Fly Fishing Forecasts

Our fly fishing forecasts area summary of our most recent fishing reports so you get an idea of where to hit the water.

Colorado Trout Fisher: Unforgettable Fly Fishing Trips that Won’t Break The Bank!

In the words of HBO TV sensation, Game of Thrones, “winter is coming!” Are you itching to get out on the water before the cold and snow hits Colorado’s Front Range? Late September & October can make for some of the best fishing on our public waters close to Denver and Boulder. Crowds are down and flows are quite manageable, allowing anglers to fish easy to cast dry & dropper rigs to rising fish! This is a great time to introduce newcomers to the sport of fly-fishing, or entertain friends and family while they visit.

Colorado Trout Fisher

Colorado Trout Fisher

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports very own public water guide service, Colorado Trout Fisher offers anglers the opportunity to fish with seasoned guides on our home waters of Boulder Creek, South Boulder Creek, Clear Creek, Bear Creek and The South Platte. This fall is a great time to book a guide on a stream near you and discover that quality fly-fishing exists just outside your back door!

Clear Creek fly fishing

Fishing Clear Creek

Whether you are looking to learn a new river, are just getting into the sport or would like a guide to help teach friends and family while you fish, look no further than fully guided fly-fishing trips with Colorado Trout Fisher. With the best locations, expert guides and affordable pricing, you simply cannot beat Colorado Trout Fisher for the best easy to access fishing in Colorado.

South Boulder Creek fly fishing

Wetting a line on South Boulder Creek

Give our client concierge a call today at 800-882-4314 or visit our website at www.coloradotroutfisher.com to book your trip today!

Drew Davis, seasoned Colorado Trout Fisher Guide.

Drew Davis, seasoned Colorado Trout Fisher Guide

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

The Colorado Cast & Blast!

Well fellow outdoorsman, tomorrow is September 1st and marks the opening of Colorado’s upland bird season! There is just something unexplainable about it, but fly-fishing and bird hunting just seem to go together. Maybe it is tying flies from a wild bird you harvested with your favorite bird dog? Or, maybe it is hiking into a backcountry area in search of Colorado blue grouse and high country brook trout? Whatever it is, if you like to fly fish, you probably enjoy bird hunting too! So as we sit on the eve of September 1st, we at Colorado Fly Fishing Reports thought we would compile a list of our Top 3, Colorado Cast & Blast Combinations:

Number One: Plan a trip out west, northwest, southwest, directly west, it really doesn’t matter as in Colorado blue grouse can virtually be found anywhere west of I-25. Areas like Gunnison, Steamboat and Durango all offer hunters ample national forest access for grouse hunting and camping. And when the hunting gets slow you can exchange your shotgun for a fly rod and hit the water during September and what many say is the best month of the year to fish Colorado! Just a little scouting and planning and you are well on your way to a successful blue grouse hunting and fly-fishing trip.

Colorado blue grouse hunting

Colorado Blue Grouse Hunting!

Number Two: For the hunter and fly-fisherman that also doesn’t mind a little adventure, hiking above 11,000 feet for White Tailed Ptarmigan might be just the ticket. These birds are unique and abundant in Colorado for the hunter willing to put in some scouting and a little legwork. Climb above 11,000 feet into the alpine tundra and you have a good chance at finding the smallest of the grouse species. But don’t leave your backpacking fly rod at home as during your travels you are sure to wander by high mountain streams filled with wild trout!

Colorado Ptarmigan Hunting

Nothing says your a Colorado outdoors person like bagging a limit of White Tailed Ptarmigan!

Number 3: There might be no better way to experience the west than taking a trip to Northwest Colorado or Wyoming to hunt Sage Grouse! In Colorado, your best bet is to head to the Kremmling or North Park area where you can pursue these elusive game birds as well as fish such famous streams as The Blue River & The North Platte!

Colorado Sage Grouse

Nothing can take you to the “West” like Colorado Sage Grouse Hunting!

