Overall River Rating:

3/5

Fraser River

Latest Update: 10/14/17 - The Fraser river at Granby is around 45ish CFS, Nymph rigs with the occasional hopper eats. Good hopper patterns are Chubby Chernobyl, Sweetgrass Hopper, Amies Ant, and Panty Dropper Hopper. Good nymphs patterns are Hare Copper(12-18), Rainbow Warrior(16-20), Pats Rubberleg(12-8), and Hot Belly PT(14-18). Fish are holding in deeper holes due to warmer water temps. If there's one fish there are a few more.

River Information

The Fraser River, the first main tributary of the Colorado River, offers small to medium-sized stream fishing in a variety of settings. The Fraser River starts near Berthoud Pass and travels North for 32 miles until it reaches the Colorado River near Granby. This freestone river offers fairly easy wading and holds completely wild Rainbow, Brown, Brook and Cutthroat trout. 

This fairly flat, meandering river is a series of riffles, runs and tailouts connected to deep bend pools. During any given day from Spring through Fall, anglers will have the opportunity to fish dry flies, nymphs and streamers. The Fraser is full of aquatic life and grows some truly great fish given is relatively small size.  


Recommended Flies

Winter/Early Spring: midges, baetis

Late Spring/Summer: mayflies, caddis, stoneflies, terrestrials, streamers

Fall: mayflies, caddis, some terrestrials, streamers


Seasonal Conditions

Grand County during the Fall is one of my favorite places to be without a doubt. Summer tends to exit pretty quickly in this area and before you know it you can see your breath in the morning. The wildlife is active, the trees are changing, snow begins to dust the surrounding mountain peaks and the fishing....welll, it's usually about as good as it gets. The Fraser is no exception to this rule either. 

In typical Fall freestone fashion, the action can vary from day to day (and sometimes hour to hour) depending on weather. The flip side of this coin however is that there a lot of Brown Trout in the Fraser that will be feeling very aggressive with the approach of Fall. Covering water and searching out the deeper drop offs, rock gardens, pools, and shelves below shallow, gravely spawning areas is always going to be a great place to find active fish. Streamer or nymph fishing these areas can be incredibly productive when the stars align. Additionally, the Fraser supports an unbelievable amount of bug life so never head here without brining your boxes of dry caddis, midges and blue wing olives. Until the first few hard frosts show up, this is also an incredible hopper river.

The Fraser is a completely wild fishery with fish size averaging about 12-15", although fish pushing the 20" mark are more common than most would think. This river is about 70% Browns, 29% Rainbows, 1% Brook Trout. 

Long story short, if you find yourself in Grand County during the Fall, make plans to head to the Fraser. The variety of ways to catch fish here- paired with the unbelievable scenery- are sure to offer you one of the best days you've had on the water in a while.   

Suggested Flies: parachute adams, purple haze, film critic bwo, clownshoe caddis, elk hair caddis, chubby chernobyl, parachute hopper, fat albert, barrs bwo emerger, juju baetis, freestone emerger, chocolate thunder, rainbow warrior, pats rubberlegs, iron sally, san juan worm, eggs, two bit hooker, prince nymph, midges, sculpzillas, sparkle minnows, lil' kims, conehead buggers, slump busters, autumn splendors. 

Interested in fishing the Fraser? We are the sole outfitter permitted to guide the Granby Ranch which offers nearly 4 miles of private access to this incredible river! Learn more by clicking HERE.


River Access

Access:

  • As the Frasier runs north for its first 8 miles, it is on National Forest land and is publicly accessible. The river is narrow and shallow here, but worthy of fishing. From Winter Park to Fraser, the river can be accessed by the Fraser River Trail (hiking or mountain bikes), from USFS campgrounds, or road turnouts. Between Winter Park and Fraser, the trail and river go through the Cozens' Ranch Open Space.
  • Access to the Fraser River is limited downstream from the town of Fraser. Some of the best fishing is in the canyon downstream from Tabernash. To access this area, take Road 84 to the northeast from Hwy 40 (the turnoff is south of Tabernash). Turn west after about 1/2 mile onto Strawberry Road. Follow this for about 1.4 miles to a parking area. Walk downhill to the Fraser and canyon. It will take about 15 minutes to get to the river.
  • You can also fish at the Sol Vista Resort/Granby Ranch (Ski and Golf area) - Guests at the resort are allowed to fish on the property by booking a Trouts Guide Service full or half day for our normal guide trip fee, plus Granby Ranch rod fee.