Welcome to the Trouts Monthly Frisco/Mountain Forecast!
I am happy to say that summer seems to be here and along with it, the peak of runoff looks to be behind us. This means the rivers will start their recession, and as the flows decrease, water temperatures will start to rise to those magic hatch temperatures. The next month is an exciting time for fly fishing in Colorado. There will be lots of bugs on the move and active and hungry trout. Now is the time to get on the water and experience some of the best fly fishing of the season.
Here are some sections I will be looking to fish in the weeks to come.
The Arkansas from Leadville to Buena Vista:
With flows dropping, the water clearing, and warming, look for this river to come alive. Look for a wide variety of insects to be on the move, and the fish to become very active. You will still have a period of time when you need to look in the limited areas of slower water, but if you get your fly in these, the fish should be ready to eat your flies.
The South Platte above Spinney Reservoir:
Like upper Arkansas, this section will have very similar traits for the next few weeks. Fishing any small eddy along the banks can produce fish. Sure you might snag the bank here and there, but be ready for a strike, and the possibility of a larger-than-expected fish to take some line off your reel. Just keep them out of the undercut banks and you might just catch a fish of a lifetime.
The Colorado from Kremmling to Dotsero:
The same trend will be happening here and this is some of my favorite float fishing of the year. Right now big flies top and bottom are the key players. As the river clears and warms look for a variety of bugs to start hatching from stoneflies, caddis, and mayflies. As this happens add a smaller last fly to represent one of these insects and look for some lights-out fly fishing.
The Roaring Fork from Aspen to Glenwood Springs:
Flows are also dropping on the Roaring Fork. Wade fishing will still be a little tricky but look for this to improve as the flows drop for more manageable wading conditions. The float fishing will be getting to its best and large attractors will be your go-to for a week or so. Any day now look to see caddis and yellow sally hatches become the predominant hatches and be ready to put on one of these patterns as one of your droppers.
Park County Reservoirs (Antero and Spinney):
The stillwaters are still making this report primarily as they are fishing so good. Then add in the fact that after you get some early morning still water hookups, you can venture to one of the many sections of streams in Park County and look for some river trout. From the South Fork of the South Platte, the Middle Fork, and the Dream Stream, you will have plenty of water to explore for some great fishing.
Yes, it is this time of year! Sure, I do fish these more often than a lot of people, but now is the time of year this fly really shines. This fly floats incredibly well, is super visible, and catches fish. This is the perfect fly to suspend the large dropper patterns you will be fishing under this fly, but trout love to eat this pattern off the surface as well.
The first pattern I will turn to for under my chubby is the good old Pat’s rubber legs. While not the most realistic pattern, this pattern with its rubber legs and tied heavy is a great attractor and first dropper pattern, to get the fish's attention and get your flies down.
As the water clears and golden stoneflies start to be seen, the flashback tungstone is a go-to second dropper. As the water clears I will also use this heavy pattern as my first dropper. The flashback gets the trouts' attention and also gives the allusion of an emergence. This is a great lighter stonefly pattern to have in your flybox.
As the rivers start warming and more bugs start hatching, the flash prince is a go to as my last dropper or nymph. With a slight variation from the original prince nymph, with a flash wing, this pattern gets the fishes attention. Prince nymph patterns are an exceptional attractor pattern, representing everything from stoneflies, caddis and mayflies.
With the yellow sally hatch right around the corner on the Roaring Fork and Eagle rivers, this is one of my favorite patterns for this time of year. Besides fishing exceptionally well during these hatches, this pattern can catch fish year-round. With its UV dubbing adding a little flash, its rubber legs and tungsten bead, this pattern checks all the boxes I am looking for as a lighter small stonefly or attractor nymph.
The Arkansas near Leadville- 222 CFS
Lake Creek below Twin Lakes- 550 CFS
The Arkansas at Granite- 942 CFS
The Arkansas near Nathrop- 1630 CFS
The South Platte above Spinney Reservoir- 253 CFS
The South Platte above Eleven Mile Reservoir- 68.9 CFS
The Colorado at Hot Sulphur- 704 CFS
The Colorado at Kremmling- 1600 CFS
The Colorado at Catamount Bridge- 2100 CFS
The Colorado at Dotsero- 4150 CFS
The Roaring Fork at Aspen- 182 CFS
The Roaring Fork at Emma- 1480 CFS
The Crystal River at Carbondale- 1320 CFS
The Roaring Fork at Glenwood Springs- 3160 CFS
The weather for the next month looks to be moving a bit early into the afternoon thunderstorms trend. The hot and sunny weather was a bit shorter than usual in June. At this point I will take any moisture we can get, to offset a little of the drought conditions we have been in for the past few years. Look for this afternoon thunderstorms trend to continue for the next month and enjoy some great fishing for the weeks to come.