Overall River Rating:


Colorado River - Middle River Fishing Report

Latest update: 5/21/2018 -- It Has Begun, The Big Bugs have been spotted from Rancho into Gore Canyon. Currently, the flows near Kremmling are 817 cfs. While Most of the activity is still Subsurface, this is going to be one of the first fully fishable Salmonfly Hatches in a long time. If they are not quite willing to come up and smash a Large Salmonfly Adult (Great Patterns; Chubby Chernobyl Pteronarcys, Rogue Foam Stone, Bullet Head Salmonfly, Morningwood Special in sizes 4-6) Consider nymphing indicator rigs, with Large Dark Stoneflies (Pats Rubber Legs, Bitch Creek, T's Stone in 4-8). Caddis can still be quite abundant, and trailing a Caddis Adult behind a large Salmonfly, or Caddis Pupa while nymphing (Tak's Go 2 Caddis 14-16, Barrs Uncased Caddis 14-16, or Tung Electric Caddis 14-16) can be very productive. On inclement weather days, crash the hatch and chuck those streamers. Olive, Tan, White, and Black are great starting colors! Sculpzillas and other Sculpin imitations are a great start. A general rule of thumb is if you put the time in, streamer fishing will produce; however, swapping between colors can be helpful if you have not moved a fish. For example: if you've been covering a lot of water with white and haven't had any follows, try swapping to black.

River Information

This stretch of the Colorado is a very popular area for anglers to frequent, and for good reasons. We consider the Middle Colorado to be from the town of Dotsero, up through the Gore Canyon. This stretch offers anglers a good variety of waters to fish and also includes some float fishing options. The Pumphouse access is certainly a favorite location of many and parking here and hiking up into the Gore Canyon can be a great way to spend the day- particularly when the Salmonfly hatch is going.  The river is fairly good sized here and wading anglers will, for the most part, be relegated to the bank. In true freestone fashion, this stretch of river offers anglers a wide variety of ways to catch its Rainbow, Brown trout and Rocky Mountain Whitefish. 

Recommended Flies

Winter/Spring: Midges, Baetis

Summer: Mayflies, Caddis, Terrestrials, Stoneflies, Streamers

Fall: Mayflies, Caddis, Terrestrials, Streamers

Seasonal Conditions

The middle portion of the Colorado is fishable year round and many of the same tactics used on the lower river will work here as wellt. Like most rivers around the state, Spring through Fall will be most productive when the wide variety of aquatic insects that live here are most active.  Stoneflies are a major part of a trout’s diet and the river sees some terrific dry fly fishing in mid-summer with Golden Stoneflies and the ever popular Salmonflies. Caddis and a smattering of mayflies will typically be found throughout the summer as well. The colder months will primarily be a nymphing game. Fishing the slower, deep pockets very thoroughly and diligently will be productive through the winter. Considering the size of fish swimming in this stretch, spending a little time throwing a streamer will always be worth a try as well.

River Access

The Colorado runs beneath State Highway 9 between Grand County Road 1 and Kremmling. A mile south of Kremmling, CR 1 also known as the Trough Road, heads west to State Bridge, about 25 miles away. The Trough Road follows the river much of that distance. At several points along the way anglers have access to public stretches of the stream. These spots include Pump House, the 3 miles below Ranch del Rio, state Bridge, Dotsero, and many exits through Glenwood Canyon.

Float Trip Options: there are multiple putin's from Pumphouse downstream to Dotsero.  All the floats vary in length, and the time it takes to do each section will depend on what the flows are at.

  • Pumphouse to Radium
  • Radium to Rancho Del Rio
  • Rancho Del Rio to Statebridge
  • Statebridge to Two Bridges
  • Two Bridges to Catamount
  • Catamount to Burns
  • Burns to Pinball
  • Pinball to Cottonwood
  • Cottonwood to Dotsero