September in Colorado’s Gunnison Valley: The Taylor River

At Colorado Fly Fishing Reports, September is one of our favorite months to get out and fly fish.  The cool weather, great insect hatches and beautiful aspen leaves make September one spectacular month to fly fish the mountains of Colorado.  September means bugling bull elk and most importantly prolific hatches of blue winged olives.

rainbow trout

This weekend our travel plans take us to non-other than Colorado’s Gunnison Valley to fish one of the state’s most famous Colorado streams: the iconic Taylor River.  Top to bottom, the Taylor River has something for all anglers and fly fishing experience levels.  Just below the Taylor Reservoir resides the infamous “Hog Trough” also known as the “Catch and Release” section.  The Colorado Division of Wildlife introduced Mysis shrimp to the reservoir to feed populations of landlocked Kokanee Salmon.  Inadvertently, the Mysis shrimp made their way below the dam and into the “Hog Trough.”  Shrimp are extremely high in protein content and as a result the browns, rainbows and even the occasional brook trout have grown to gigantic proportions.  The fishing isn’t easy though as the water is gin clear and the fish receive a high amount of pressure during the summer.  Sight fishing without an indicator and fine 6x-7x tippet is the name of the game.  Productive fly patterns include: Mysis Shrimp (hook sizes 18-22), Zebra Midges (hook sizes 20-24), Barr’s Emergers (hook sizes 18-24) and WD-40s (hook sizes 20-24).

brown trout

If you are looking for a little more traditional western trout fishing experience then look no further than the Taylor through Taylor Canyon all the way down to the confluence with the Gunnison River in Almont, Colorado.  During the September blue winged olive hatches, fishing dry and dropper combos through the canyon’s pocket water can produce some very nice and wild brown and rainbow trout.  Our favorite fly patterns are the tried and true Parachute Adams in hook sizes 18-24.  For droppers our best results come from Barr’s Emergers and Pheasant Tails in hook sizes 18-24.

Night fishing is also a great way to hit this most productive Colorado tail water.  The fish are not as spooky under the darkness of night and can be easily targeted with a headlamp or spotlight.  The fish are not as tippet shy at night and can be pursued with heavier tippet than normal in the 3x to 4x range.

The Gunnison Valley is a wonderful place to fly fish Colorado with friends and family.  Before you go be sure and check out our latest Taylor River Fly Fishing Report.

Tight Lines,

Downtown Brown…Stay Fishy my Friends…

Mouse Fishing Mayhem!

September is finally here and the big brown trout are out to play.  Simply put, big trophy brown trout are players and sometimes in order to put a big trophy trout in the net the fly fisherman needs put away the tiny midge box and throw the meat!  Research shows that mice play an integral role in the diet of trout throughout the summer and fall months.  Mice are available to trout in a wide variety of rivers and streams but are most commonly utilized as forage items in meadow oxbow streams.

Brook Trout

Mice fall in the river frequently and when they do they create one heck of a meal for hungry trout.  A dead mouse allows a big brown trout the opportunity to acquire more protein in one big slurp than a typical day of feeding on regular aquatic insects.

Brook Trout & Mouse

As Colorado Fly Fisherman we can’t help but get excited when talking about big browns hitting mouse patterns right off the surface.  The sound and visual effects of a big trout rocketing to the surface with every intention of killing and eating a mouse makes for one of the most riveting and adrenaline filled takes in all of fly fishing.

Colorado is a great spot to land your first fish on a mouse pattern.  Rocky Mountain National Park and the Arkansas River both host some of the best populations of aggressive brown trout in the state.  So get out on the water and give it a try.  At Colorado Fly Fishing Reports our favorite time to fish mouse patterns is in the evening right after the sun has descended behind the mountains.  Usually the best results and mouse fishing takes come from downstream presentations and we have had the most success with a variety of deer haired mouse patterns.  Try swimming a mouse in your favorite trout run, the rewards could be huge!

Tight Lines,

Downtown Brown…Stay Fishy my Friends…

Red Raiding: Please Resist the Temptation

October is here and the brown trout inhabiting most of our Colorado fly fishing spots are spawning and dropping eggs.  This is a most crucial time for the future of our creeks, rivers, lakes and streams.  Most of us are guilty at some point in our fishing careers of ripping fish off reds or their spawning beds.  But this act should not go condoned; fish are on their spawning beds to insure the future of wild fish populations.

Colorado fly fishing lake

As ethical and conservation minded anglers it is our duty to recognize reds or spawning beds in the stream and to leave them alone!  Reds can be easily identified by shallow and light colored depressions in the stream, usually over gravel.  Active beds will usually feature one or two brown trout guarding the red and these fish are very territorial and not easily spooked.  Unfortunately, this behavioral characteristic makes spawning brown trout readily available to unethical anglers.  Catching fish off a spawning bed dramatically hurts future fish populations and fish actively using reds should be left alone.