You may have noticed that we didn’t give away any “secret spots” or drop any pins for your iPhone! One of the most beautiful things about Colorado is it’s ample public land! Do a little research, talk to your local game warden and start scouting out some spots, when it comes to blue grouse, ptarmigan and sage grouse in Colorado the options are endless for bagging these beautiful game birds and getting in a little fly rod time as well.

Colorado Brook Trout

Sometimes the rewards from a little scouting and legwork can be big!

Whatever you do, get outside this September and take some time to explore and respect this amazing & beautiful resource that we call Colorado!

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

Denver Carp Slam!

It is that time of year again; the Denver Carp Slam will be underway on Saturday, September 10th! The proceeds from the tournament help support Denver Trout Unlimited Projects along the South Platte River:

Be sure to check out the event or stop by the after party! The After Party, Evening on the South Platte is THE PARTY to attend this summer. Great Food, Beer, Fantastic Wines, Live Music (MTHDS), Silent Auction, Awards Ceremony.

Denver Carp Slam

Denver Carp Slam!

Public transportation is recommended if you plan to imbibe! Park at an RTD lot and take the light rail or A-Line Commuter rail into Union Station, then walk or Mall Ride 2 blocks west to DaVita. If you plan to drive, $5 parking is available at the DaVita lot behind the building, entrance at 16th & Chestnut.

Carp Slam

For the party of the summer, check out The Carp Slam: After Party!

For more information on the Carp Slam & After Party check it out at:

http://carpslam.org

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

 

Our Top 3 Terrestrial Flies for August!

August in Colorado means lots of terrestrials on the water. You need to fill your fly box with hopper patterns to fool fish sipping on bugs falling from the grass into the stream. The “Colorado Blonde” is one of our “guide favorite” hopper patterns. It floats well due to being tied with buoyant elk hair and parachute style hackle. Our clients love the “Colorado Blonde” because it is very easy to see with its white “Hi Vis” parachute post. And with its lifelike grasshopper profile the “Colorado Blonde” fools wary trout all summer long.

grasshopper fly

The “Colorado Blonde” is one of our guide favorite grasshopper imitations.

In addition to hopper patterns, August is a hot month for fishing ant patterns. Have you ever seen that trout that just keeps sipping on bugs right off the bank? You cannot see any insects buzzing around and he still will not eat even your best presentations from attractors, mayflies or even a micro sized midge? Chances are that wily trout is feeding on ants as they drown in the surface film. Next time you run into such a wily fish try throwing an ant pattern at him and see what happens.

ant fly

The “Flying Ant” from super flies is a must have in your fly box for fooling finicky fish feeding on terrestrials.

When the fish aren’t falling for our “Colorado Blonde” try throwing our terrestrial grasshopper pattern at them. You will be hard pressed to find a more realistic hopper pattern on the market as the legs and profile on this pattern can be tough to distinguish from that of a real grasshopper.   This fly is very buoyant and will float all day even without dry fly shake or gel. Furthermore, it is very durable and will hold up fish after fish, cast after cast.

grasshopper fly

For the most realistic hopper imitation on the market, check out this hot fly!

For more Superflies, check out http://www.superflies.us

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

 

 

 

Colorado River: Summer Fishing Conditions

We have been spending a lot of time on the the water this summer and one river that has impressed me with fish is the Colorado River from Pump House to Two Bridges. The size and quantity of fish in this stretch has been much different that I am used to. When I first started guiding this river roughly 10 years ago ( i cant believe its been 10 years) we would catch a lot of fish in the 12-16 inch range. Bigger fish were landed occasionally but the majority in the net were smaller brown trout. This year it is like a switch went off and all those fish that we were catching 10 years ago are now much larger and more abundant. Earlier in the year the CP&W designated this 24 mile stretch of the Colorado River as Gold Medal Water and after seeing the quality and quantity of fish being put into the net it is apparent why.

