Welcome to the Trouts Monthly Frisco/Mountain Forecast!
It sure has been nice to feel some warmer weather the last couple of weeks. And although that has blown a few rivers out, we have still been finding great opportunities on headwaters, tailwaters, some freestones and of course some of Colorado’s finest stillwaters. The wind could sure go away before it evaporates some of our snowpack, but other than that this has been a pretty typical spring in my eyes. With trees starting to leaf out in Frisco, look for the Salmon Fly hatch to come very soon and then right behind that, peak run off. We do have a cooling trend coming this weekend, so I would imagine this will all happen in the weeks after this cooling trend.
The Blue River above Lake Dillon:
This section has been running clearer in the mornings and can offer some great fishing. As we get closer to peak run off look for this to turn off color, but for now there is plenty of time during the day to fish this section. Nymphing, dry dropper and streamer fishing will be your best used tactics but always keep your eyes out for rising trout.
The Blue River north of Silverthorne:
With Dillon Reservoir still filling the Blue River below Dillon is running lower. This can mean some clearer and lower flows north of town. Look for caddis to start moving up the river and stoneflies to be getting active. The Blue north of Silverthorne is quite possibly one of the most beautiful fly fishing settings in the state and this is a gret time of year to experience this river.
The Arkansas River from Leadville to Salida:
With the caddis moving up river this is a great time to check the Arkansas River out. Look for cooling trends to drop the flows and clear the river a bit. A little color is never a bad thing, as the fish won’t be able to inspect your fly as easily. Look for caddis flying and try and fish the front or tail end of the hatch.
The South Platte below Spinney Reservoir (AKA the Dream Stream):
With flows being consistently up over the last couple of weeks, the fishing has been good. These higher flows bring lots of food to the fish, but also gives them plenty of hiding spots. Being both a patient and a methodical angler can help you find fish in these situations. Nymphing and streamer fishing will be your go-to techniques, but with caddis starting to be found on many rivers, look for the first caddis hatches on this section.
Park County Reservoirs (Antero and Spinney):
With some rivers being blown our and conditions changing daily, it might just be a great time to check out some of Colorado’s premier still water opportunities. Antero and Spinney grow some large hungry trout and this is one of my favorite times of year to hunt them. Get on the water early to get some of the first hours of the day before the wind picks up. Then finish the day off fishing the Dream Stream or other sections of the Platte.
This fly is a great option for this time of year. While probably not the best pattern for high off color rivers, this pattern performs very well on smaller clearer running streams, stillwaters, beaver ponds and more. A must cary pattern for the weeks to come!
With the salmon fly nymphs staging on the banks of the Colorado River, looking to hatch any day. This pattern is also a must to have in your flybox. This fly is heavy and tied to allow you to crawl and bounce your fly off the bottom. And hell, the signature tier also has a great sense of humor.
With caddis on the menu the next few weeks, this is a great pattern to be adding to your nymphing or dry dropper rig. With it’s soft hackle qualities this is a great last pattern to fish as an emerger. This patterns profile looks great when wet and in the darker colors can stand out in the darker waters of run off.
Since we have also been talking about Colorado stillwaters, this is a favorite chironomid patter. This pattern is extremely durable and fishes great off either a indicator rig or a slow retrieve. Having a good selection of chironomids in various colors and sizes will help your stillwater missions be successful.
With the salmon fly hatch right around the corner, some salmon fly patterns in your box are a must. This fly works particularly well when the fish are getting picky, which they commonly do during this hatch. Riding low as it’s name suggests, can do just the trick in situations like these.
The Blue at Hwy 9 below Breckenridge- 169 CFS
The Blue below Dillon- 55.7 CFS
The Colorado at Hot Sulphur Springs- 328 CFS
The Colorado at Parshall- 493 CFS
The Colorado at Kremmling- 878 CFS
The Arkansas near Leadville- 280 CFS
The Arkansas at Granite- 410 CFS
The Arkansas at Salida- 1160 CFS
The Arkansas at Wellsville- 1250 CFS
The South Platte above Spinney Reservoir- 132 CFS
The South Platte above Eleven Mile Reservoir- 264 CFS
The next month we should be transitioning out of our spring pattern into the warm and dry month of June. The next week brings some cold temperatures and a chance for a winter storm in the high country. Look for these effects to linger in the following week. Then we should steadily warm back up a bit towards the end of the week. Look for the potential of another storm like this at the beginning of June and then we usually transition into some warm and dry weather.