Colorado Fly Fishing Conditions 7/17/2008


Report furnished courtesy of  Royal Gorge Anglers; Canon City, Colorado.

I don’t know if you’ve realized it yet or not, but this is dry fly season, big time. Every river I fish has turned on the switch over the last week. This is one of the best times of the year to see and fish compound/complex hatches of bugs. About the only thing that hasn’t happened yet is a big time Green Drake hatch on the Pan and that’s coming in the next few days.

Most rivers have great hatches of Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies, Caddis, BWOs, and PMDs. In addition, most attractor patterns such as Yellow Humpies, Yellow Stimulators or PMXs, Royal Wulffs, and Royal PMXs are good. Hoppers abound on most rivers in the Southern Rockies, so hopper/dropper rigs of big Attractors trailing PMD or Caddis bead heads are working as well.


I had a fellow in yesterday, who had stopped by to tell me what a great day he had on the Arkansas fishing Elk Hair Caddis and yellow PMXs. He related that he had just lost over $20,000 the day before in the Stock Market, but that his day on the river had just saved his life. In these seemingly gloomy economic times with mortgage banks failing,
stocks dropping and a tank of gas costing the same as a new fly rod, it’s nice to have the river as a friend.


As I have said before, going to a river and casting to a rising fish has saved my sanity more than once, so I highly recommend it. Besides a tank of gas and a few flies is much cheaper than a therapist and a lot more fun. In lieu of alienating all you therapists out there, you could use a day on the river as well after listening to all of our problems. So, here’s the scoop on a few local rivers…….  (Editor Note: my favorite stream is Bear Creek just west of metro Denver. This little creek has saved my sanity more than once when the pressures of life seemed over whelming.)
The Arkansas is on fire along the edges and is continuing to slowly drop back into wading shape. Flows today (7/16 are around 1600 cfs)
(Editor Note: 7/22 Most major Arkansas Flows are around 1300 to 1450 cfs) and fish are steadily rising to hopper/dropper rigs, hoppers, PMD adults and emergers, and peacock or black Elk Hair Caddis. Honestly, almost anything is working due to the fact that the fish are sick and tired of high flows and need to eat.


You still need to take care wading but you can get in the water and move along the shorelines carefully, making upstream presentations. Caddis and PMDs are better in the afternoons and the hopper/dropper rigs are working all day long. This is about as easy as the Ark gets, so get out and do it. When the water goes down below 1000, fish will begin to spread out and they won’t be so easy to find.
The South Platte, below Spinney, dropped in flow last week but has been raised back to 350 cfs. Fishing is very good on Trico Spinners, PMD emergers, adult PMDs, and big articulated olive leaches. Flows are similar in Elevenmile Canyon and so are hatches and Caddis continue to rule the Deckers.


The Gunnison is high at 1700 cfs, but fairly clear and Green Drakes are hatching. The Taylor is running 770 and is fishing along edges with Caddis and PMDs. The Frying Pan is easing back into dry fly heaven with BWOs and PMDs hatching throughout the day and Caddis being prolific on the mid and lower stretches. Green Drakes are starting to show up, but not in a big way yet. Fish the Pan on cloudy or drizzly days if you can. Bright sunlight hurts dry fly fishing there in a big way. After all, that’s why you paid $300 for that Gore Tex jacket in the first place.


The Colorado is still rocking along with high flows and is not in the best of shape right now. The Roaring Fork is still high but edges are fishing. Most of the small creeks in the state have now receded and are clear. Fishing is great in all the ones I fish, so get out there and go to your favorite one.
 Capire et Relinquere,
 Royal Gorge Anglers
 1210 Royal Gorge Blvd.
 Canon City, CO 81212
 Phone: 888-994-6743
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