Welcome to the Trouts Monthly Frisco/Mountain Forecast!
March is here, daylight saving time is behind us and glimpses of warmer weather here and there are happening. Just like the boys on Five Flies talked recently, this is a time of endless opportunity, a mixed bag of fishing and every day can offer something different. This is a favorite time of year to fish and just be outside in Colorado. One day can offer powder skiing and the next dry fly fishing on a favorite stream.
The Colorado River at Parshall:
The next month brings some great opportunities to this section. As we get into some of the warmer days, look for some midge hatches on this section and a chance for blue-winged olive hatches as well. Along with good chances for dry fly fishing, there will be some great nymph fishing and the possibility for streamer eats.
The Colorado above Dotsero:
The ice has dropped at Dotsero and looks to be making its way upstream. This is a great time of year to look for stacked up fish in the deeper holes that have just opened up. With the ice dropping this can also bring some float fishing opportunities. Make sure you take a peak upstream to see what is open, but this section usually starts to open up in the next couple of weeks.
The Colorado River below Glenwood Springs:
If float fishing is what you are looking for, this section is open and fishing well. The next month brings some midge hatches, the possibility for some blue-winged olive hatches and some fired up fish as the bug activity starts to ramp up. This is also a great time of year for some streamer fishing to look for those larger predators.
The Arkansas River at Salida:
This is probably my favorite time to fish this section. The blue-winged olive hatches should start to happen in the next few weeks and this can be some of my favorite hatch fishing of the year. You might have heard Tanner mention this as well on the recent Five Flies. If you don’t run into any hatches, there are still superb nymphing opportunities with bugs on the move sparking good fish feeding activity.
The South Platte above Eleven Mile Reservoir:
This section is also called the “Dream Stream” and is also known as the tailwater section below Spinney Mountain Reservoir. This section fishes great in the spring as rainbows, cutthroat, and browns begin to move up out of Eleven Mile Reservoir. Steer clear of the spawning beds or “reds”! Know that there is bend after bend of deep holding water that could hold that elusive fish over twenty inches.
This is a favorite single hook streamer of mine. With the single hook and lighter weight this fly casts well but still has enough weight to get down to the fish. Add in some flash and an ample enough of body material to push water and this is a fish catching pattern that should be in your fly box.
This is a great pattern to fish in its larger and smaller sizes. The flash attracts some attention and the CDC adds some pulsing life to this fly. Then with its tungsten bead this fly can get down quickly to the fish.
The classic pattern I love to fish all year round. Then add some CDC to bring this fly alive even more. The CDC properties in the water can give this fly the appearance of movement and life which can be a trigger for aggressive strikes. Check out all the variations of the Rainbow Warrior.
With spring midge hatches on the horizon the ICU Midge is a must have in your fly box. I like to use red as one of my go to colors in the next couple months. This fly is tied with a tungsten bead to get the fly to the fish and a unique flashback tied into the side of the pattern.
With the potential for the year's first blue-winged olive hatches the Razor Baetis stands out as a favorite in my fly box. The pattern floats extremely well and can be fished very effectively in varying conditions, from riffles, to foam, and slick water.
The Williams Fork below Williams Fork Reservoir- 57.4 CFS
The Colorado at Kremmling- ICE
The Colorado at Dotsero- 808 CFS
The Roaring Fork at Glenwood Springs- 356 CFS
The Colorado at Glenwood Springs- CFS 1090
The Arkansas at Salida- 359 CFS
The Arkansas at Wellsville- 401 CFS
The South Platte above Eleven Mile Reservoir- 110 CFS
So far March has been a stormy month but with warming temperatures between the cold fronts. Expect this trend to continue through the end of the month. This is a typical pattern for this time of year and I expect a similar pattern for the first part of April. Get out there on the warmer days, but don’t let the stormy days deter you, as this can be the kind of weather that triggers a blue-winged olive hatch.