Colorado girl fly fishing

The next time you and your friends come across a red, put the fly rod down and pull out the camera.  Instead of messing with something so pure and pristine, try sitting and observing the beauty of mother nature right in front of you…

Karma will take care of your angling pursuits.  Cheers to all of our ethical anglers and readers.

Tight Lines,

Lone Wulff McWade

Colorado Fly Fishing Weekend Update: Cheesman Canyon & Deckers

As I write the weather in Colorado is really shaping up for a nice late fall fly fishing season.  This weekend it looks like the weather will be sunny with a slight chance of clouds and temperatures ranging from fifty two to sixty six degrees.  As the Colorado weather slowly cools, so do the crowds on our local South Platte River; making Deckers and Cheesman Canyon the perfect destination to spend a weekend on the water.

Colorado Cheesman Canyon

Colorado’s South Platte is a technical river but new anglers need not be shied away from the stream.  On the famed stretch of Deckers and Cheesman Canyon sight fishing is the name of the game.  In order to catch fish you must first be able to see them, a good pair of polarized glasses is a must.  Occasionally on these stretches of the South Platte anglers do experience good dry fly fishing, but most of the time in order to catch fish dead drift nymph fishing is a must.

Deckers rainbow trout

The key to catching fish on the South Platte relies on your ability to present small tail water patterns like Thread Midges (hook sizes 20-24), Barr’s Emergers (hook sizes 20-24) and WD-40s or Emerger Style midges and mayflies in hook sizes 20-24.  A few points to remember when nymph fishing:

  1. Rig your indicator so that it is twice the depth of the water you are fishing.
  2. Use light tippet 4x-6x to avoid having your flies drag through the current.
  3. Make sure your flies are getting down to the fish!  Use your weights or putty to find the bottom of the river and fish up from there.
  4. Make sure you are slowing that drift down.  In order to present your flies at the same speed of the current, use a high stick presentation with all of your line off the water expect for your indicator.  Also, on longer casts you may need to use the tip of your rod to mend the line out of the fast current so that your indicator slows down.

Follow these tips and stay persistent and you might just find yourself posing with a trophy Cheesman Canyon rainbow this weekend!  Good luck, be safe and have fun.

Tight lines,

Lone Wulff McWade

Fly Fishing for Denver Colorado Carp!

It is mid-summer in Denver, Colorado and the sunny skies and warm weather have been great for carp fishing on the fly.  Most of the local reservoirs, lakes and ponds have cooled off and the carp are rarely seen in the shallows but Denver’s South Platte is still a great option for fly fisherman looking to feel the tug of a big fish!  Carp fishing is relatively simple in practice, but hooking these fish on the fly can be extremely challenging as carp require precise and accurate fly casting and are also eagerly spooked.

Try following these tips for more success fly fishing for carp:

  1. Use the buddy system – a good buddy will always help you catch and land more carp.  Sometimes it is helpful to get a spotter from a bridge to help the angler cast over fish that have been spotted.  Also, netting a big carp alone can be difficult; it is much easier to have a net man around.
  2. Invest in a quality pair of polarized sunglasses – a good pair of glass is invaluable when looking for carp in low light and dirty water.
  3. Bring the right rod and a quality reel – a good 5-7 weight will land carp but you must have a reel with a good drag system to stop the fish when they run.  Carp are very strong and make fast runs like bonefish!
  4. For terminal tackle 9’ leaders and 2x-3x tippet will have you covered.
  5. The beauty of fly fishing for carp is that they are everywhere!  Look for the slow and deep holes anywhere along Denver’s South Platte or take a walk around a local reservoir, lake or pond.
  6. Use trout tactics – on Denver’s South Platte carp will behave very similar to trout, stacking up in riffles and deeper runs while they sip bugs from the current.  Nymph fishing with indicators is a very productive way to get hook ups once fish are spotted.  Classic trout flies like San Juan Worms and Rubber Legged Hare’s Ears will do the job.
  7. Stay persistent – Carp fishing on the fly is hard!  A never give up attitude is a must when fly fishing for carp.

Hopefully these tips will help you land your next Carp or Rocky Mountain Bonefish!

Tight Lines,

Downtown Brown… “Stay fishy my friends…”



Fly Rods at a Premium Value: Winston’s GVX-Select

At Colorado Fly Fishing Reports we really appreciate fly rods at a great value.  Winston’s GVX-Select is one of our new favorites for a true class fly rod that doesn’t break the bank.  The GVX series utilizes the same taper design as Winston’s famed Boron rod series but the rods are made from graphite instead of boron.  The GVX rods are finished in traditional Winston green blanks and GVX-Select rods feature a new premium reel seat, Boron IIX-style grips, as well as a rod bag and green aluminum storage tube.  This is a true handmade Montana Winston fly rod that looks great on the rod rack and flat out preforms on the water.

