Colorado River Report 10/26/19
The Upper Colorado is still fishing but needs ample time dedicated to a day's outing. The fish are eating however finding the appropriate depth and fly might have you racking your brain a bit. Focus your efforts on the way upper stretch, Pumphouse to Radium, and don't rush your way to Radium. Most fish being caught right now can be done wading the banks at Pumphouse or anchoring your boat below the play wave. Once you have the bug of choice for the day dialed in, fish confidently on your way down to Radium. Though fishing on the go is the best way to cover a lot of ground, anchoring in areas with nice soft banks and inside/outside seams will provide the most action. The Colorado is running around 1000cfs and clear and the spawing redds are obvious from the boat or from the bank so please leave them be so our brown trout population remains epic. Patt's Stone or egg patterns followed by small midges and bwos (down to a #24) will provide the most action. If your intentions are to streamer fish, boogie to the canyon and put your efforts there. Double streamers - Slump Busters to Ruby Eye Leech in black or olive seem to be delicious to the brownies.
Though sometimes a trial in patience, any time you fish the Colorado you could catch a 20+ inch trout so it's never a bad idea to give it a whirl. With fishing pressure, people doing cast and blasts, and late season rafters, plan to leave yourself plenty of time for boat ramp traffic. Thanks for protecting the spawning trout!
Fly Fishing The Colorado River in Colorado
The Colorado River, in its entirety, spans five US states before heading to Mexico and meeting the Pacific Ocean. That's 1,450 river miles. We lucky Coloradans have the pleasure to fish it for it's first 1/3 (approximately). Starting at 9000ft in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Colorado River fishes well, for trout at least, from it's beginning to Rifle, CO approximately. As the river continues west, the river features change; temperature, ph, structure and habitat and different types of fish call the Colorado River home. That includes catfish, sunfish, bass, pike crappie and walleye. Let's focus on the trout water!
Based in the Vail Valley of Colorado, Hill's Discount Flies' staff and the guides it provides for put's it primary focus below Gore Canyon down to Silt. Starting at the tip top of the "Upper C" provides ample opportunity of trophy brown trout as well as sizeable rainbows. The occasional cutthroat is caught every year as well as the rare brook trout or tiger trout. These trout have a varied diet comprised of the main four: stoneflies, mayflies, caddis and midges but also never miss an opportunity to sip or smash a hopper, ant or beetle from the surface. There's also plenty of forage fish and smaller trout and whitefish for the aggressively growing fish to snack on too when the conditions are right.
The Colorado River is accessible by boat/raft or by foot but given it's vast size, the boat is preferred by most anglers; making hard to reach areas a lot more accessible. Though the top section below Gore Canyon is mostly Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, there is private land along the Upper C making the boat the only way to fish certain runs and riffles. You can always get out of the boat on public land and wade fish if you'd like as well. If wade fishing is your only option, fear not. The trout population on the Upper Colorado River is strong and healthy and the river can be dissected tactically from the bank. Always use extreme caution while wading the mighty Colorado!
As you follow the river from Kremmling to Silt, the numbers of trout decrease however the average size of trout increases. Though you might catch fish in numbers from Pumphouse to State Bridge, chances are you won't see as many fish from Two Rivers Park to New Castle but the ones you do will need to be lifted with two hands. Don't forget your net!
The Colorado River is a 4 season river and can be fished whenever you are looking to get out and each season has it's highlights. Winter is for low pressure, solitude and technical midge fishing. Spring is known for high water bank fishing and the popular Salmon Fly hatch. Summer entails endless dry fly activity and Fall is for the streamer bite and shouldn't be missed.
If you are new to the area or just coming to town for a short visit and looking to fish the Colorado River, give us a call. We are out there often. We are happy to provide the best fly selection for the Colorado River as well as hook you up with the latest intel on the river and up to date fishing reports.