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Trouts Journal

Trouts Frisco Forecast | July 2023 Edition

Zeke Hersh / Jul 13, 2023

Welcome to the Trouts Monthly Frisco/Mountain Forecast!

Oh, how sweet it is to have summer and the peak of fly fishing season upon us. This year has been a bit strange and everything seems to be two to three weeks behind here in Colorado. The usual dry June never showed up until the last week of the month. Now July has been unusually clear and dry for the first few weeks. I have been enjoying this the last few weeks as this is truly my favorite time of the year here in the high country.

The fishing has been getting quite good even with the higher flows in many of the rivers. The warmer temperatures have warmed the rivers to the perfect temperatures for the hatches and the fish have been responding well. The rivers are still high and this makes it challenging to find holding water, but once you do the fish tend to be stacked up and feeding actively.

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


RIVERS TO WATCH

The Colorado from Hot Sulphur Springs to Kremmling:

This is a favorite section to wade fish this time of year. With flows starting to drop the wade fishing opportunities are starting to open up. Look for caddis, stoneflies, and mayflies all to be hatching and some great action subsurface and top water on this section of the river.

The Colorado River from Kremmling to Dotsero:

With the higher flows lasting a bit longer this season this section of the river has been overlooked in the past few weeks. This has been a welcome sign for me with very few other boats and anglers on the river. The fish have been tight to the banks but with the flows starting to drop, look for the fish to disperse in the river. The dry fly action is just starting to heat up and I expect the great fishing to last for the next few weeks.

The Arkansas River from Leadville to Buena Vista:

Like the Colorado this river’s flows are just starting to come down and with that, the water temperatures are entering into that magic temperature range. This temperature range is triggering the many insects in this river section to begin hatching and this has been producing some good dry dropper fishing and dry fly fishing.

The Roaring Fork from Carbondale to Glenwood Springs:

People ask me if there are large or blanket hatches in Colorado. On many of the rivers, we do have plenty of hatches but the amount of bugs may be hard to see or quantify. This river's next month, however, changes that trend. Looks for large amounts of caddis and yellow sallies in the next few weeks and then look for that to transition to the green drake hatch.

The South Platte above Spinney Reservoir:

This is also a river that’s flows are starting to drop and the water temperatures are entering that magic temperature range. In my opinion, when the upper reaches of the South Platte start to fish well with dry droppers, it might not get any better. Not only is there bend after bend of great fishing water, but there is also plenty of trout ready to eat your flies and you always have the chance to catch a fish in the twenty-inch range.


ZEKE'S FLIES

Chubby Chernobyl

This fly makes the article many times and for many reasons. It is hard to beat this fly's buoyancy and visibility. This is extremely important for times like this with higher flows. These attributes help you see the fly in the higher conditions and float the large droppers you will need to use to get your subsurface patterns to the fish.

Pat's Rubber Legs

This fly is also a staple in my fly box when the flows are up. Not only is this fly heavy but it is very visible to the fish in the colored water we can have with the higher flows. I will fish by itself or add a smaller pattern behind it to search for other insects the fish may be keying on.

Stimulator

This is a great alternative dry fly I like to fish in a dry dropper rig. This time of year I will use the larger sizes but as the flows decrease this pattern’s smaller sizes will be used in single-dry and double-dry setups. This fly floats and skates incredibly well and comes in a wide range of attractive colors.

CDC Pheasant Tail

I like to use this pattern as the rivers start to clear and drop. With the CDC and flash this pattern will get the trout’s attention. These attributes give the fly a bit of life with the flow of the CDC and the flash and can give the appearance of an emerging insect for some good eats dead drifted and swung.

Lil' Kim

This is a great sometimes overlooked streamer pattern. Being tied on a single hook it may not get many angles attention, but let me tell you the fish sure are attracted to it. With the single hook and a little lighter weight, this fly won’t tire you out as easily and I still find this pattern’s action excellent.


FLOWS | RIVER GAUGES TO WATCH

WEATHER OUTLOOK

The dry June weather we were supposed to get showed up in July this year. This has been quite enjoyable for the last few weeks. Look for the monsoons to enter our weather pattern as we get later into July and this pattern should stay with us through the middle of August. The prediction is for a shorter and lighter monsoon pattern than last year, but this remains to be seen.

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

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