Trouts Journal

Trouts Frisco Forecast | July 2022 Edition

Zeke Hersh / Jul 22, 2022

Welcome to the Trouts Monthly Frisco/Mountain Forecast!

Funny how in the high country of Colorado we wait for the summer to come for what seems like forever. Then all of a sudden it is here, and before we know it, we are complaining about the heat. Well, that sure didn’t change this year! The good thing is we have been getting a steady supply of afternoon rain. This has been keeping cold water in the upper lakes and streams. With closures on lower sections of some of Colorado’s rivers, the upper high country rivers are offering cold water and great fishing.

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


The Arkansas from Leadville to Buena Vista:

With the lower valleys seeing some warm temperatures, it is time to fish the high mountain streams. This section fishes at its best right now, with a full spectrum of insects hatching. Looks for caddis, mayflies, drakes, stones, and terrestrials on a daily basis.

The South Platte above Spinney Reservoir:

This section is very similar to the upper Arkansas and will fish much the same way. Looks for the full spectrum of insects hatching and the trout to be ready to eat your flies. Fish the runs, pools, riffles, and especially the cutbanks for an opportunity to catch a large South Platte trout.

The Williams Fork below Williams Fork Reservoir:

While sections of the Colorado River are closed due to warm temperatures, the Williams Fork below Williams Fork reservoir is running at a great level and is cold. You will have to hike in, but it can be well worth it. Look for caddis, mayflies, stoneflies, and drakes to be hatching. Don’t be surprised if you hook into a fish over the eighteen-inch range as this tailwater can grow some healthy trout.

The Roaring Fork from Aspen to Basalt:

This is one of the best times of year to fish this section. There are lots of bugs hatching on this section of the river this time of year. Fishing with a dry dropper is a great technique, but this is also a favorite time of year to fish a single dry. One thing to watch out for is the slippery rocks, so careful wading is advised.

High Country alpine lakes and streams:

There really is no better time for fishing the high country alpine lakes and streams. The lakes have iced off and hungry trout are cruising the bank lines of these high country gems. You will have to spend some time hiking in, but these hikes are in beautiful places and you might also be able to fish one of the high country streams loaded with hungry trout on the way up. Just make sure to check the weather and watch out for afternoon thunderstorms.

Zeke's Fly Recommendations

Umpqua Parachute Hopper

It's hard to beat the classic parachute hopper pattern. This pattern is very realistic, is very visible, and with its good size run and colors, it matches the hatch easily. This fly fishes great on Colorado’s larger rivers but I really do love it on the upper sections of rivers and high country lakes.

Umpqua Crystal Stimulator

This has been a favorite attractor pattern for many years. This pattern can look like many different insects, from stoneflies to caddis and mayflies. This pattern can look a bit like them all and fools the fish well. Not only does this pattern float well for dry dropper fishing, but a favorite characteristic is how well it skates for aggressive takes.

Umpqua Hot Belly Pheasant Tail

This is a spinoff of the classic, just adding a hot spot. This fly fishes extremely well for most of the year. But right now is a favorite time of year to add it to my nymph or dropper rigs. This fly can represent many different insects and with its various belly colors, you can find the color the fish are being triggered by.

Umpqua Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail Tungsten Bead

With so many bugs hatching at this time of year, it can be a good idea to add an emerger pattern into your fly presentation. This pattern is extremely buggy-looking, has a little bit of flash to add some attraction, and has a tungsten bead to help the fly stay in the right zone, in the water column.

Umpqua Sparring Partner

This is a favorite easy-casting streamer pattern. Coming in a size run from 2-6 this pattern can excel on bigger rivers, but I like to use it on midsize to smaller streams and lakes and reservoirs. This is a great lower-profile easy casting pattern to have in your fly box.

Some river gauges to watch!

The trend in the high country has been a few days of nice weather followed by a few days with higher chances of afternoon thunderstorms. Look for this trend to continue and we will definitely welcome any moisture. So if you want to get out in any alpine terrain or upper rivers and streams, check the forecast and try to start early to avoid the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms.

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