Year-round fishing

Ice Jam Flooding on The Roaring Fork River

I’ve been fly fishing here in Colorado for years and I’ve got to be honest– I’ve never given ice jam flooding a second thought. That’s on me. After watching the speed and intensity of the ice flooding on the Roaring Fork over the weekend, it’s something that should be on all of our radar’s moving forward.
courtesy of Roaring Fork Conservancy

Ice jams happen when warm temperatures cause a frozen river’s snow and ice to melt too rapidly, which then results in flash flooding down river.

If you’re going out fly fishing on any of Colorado’s rivers this winter, know your settings and be mindful of the environmental conditions around you. And I’m not saying that to be a fear-monger– admittedly, I’ve never put any thought into any type of winter flash flooding. But as we see here, fluctuating temperatures can cause weird things to happen.

Colorado Trout Fisher Guide Service

CTF offers some of the finest guided fly fishing trips for the Denver South Platte

The DSP offers trout, carp, walleye, and small mouth bass!

Colorado Trout Fisher guide service has changed it’s contact number to 1-844-858-6751. We take bookings and handle all customer service through our new number. Clients can also book trips and search for general information through our website, Colorado Trout Fisher specializes in guiding the Denver South Platte (DSP) but also offers guided fly fishing trips to Deckers, Boulder Creek, South Boulder Creek, Clear Creek, and Bear Creek.

Whether you’re new to the sport or have 20 years of experience, give us a call for an unforgettable day for you and the whole family!

Tight Lines,

Colorado Trout Fisher

Tying the Chocolate Thunder Midge

The Chocolate Thunder Midge is one of the best midge patterns out there. It is simple to tie yet super effective at fooling even the most picky of trout. Travis Jones, veteran guide at The Flyfisher Guide Service, gives a quick tutorial at this year-round pattern.

Ingredient List:

  • Umqua U202 size 22
  • Vevus 16/0 chocolate brown thread
  • Midge size gold wire
  • Sheet of white craft foam

Quick Definitions:

Half Hitch – type of quick knot or cinch used to tie of the threat and keep it from slipping off the hook.
Helicopter The Wire – method used to break wire off clean vs. cutting with scissors or wire snips.

We’re Hiring Fly Fishing Guides!

Are you looking to get into the fly fishing industry for the first time? Are you a knowledgeable angler but lacking guide experience? Are you an experienced guide looking to join the Front Range’s best team? Do you have what it takes to deliver excellent fly fishing service and instruction?

We are hiring professional fly fishing guides, both new to the profession and seasoned veterans alike, to join our Denver based operation. For those new to guiding we offer top-notch training and for those that have been in the industry you’ll quickly realize what an opportunity this is.

Our philosophy aims to deliver the finest customer service, friendliest smile, and best fly fishing instruction that the Front Range has to offer. This is a fantastic opportunity to make great money, meet awesome clients, and guide on Colorado’s beautiful waters.

Please email me your resume and why you’d be a good fit. Make sure that you include a phone number and email address so I can contact you immediately. Tight lines!

Matty Valdez

(970) 412-8677


The Fly Fishing Film Tour Is Coming

Good news for all of those fish porn lovers out there– F3T is coming to Colorado!

2018’s show will include six different films ranging from fly fishing in Dubai to stalking the African Tiger fish in Tanzania, to escaping the drug trade in Honduras (as seen in the trailer above) with a fly rod in hand.

Being a Colorado boy who grew up fishing the South Platte and small mountain streams the F3T opened my eyes to the world of possibilities of fly fishing. If there is one thing I’ve learned from watching all of these films; it’s that if there are fish in water then you can get after them with a fly rod!

The tour will stop by Colorado Springs on Feb. 3rd, Silverthorne on Feb. 9th, and then in Evergreen on Feb. 15th. Tickets can be bought here:

Tight lines, folks!


Choosing Your Next Fly Fishing Guide Service

If you’re looking to hire a fly fishing guide service in Colorado for your next day out on the water, look no further! Our website,, is run and managed by guides that work at Colorado Trout Fisher, Angling University, and The Flyfisher Guide Service. We recognize that there is a lot of competition here in Colorado when a person is looking to hire a fly fishing guide service, and that is why we have three different fly fishing guide services. We cater to all anglers and levels of ability while providing world-class instruction and the chance at landing a trout of a lifetime!

Colorado Trout Fisher is our public water guide service and we take pride in, and specialize, in our ability to instruct all levels of anglers. Whether you are picking up a fly rod for the first time or you want to spend the day with the family, our guides make fly fishing fun for everyone! We guide on the Denver South Platte, Deckers, South Boulder Creek, Boulder Creek, Clear Creek and Bear Creek.

Angling University is Denver, Colorado’s only fly fishing school. AU offers a curriculum for all levels of anglers both in the classroom and out on the river. There is a wide variety of classes as well. Our instructors give casting lessons if you’re looking to perfect your double haul cast for your next trip to the Bahamas. But we also give entomology, fly tying, rod building, and streamer technique classes as well. There are quite a few more courses offered than the ones listed above. Please check our website for a full viewing.

The Flyfisher Guide Service is the exclusive fly fishing guide service at Lincoln Hills Fly Fishing Club. On any given day our clients can catch snake river cutthroats, cutbows, brookies, rainbows, and brown trout– and sometimes all five in one day! Our fly fishing guides work hard to meet the client’s needs– so if the client is there to catch nothing but big trout, it’s not unlikely to land a 28 inch piggie on the pristine waters of South Boulder Creek! Whether it’s the lunch that our distinguished chef preps up, the top notch facilities on property, or the strong fighting trout, our clients leave with a world-class experience.