Winston GVX

After testing these rods our favorite design is the nine foot four weight.  This rod is very hard to distinguish from the same boron model.  The only difference is this rod is just a little heavier (by a mere ounce) in the hand.  However, retailing for only $545 we think you might be able to forget about the added ounces because of all the cash left in your wallet should even things out.

Fly in fish mouth

The beauty of the GVX Select is the rod series ability to offer the fly fisherman a series of fly rod that is dynamic in casting ranges.  These rods will load for short casts at less than twenty feet and in the hands of an experienced stick the rods will throw an entire fly line.  Check out the GVX-Select today, we promise you will not be disappointed.

Tight Lines,

Downtown Brown…Stay Fishy my Friends…

Colorado Fly Fishing: Fishing Reports, Fly Fishing Gear, Fly Tying and More!

Green Drakes are everywhere and help shift attention from the mosquitos eating me alive.  But the juice is worth the squeeze as this Colorado headwater stream is full of wild brown trout that are angry and aggressive.  It is truly amazing how hard a wild twelve inch brown can fight; pound for pound there may be no better sport fish!  Around the next bend I spot a nice one sipping grasshoppers and ants from the foam line of the eddy.  This one isn’t twelve inches but maybe twenty plus…

Picture of Arkansas River, Colorado

A good fish nonetheless and my eyes work to spot my Drake pattern as it lands in the eddy.  Almost instantly the big brown opens his lips and sucks the Drake in.  I must be moving slow because I set the hook only to hear the sometimes all too familiar “Woosh” sound and watch my leader and dry fly pattern whiz past my face.  Missed him!  But the big brown is still there just a little spooked by feeling the prick of the Drake pattern.   Maybe a streamer will change this trout’s mind.  Quickly I re-rig to an articulated double bunny fly and carefully exit the river so I can sneak up on the fish and present the streamer from above using the streamside willows as camouflage.   Hopefully the big brown hasn’t seen me in my attempt to re-locate; I strip off a little line from the reel and let my bunny fly swing into the foam line.  BAM!  There he is and he’s on!  The fish, now with his huge back out of the water runs downstream and then as quick as it all started he’s gone…

Picture of guy holding fish in Cheesman Canyon

And that’s what Colorado Fly Fishing is all about!  We can’t tell you exactly where that big brown of a life time is but we will do our very best to put you on the right river at the right time with the best flies and fishing tactics.  Our Colorado Fly Fishing Reports are updated daily in real time with the most recent stream flows, weather conditions, insect hatches and hot fly patterns.  We also will keep you updated on the best fly fishing gear in the industry with reports from our Pro-Staff fly fishing guides.  Stay tuned for the most up to date Colorado fishing information, destination travel, fly fishing gear reports, fly tying and industry news.

Tight Lines,

The Great Catchsby

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

Office: (800) 882-4314

New For 2013: New Products hot off the press from Simms!

At Colorado Fly Fishing Reports we can’t say enough good things about Simms Fishing Products.  Simms has been leading the industry in waders, boots and fly fishing apparel for decades and their products only seem to improve in quality and design!

Guy fly fishing in Colorado
Fly Fishing will put you in some nasty weather and Simms Fishing Products will help keep you dry!

New for 2013, Simms has a whole new line of products and apparel for the discerning fly angler.  Simms has so many new offerings that it would be impossible to report on them all but we thought we would share some of our favorites…

For years, the Simms Windstopper Fleece has been the ultimate in cold weather layering technology and this year Simms has only improved with their new line of ADL Fleece jackets and vests.  Soft-shell cuffs, neck, and side panels help to increase durability and the lined collar makes for a much more comfortable design and also helps to keep in the heat.

Simms ADL fleece
Simms ADL fleece jacket

The new design features chest pockets with zip closures for fishing essentials like fly boxes and terminal tackle.  Simms has always been clutch at making perfectly placed hand warmer pockets and no doubt you will see many of today’s top fly fishing guides with their hands stuffed in these jackets and vests!

If we had one Christmas wish this year it might be for Simms Extreme Jacket.

Simms Extreme Jacket
Simms Extreme Jacket

This jacket will keep you warm be it a trip to Alaska or a frigid February morning on the Frying Pan or Dream Stream.  Features include:

  • Superior & highly compressible      insulation offers excellent warmth and weight ratios even when wet.
  • Insulated, 3-point cinch removable      storm hood & soft and flexible collar makes this jacket a great choice      for battling the elements of the wild or being the best dresses fly junkie      in town.
  • Full-length corrosion-resistant front      zip.  Simms has always made some of      the best zippers that will not corrode or get out of synch over time.

Simms is really starting to produce some fashionable apparel and clothing.

DeYoung t-shirt
DeYoung t-shirt

With graphics from legendary fly fishing artist Derek DeYoung, it’s hard to go wrong with Simms new line of t-shirts and hoodies.  Happy Shopping!

Tight Lines,

Laurence Fishbone