Colorado River Brown Trout

The insect activity has been excellent on the the Colorado River and We have been seeing Golden Stones, PMDs, Caddis, Red Quills, Green Drakes and Tricos on the surface. Until the recent decrease in water flows we have been catching the majority of fish on Flash Back PMD’s, BH Golden Stones and Streamers in deeper seams along the banks. But, after losing nearly 500 cfs of water flow the fish have keyed in on sunken Trico Spinners and have moved to faster oxygenated water. The green algae has become and issue when nymphing so be sure to check your flies after making a couple drifts.

Colorado River Brown Trout Pump House

It is nice to see people enjoying the Colorado River but the weekends from Pump House to State Bridge is an absolute zoo. If you plan on fishing/ floating this section of river I highly recommend getting to the boat ramp early to avoid all the fun float traffic on the river.

Get Down & Dirty for Summertime Carp!

Summer is in full swing in Denver, Colorado and turn up the AC because it is flipping hot outside! Chances are you are staring out your office window right now, daydreaming about heading to the mountains this weekend to fish your favorite trout stream. Or maybe you have truly entered Fantasy Island and are dreaming about wading barefoot along a sand flat of the Bahamas? Either way it is still the middle of the week and you need to do something now to get your fly-fishing fix!

Colorado Fly Fishing for Carp

Rocky Mountain Bonefish on the Fly!

Instead of living in outer space why not focus on fly-fishing close to home? With a little research and preparation you can be catching fish bigger than any Bonefish you might encounter in the Bahamas and probably not to far away from your office. Carp on the fly provide anglers with a great challenge and lots of easy access close to home. Carp fly-fishing is also great practice for your next salt water flats trip!

What do you need to get started?

  • A good 6 weight fly rod
  • Any reel with a decent drag system will work
  • Weight Forward Floating line matched to your rod
  • 9 foot leaders
  • 2x-4x Tippet, Mono should work but there is no harm in bringing along some Fluorocarbon
  • Most anglers use waders and wading boots when wade fishing the South Platte through Denver
  • Landing Net
  • Quality Polarized Sunglasses

Carp flies have really evolved over the years but the best patterns tend to be Bonefish style “Flats Flies” like Gotchas and Crazy Charlie’s tied in drab colors to imitate crayfish, leeches and other forage items. Fly Placement and casting is key! You want to cast your fly as close to feeding fish as possible without spooking or lining them. From here slow strips will allow the carp to “suck up” your fly! Identifying feeding fish is the key to success when carp fishing, cruising fish are less likely to show an interest in your fly. Instead look for “tailing” or “mudding” fish and place your fly accordingly.

Carp Fly

Flies like Jay Zimmerman’s “Backstabber” from Umpqua will catch Carp in all conditions…

Where to fish?

Carp can be found in many ponds, streams and reservoirs. If you live or work close to Downtown Denver, the “Dirty South Platte” is a great place to start, lots of fish and even better access:

Access Map to Some of Denver's Best Carp Spots

Access Map to Some of Denver’s Best Carp Spots

Chances are there is a great access spot along Denver’s South Platte near you. Get out and fish! Stay tuned next week for some of our favorite Colorado Fly Fishing Guide recommended Carp Flies and fly tying instructions.

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

Don’t Get the Run Off Blues!

Well it is another hot late spring day in Colorado and most of our trout streams are starting to look more like chocolate milk commercials than a fishery! Football season is far away and lets face it, how many Coors lights can you drink and Rockies games can you watch before going crazy? The Mrs. is yelling about the yard and wondering why the letter from the IRS says that your tax extension was denied?

Colorado Pike on the Fly

Even small Northern Pike will chase after huge flies!

It is almost 80 degrees and it is only 11am on a Sunday. You have a few choices; you can tread water the rest of your weekend, wishing your favorite creek was fishable or your can grab a few big streamers, a wire leader and head out in pursuit of a great runoff season fish, the Northern Pike!