Please reach out with any booking or fishing questions you may have!


Winter Fly Fishing Tips: Chapter 1

Over the next couple of months we will be publishing a series of quick helpful tips to help you get the most out of your winter fly fishing experience. Please feel free to reply to any of these posts with your own advice and best practices. Stay warm and tight lines!

Whether you prefer a fly fishing glove that gives you a great deal of dexterity or one that offers maximum warmth, it is a smart idea to have a pair on hand. From the Gunnison Valley, down south to the Conejos, and up north to the Yampa– it can get pretty damn cold on the river!

With that said, please take off your gloves when handling trout. It doesn’t matter if its a Gore-tex, wool, or leather glove– it will strip the trout of its slime. If a trout’s slime is wiped away, which can happen anytime an angler touches it without wetting their hands first, it will become susceptible to any diseases that are in the river.

If you’re on the fence about whether a glove can cause damage or not please watch this quick 30 second video. I will continue to wear my elk skin gloves while fishing, as should you, but please take them off for your photos.

A big thanks to Denver Outfitter for sharing this video!


Ice Fishing Eleven Mile Reservoir

Ice fishing is by no means unique to Coloradans, but in a state full of outdoor enthusiasts, Old Man Winter and his blustery chills certainly has not hampered our desire to go rip lips. Over the last 15 years the sport has grown exponentially, to the point now that if you’re planning on hitting the hard-top on a weekend its best to be prepared to share the lake with a few dozen, if not hundreds, of your closest friends. With that in mind we’ll be discussing Eleven Mile Reservoir, which offers the chance to land a trout (or pike!) of a lifetime, but also is one of the most pressured ice fisheries in the state.

Ice fishing for many shore anglers represents the only opportunity to have an entire lake/reservoir at your disposal—unless you’re lucky enough to own a boat for the summer months. From mid-December until Easter (in some years), you are no longer confined to the skinny water between you and a long cast. This is why the sport has grown so much. Well, that and the fact that winter’s cold water in no way deters trout from playing the game!

ice fishing trout 1

Regardless of the year, the ice at Eleven Mile always has three distinct stages:

First Ice—This is the best time to take advantage of what ice fishing has to offer. In the week to two weeks leading up to Christmas is when we find trout to be in one of their most aggressive feeding moods, as well as the fact that this is the least amount of pressure they’ll see until spring.  Fishing this stage requires a certain amount of caution and it is imperative that anglers have a good understanding of where the ice originates. Ice always forms first over the shallowest water and continually progresses to the deepest parts of the lake until it is all capped.  The best advice for fishing during this time is that if you are not comfortable with it, stay off.  As a general rule of thumb, if you have 2 inches of solid hard ice it can support your body weight.

Mid-Winter—Think of this as the dog-days of ice fishing. Fish have now seen nearly every lure the sporting goods store has to offer, and as such the pure amount of pressure can make the actual catching very slow. They are still there to be had but this time of year on Eleven Mile is going to take a bit more time and energy.

Late Ice—Spring is coming and the fish know it. This is the most overlooked period of ice fishing for both trout and pike at Eleven Mile. This system holds a large population of Cutties and Rainbow trout, which both spawn in spring time, so with ice still on the lake you’ll begin to see them stage in the back bays and inlet of the reservoir. Pike are also in spawning mode this time of year and in many cases are staging near the inlet area as well. Best advice is to park at Sucker Cove and hole up near the inlet during this period. With that said, caution is in order. Spring brings warmer temperatures so err on the side of caution if the ice is starting to melt or you just have a bad feeling. If that’s the case, no worries, just bring the long rod along because the Dream Stream should be heating up around this time anyway!

Other advice to think about while conquering the giant reservoir:

As previously mentioned the inlet is the most fertile part of the lake and where you’ll find the most actively feeding fish, but this is no secret to the many competing anglers you’ll find out there. The best advice here is if the inlet area is too crowded pack up and leave for the far eastern section of the lake. You’ll still find a good amount of fish and a quarter of the crowds.

ice fishing trout 2

There are, and always will be, huge fish in this system but as we all know big fish did not get big by being dumb. This is especially true at Eleven Mile where the large trout are loners and can literally be anywhere at any given time. There is no golden rule to finding one of these piggies but based on their reclusive nature from too many jigs in the water, its best to leave the crowds behind and get the heck away from everyone else on the lake. Find a deep section of the lake, 25 feet and below, and fish the abyss!

Lowlight hours are key to ice fishing for trout. Your first 30 minutes on the ice in the morning can often be your most productive of the whole day. During this lowlight period its best to fish your jig anywhere between the 6-15 foot depth for actively feeding fish and as the day progresses, you’ll find they slip into deeper and deeper water.

Also, do not be afraid to move if you have not caught or spotted any trout in your hole.  Ice trolling can be extremely effective if you pack light gear and have a good partner willing to move around. By drilling 10-20 holes within a given area, granted the crowds have to be at a minimum, you’ll be able to fish a hole for 10 minutes and if you’re not getting any action can move on to the next hole. This process gives you fresh water to fish as well as the chance at finding untouched trout.

Of course all of this is a moot point unless you get out there and crack a hole in the ice! Get out there, stay warm, have fun and put a bend in that rod!