colorado

Taylor Creek Fly Shop: Roaring Fork

Mile Marker 9

Last week some of the staff from The Flyfisher Group were fortunate enough to float 14 miles of the Roaring Fork with Taylor Creek Fly Shop. Kyle Holt, Gifford Maytham and myself were the men behind the Oars as we floated from Carbondale to West Bank. The weather couldn’t have been better for late October, it was sunny and 70 degrees for most of the day without much wind. Cody and Ethan were in my boat and chose to strip streamers for the entire float, which probably wasn’t the most effective technique but it worked well enough to keep us interested. Small and black was the hot streamer pattern although white and light grey patterns also moved some fish in the shallow tail outs. Things really slowed down after lunch and thoughts of bobber fishing were passed around but the anglers in my boat stuck it out to the bitter end with streamers. The fish of the day in my boat was a stout 17-18″ Rainbow Trout that Ethan landed shortly after the circle jerk hole. Pictures were taken and high fives were awarded.

Roaring Fork Rainbow Trout

It was nice to float with a great crew of friends and anglers. Every time we passed each other we would holler and make sly comments regarding the others angling skills. The yeti was even spotted for a brief moment in the back of Kyle’s boat but the warm weather quickly had him vanish in search of cooler temps.

Sasquatch Roaring Fork 2

Taylor Creek is a great fly shop based out of Basalt Colorado and have some amazing veteran guides. Next time you are in the Aspen area be sure to look them up for a fly fishing trip on the Frying Pan or Roaring Fork River.

Colorado Fly Fishing Outlook

Choosing where to fish this weekend is a tough call. Fly Fishing around Colorado seems to be great everywhere so picking one spot is going to come down to personal preference. The Brown Trout on the Dream Stream section of the South Platte River have come in and are being targeted heavily by many anglers. This is a good time to hook a very large lake run fish but you will be also fighting large crowds. If you have never been to the Dream Stream this is a good time to see some amazing lake run Brown Trout in this small meandering stream. Be prepared to change your flies often and share elbow room with other anglers.

South Boulder Creek Fly Fishing

With the big fish drawing a lot attention many other South Platte hot spots are seeing less traffic and fishing very well. Reports on 11 mile as well as Cheesman Canyon are good with fish eating BWO’s, midges and streamers.  Fish are still eating off the surface in these areas but are getting picky on what they will take. Nymphing the faster water with prospecting nymphs trailed by a midge or BWO emerger is working well when fish are not keyed in on the surface. The Browns are spawning so give them some space if you see them paired up on their redds.

midging

Colorado Fly Fishing Report

Colorado Cutthroat

The only leaves left on the trees are the really tough ones that have a good grip. Thats right peak foliage is over and the temps have dropped into the 20’s at night here in the Mountains. I hate to say it but old man winter is knocking on the door. So what does this mean for our fishing tactics? I would be prepared for making several fly changes until you find the right one. Midges are now becoming a solid food source and the BWO’s are getting a little smaller. Keep your eyes to the water and see what is floating down the river. Best bet is midges in the morning then switch to BWO’s in the afternoon. The upper Colorado River is reporting a good BWO hatch mid day with fish hanging tight to the bank and looking up. The Roaring Fork is fishing well from top to bottom with fish eating large prospecting nymphs in faster water and small BWO’s/ PMD’s in slow deep runs. Both of these rivers are at excellent levels for both wade and float fishing. If you haven’t hopped in a boat yet this year now is a good time to do it. The Dream Stream is getting some lake run fish moving in as well as the crowds. I would anticipate a good number of anglers on the Dream Stream this weekend looking for Trophy Brown Trout. Mind the redds if you choose to fish this drainage and bring your beads. Nymphing with an egg midge combo is getting the bobber to shake.

Rainbow trout Release Colorado

The weather for this weekend looks warm all around the state, with temps in the 60-70’s in the high country and 80’s in the city. Be prepared to get cold if you come to the high country. Temps are not reaching their high until well after 12 noon and dropping as soon as the sun starts to dip behind the hills. Get out and enjoy our last stretch of fall.

Butter Bean

ButterBEan_NY

This is the time of year in Colorado when your chances of finding a large Brown Trout increase significantly. Large Brown Trout are like mystical creatures, they exist but not many people see them. Kind of like Big Foot. So this fall we are traveling around and fishing multiple rivers searching for the Butter Bean. We have been hunting hard for this fish and hopefully we will find him/her within the next month or so. We are in prime season for finding one of these mystical beasts so with a little luck and the right streamer, success should shine upon us. Tomorrow we hunt the Colorado River for a two footer but I must admit the cards are stacked against us. The Colorado River doesn’t hold large Butter Beans you say? This photo from the DOW proves you wrong Mr. This fish was shocked at a very popular boat ramp on the Upper C and has been feasting on white fish, stone flies and out of state rafters. Make sure to check in with us as the search for the Butter Bean continues through November of 2014.

Colorado DOW Brown Trout Shocked

October Fly Fishing: Colorado

Keep your eyes on water temps as we head in to the weekend. We have a weather system moving in that is “supposed” to bring rain/snow and drop temps. I have noticed that these fronts bring great fishing prior to their arrival and then fishing dies just as it arrives. If the weather cools down drastically I would expect the fishing to do the same. Freestone rivers like the Eagle and Roaring Fork tend to have a slow spell when the weather changes.