We at Colorado Fly Fishing Reports certainly hope you choose the later option! Pike fishing can really be a great way to cure the run off blues. Pike inhabit many lakes, reservoirs and rivers along Colorado’s Front Range and Western Slope. With a little research you can easily find a Northern Pike fishery close to you.

Once you find a place to fish, springtime Pike fishing is a rather straightforward affair. You are looking for fish cruising the shallow shorelines. Great places to target are the rocky edges of dams, cattails and sloughs, and flats with plenty of food sources.

Colorado Pike on the Fly

Fly Fishing for Northern Pike really is a lot of fun!

The most fun part of pike fishing is that Northern Pike are an extremely predatory fish. Flies like Whistlers, Bunny flies and Clouser minnows will all get the job done. The fun fact of fishing for Pike is you really cannot use a fly that is too big; an 18 inch hammer handle will go after flies the size of a chicken!

To throw these big flies a good eight weight is probably your best tool. Wire leaders are needed to make sure the pike do not chew through your line but we also like to use hard monofilament at 20-30 pound test to get more lifelike motion out of our flies. After you catch some fish the monofilament will need to be changed but it will probably fool more fish than a wire leader. Also be sure to bring a long pair of hemostats to remove flies from the mouths of these rather toothy critters…

From all of us at Colorado Fly Fishing Reports we sincerely hope you will get out and fish!

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

 

Salmonfly Hatch: Colorado River

The Salmonfly hatch is underway on the Colorado River and it is a great time to witness these largerColorado River Salmonfly hatch insects migrate up the river. Typically water levels are very high and off color during the Salmonfly Hatch but this year the flows on the Upper Colorado River a quite manageable with good clarity. I hiked up river from Pump House a couple days ago and was able to find many Salmonflies perched in the Cedar Trees and Alders. There were not quite the number of insects that I typically see during the peak of the hatch so I would imagine that you still have some time to catch the hatch before it is over.

One might think that Trout are ferociously inhaling these massive bugs left and right on the surface but that is not always the case. You have to remember that during the Colorado River Salmonfly Hatch there is a lot of food in the river and the fish are quite happy. So you might have to work a little harder than anticipated to get that big Brown Trout to the surface. The one technique that I have found to be quite useful when fishing the Salmonfly Hatch is to find overhanging vegetation. Like I mentioned above you will see Adult Salmonflies grouped up in Cedar Trees and Alders along the river bank. These areas are great to fish. You will often find a trout willing to eat on the surface in these areas. Fish will wait for an Adult Salmonfly to fall from a tree and make their move to the surface to inhale it. My favorite fly to present in these areas is the Rogue Foam Stone. It is surprisingly realistic and floats very well. There is no need to be real delicate with your presentation either. I little slap on the water can grab the attention of lurking trout. I also like to give my fly some movement as Salmonflies flutter when they are on the water surface. Keep you bugs tight to the bank and have fun. This is a fun Hatch to fish so if you have time it is worth the drive to the Upper Colorado River.   rogue_giant_foam_stonefly

Colorado: Spring Dry Fly Fishing

We have finally reached the first day of spring and it certainly feels like it. Sunny and 60 in the high country with as much water as you want to fish. While the weather is still unsure what it wants to do, now is the time to take advantage of the warmer weather and unbelievable fly fishing conditions. Our freestone rivers have opened up significantly and you can find fish surfing in the shallow water eating Midges, Small Stones and Blue Winged Olives. While I am still seeing a lot of bobber rigs on the river there is certainly no need to nymph when rising fish are present. The best flies I have found over the last week have been larger Adult Midges as well as Emerging Midge imitations that ride in the surface film. The Blue WIngs are sporadic but when the fish key in on them a size 20 Adams is really all you need. On days when the surface bite is slow nymphing with larger Midge Larvae, Midge Emergers (RS2’s) and small Stones are excellent patterns to be presenting. There is no need to go real deep. A lot of fish have moved in to shallow slicks/ riffles and are suspended. Especially during the afternoon. The Roaring Fork, Eagle And Colorado Rivers are all fishing well and if you are looking for a reason to drive to the high country rising trout and warm weather is a good one. This short video segment was shot on the Eagle River last week and the fishing has continued to impress. With a front moving in over the next few days expect things to slow down a bit. But, once this front passes expect excellent fishing to return.  Fishing Reports on the Front Range are very similar with fish eating on the surface later in the afternoon with a real good nymph bite earlier in the day. Take advantage of the Spring fishing now run-off will be here before we know it.


