKE'S FLIES

Umpqua Hi-Vis Griffith’s Gnat

This is another great midge dry fly that I like to fish in the winter months or whenever fish are rising to midges. With the Hi-Vis post your fly will stand out when you are fishing these tiny patterns that tend to have tricky light situations.

Umpqua Charlie’s Mysis

With the Blue River’s flows up, we need to talk about mysis shrimp and a favorite pattern of mine. The Charlie’s mysis is by far one of the simplest ties, but dang this fly looks real in the water. It’s not uncommon for me to see a client miss a strike and immediately the fish or another fish takes the fly again. If that doesn’t say enough, I don’t know what will.

Umpqua Desert Storm

With tailwaters a favorite winter fishing destination, we are thinking tail water flies, and this pattern would fall into this category. I am not sure what the trout see in this orange, black and flashy pattern, but they like to eat it. My guess is it’s the ribbing of the orange and flash and the dark head which brings realism to this fly. I am sure the flash doesn’t hurt. No matter, this fly just seems to work in these winter tailwaters.

Umpqua Black Beauty Tungsten

I really like this fly as it brings a few favorite attributes of my favorite winter patterns into one fly. This fly has a tungsten bead to get your flies down quickly and then add in the flashback and black body and you have a winning pattern for searching almost any river in the winter months.

Umpqua WD-40

This fly is sometimes forgotten with the many other midge patterns in fly bins, but honestly this is a favorite pattern to fish in the winter months. I tend to like the gray color but brown and olive are also colors I will fish this time of year. Get this fly wet and put it in the palm of your hand, then turn some rocks and look for some naturals. You might be surprised at how much this fly looks like the natural.


FLOWS | RIVER GAUGES TO WATCH

WEATHER OUTLOOK

The next few weeks continue with our stormy weather pattern. The west has finally been racking up the much-needed snowpack it has desperately needed for the past couple of seasons. Let’s hope this continues for the remainder of winter. After the next stormy pattern, expect to see a short warm-up and then another stormy pattern moves through Colorado. While not making for the easiest fishing conditions, there are still many of opportunities at the locations I have talked about and more around Colorado.

We hope to see you stop by one of our locations!

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