As far as I am concerned football season is already over. However, this weekend happens to be Super Bowl weekend. The good news for all of us is crowds on Super Bowl Sunday tend to be fairly minimal that day. Combine that with the fairly good weather forecasts across the state all weekend, I’m wondering who is going fishing? Here are a few places to keep in mind if you are heading out.
The Blue River: The weather for Silverthorne looks great all weekend. High of 40 on Saturday and 43 Sunday. Fishing the Blue this time of the year is usually one of the coldest places you can fish, so seeing highs in the 40’s is very intriguing. Mix that in with the great fishing reports that continue to pour in from the tailwater and it almost makes it a no brainer. The only downfall to the Blue is there will still be crowds even if the Super Bowl minimizes them a little bit. Fish have been feeding pretty hard on Mysis imitations so be sure to have one as part of your rig. Other flies that should produce are a variety of Midges and Baetis. Some of my favorite patterns there are a Red Pure Midge sz. 20-24, Mercury Black Beauty sz. 20-24, Grey Johnny Flash sz. 18-22, Top Secret Midge sz. 20-22, Shotglass Baetis sz 18-20, PTs sz. 20-24, and Skinny Nelsons sz 18-22.
The Williams Fork: The weather in Parshall looks very similar to Silverthorne with highs in the low 40’s all weekend. The Willy’s Fork is a great place to head this time of the year if you are looking to escape some crowds. Given the snowpack this year, the hike in will keep the amount of anglers here to a minimum. Similar bugs as the Blue have been producing great results as well as a few bigger protein items. A variety of stoneflies all turned fish last week, 20 inchers, Montana Princes, Pat’s Rubber Legs all got fish to the net.
11-Mile Canyon: Lake George weather forecast predicts a high on Saturday of 47 and 48 on Sunday. One of the more underrated tailwaters this time of the year 11 Mile Canyon offers a mix of great scenery as well as catching an abundance of fish. Fish will be holding in the knee to waist deep riffle runs and with this weather should be feeding pretty actively. My favorite part about the canyon is the potential to fish dry flies this time of the year. Sure you won’t be throwing hoppers but, watching fish sip your Sprout Midge is just as rewarding. An assortment of standard midges and baetis patterns will trigger eager trout. At 11 Mile I tend to like less flashy bugs this time of the year. WD-40s, regular Black Beauties, Zebra Midges and other similar patterns.
The Arkansas River (Near Salida): Looking at the weather forecast, projected highs are in the 50’s all weekend in Salida. Sitting in the Banana Belt it tends to stay fairly mild in the area so when I see a string of consistent nice days together it makes not fishing the Ark hard to do. As appealing as the Ark is this weekend it is still a freestone so there are certain factors to consider. There is no need to be on the Ark before the sun hits the water so plan on arriving around 10 AM. This will give the water some time to warm up, as well as clear whatever slush happens to be floating down the river. Find areas that receive a good amount of sunlight all day and work deeper runs and tail-outs. Be sure you have enough weight to get down and once you find a fish repeat that drift over and over again until your indicator stops going under. Keep rigs fairly simple here, a Stonefly, down to a caddis or emerger, trailed by a midge. A Montana Prince or Twenty Incher, trailed by a variety of Psycho Prince’s, Caddis Larve, Barr Emergers and Black Beauties will entice plenty of eager Ark Browns.