Trout, Fly Fishing, & Barometric Pressure

storm over a river

As anglers, we all know weather patterns can affect our day on the river in many different ways. Whether you’re tracking moon phases, the wind conditions, or cloud coverage for any given day, the elements will always play a role in your fly fishing success. Does one weather pattern affect trout more than another? Depending on who you’re speaking to you’ll get a different answer to this question, but I’m here to tell you, yes it does! Let’s take a quick look at the effects of a change in barometric pressure on trout behavior.

By definition, barometric pressure is the pressure exerted by the weight of the atmosphere on its surface. It will be easier to understand what barometric pressure is if we first look at the difference between high barometric pressure and low pressure.

High barometric pressure is usually associated with fair weather and heavier air. It means there is more air pressure being pushed downward on the water surface. Low barometric pressure is typically associated with the coming of a storm, or the actual storm itself, and a light amount of air pressure being exerted on the river. The reason air pressure drops as a storm moves in is because as the front moves closer to the river the heavy air pressure that is currently being exerted on the river rises through the air column (this means pressure is dropping) and eventually moves into the clouds to help form rain and snow, hence the low pressure on the river.

So how does either high pressure or low barometric pressure affect your fishing day? Well, on their own neither is inherently bad. We’ve all had great days on the river when it’s a blue-bird day with not a cloud in sight when a nymph rig with plenty of weight is your best option—this is characteristic of a high barometric pressure day. But we’ve also certainly had exceptional fly fishing days in overcast weather as a storm is moving in– this would be a low barometric pressure day. As a matter of fact, I’ve had my best fly fishing in low barometric pressure days because this typically means there is a lot of cloud coverage which moves trout into shallower water, there is also a higher concentration of insect activity, and more aggressive trout feeding behavior.  Trout are especially aggressive in cloud coverage with low pressure so think about skating an adult caddis across the surface or throwing on a streamer to be stripped through the water for that overly aggressive take.

IMG_0036

The one weather situation you do not want to find yourself on the river is directly after the storm passes. This can be characterized as rain and clouds, which then move on to sun and clear skies. It’s also when the barometric pressure rises, meaning from light air pressure to heavy air pressure. The direct change from light air pressure to high and heavy pressure will push fish to the depths of the river and make them lethargic and very tough to catch. To relate it to humans it’s like when we’re flying on an airplane and cannot pop our ears—that’s the same pressure trout feel in the river when a change from light to heavy air pressure occurs. Do you find yourself hungry when you’re uncomfortable and can’t pop your ears? Absolutely not. You’ll find a noticeable change in a trout’s feeding behavior after the storm passes for two reasons: 1) its already gorged itself on food during the low pressure period, and 2) the new high pressure from the atmosphere is making the trout uncomfortable and lethargic so they will avoid your presentation. But like I mentioned earlier, this does not mean trout will not feed when there is a high barometric pressure reading, just simply that the temporary change from low pressure to high atmospheric pressure will turn the trout’s feeding behavior off. The lethargic behavior typically does not last more than 24 hours after the storm passes and thereafter it can be another heavy feeding period.

This brief article is not meant to discourage you from fishing inclement weather, but rather, add another tool to your knowledge bin for your next trip out on the river. Tight lines, my friends.