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Tailwaters have been seeing less pressure so if you are hitting the water this weekend try a river like the Taylor, South Platte or Frying Pan. I was on the Taylor Last weekend and the fishing was excellent. Plenty of bugs are still hatching and fish were rising sporadically. Bring plenty of midges wherever you choose to go. Cooler temps will have trout focusing on Midges and smaller BWO imitations. Small pheasant tails, miracle midges, blood red midge and ju ju bee are all great tailwater patterns to have in your arsenal. Expect fly fishing reports around Colorado to remain good through the month of October.

miraclemidge

Taylor River Report: Colorado

Cottonwood Pass

We spent last weekend in Crested Butte as a last minute getaway and in between family time I snuck in a couple hours on the Taylor River. The weather was perfect for Taylor River standards, for a place that can be brutally cold and windy, the sun was bright and the wind was variable. There were some anglers in the parking lot and others filtered in as the day prolonged but most of them stayed above the bridge sight fishing for the bright red sides. Personally I enjoy fishing the faster water below the bridge, this allows me to get away from the crowds and also allows me to fish a little heavier tippet. I started off with a small olive sculpzilla and moved it through the deep pockets hoping for a big brown to charge out and inhale the small green streamer but there was no response. There was a sporadic blue wing olive hatch with some midges mixed in so I snipped off the streamer rig and set up a bobber. Refusing to tie on 2 micro flies I opted for an Olive Pats Rubber Leg as my lead fly and trailed a gray RS2 off the back. To my surprise the first fish I landed was on the Pats. For a river that is known for fishing micro flies it was refreshing to land a nice Rainbow Trout on a big ugly Rubber Leg. I have found that constantly changing your flies plays a big role in success when fishing heavily pressured Tailwaters. As my fishing time came to an end I had changed flies several times and had success nearly every time I switched my flies. My top flies were; Olive Pats Rubber Leg, Olive Ju Ju Baetis, Peach Bead, Gray RS2 and Brown Pheasant Tail.

Taylor River Rainbow Trout

This is a great time of year to be on the Taylor River, the flows are hovering around 100 CFS which is a great wading level. The Brown Trout are starting their spawn so fishing eggs is an effective way to trick opportunistic Rainbows lined up behind spawning beds. An egg is also a good underwater indicator in clear water. If you head to the Taylor in the next week or two don’t be afraid to go big with some of your nymphs, you might be pleasantly surprised.

October: Fly Fishing Report

Blue_River_BT

Winter has made an entrance dropping the temps as well as some snow in the high country. This has cooled things off and made fishing tough for the past few days. Temps are supposed to rise over the next few days and get back into the 60’s by Saturday. These warmer temps will quickly melt the low lying snow and could turn some rivers off color. Keep that in mind as you choose where to fish over the weekend. Fly Fishing Reports around Colorado have been good, with many of our drainages seeing BWO, PMD and Midge Hatches. With the cooler morning temps I would focus on the slower deep pools until the water warms up and you start to see some surface activity. Moving streamers, as you know, is also a good prospecting technique if nymphing is not doing the trick. The Brown Trout are getting very aggressive and some have started to pair up for the fall spawn, so mind your step. The crowds in the ski towns like Vail, Aspen and Steamboat have vanished and it is a great time to get cheap deals at local hotels and restaurants. With the cheaper “shoulder season” prices it is a good time to visit one of these ski town areas and fish the water that surrounds them. The Yampa in Steamboat is fishing well top to bottom, with fish keyed in on Streamers and BWO’s. The same goes for the Roaring Fork Valley and Vail Valley. Blue Wings are dominating the scene but with these chilly temps do not forget your midges.

Big_Park_CO

Weekend Forecast: Colorado Fly Fishing

Ipinch the barb

f you are planning on getting on the water this weekend, you can pretty much pick a spot and go. Fishing reports around the state have all been good with a lot of aggressive brown trout fattening up before the spawn. The Eagle River has been producing some large fish on Streamers, we did a float on the lower Eagle this week and white Sculpzillas, Olive Circus Peanuts and Tequeely were the hot flies. This was a boney float and I would not recommend it to anyone who has not floated the Eagle before.  The upper and lower Colorado are in great shape for wading and floating. BWO’s and Red Quills have been hatching in good numbers but fish seem to be staying on the bottom feeding on Nymphs. Red Copper Johns and Barr’s Emergers have been taking fish below the bobber. Moving Streamers off the banks is also producing some good Browns. The warmer temps have been sticking around and are forecasted to stay here through the weekend. Get out and enjoy before things make a change. Good fly patterns to carry would be; Barr’s Emerger, Ju Ju Baetis, RS2, Copper Johns, Micro May, Sculpzilla, Slump Buster, Autumn Splendor and Parachute Adams. Get out and enjoy fly fishing amongst the fall colors.

Circus Peanut Fly

Fall Nymphing: Fly Selection

As badly as I want summer to stick around the leaves are starting to fall and I know the white stuff will soon cover our state. The Brown Trout are starting to move into spawning lies and the blue wings are dominating the hatch scene on many of our drainages. For me this means tightening up on my nymphing skills and working on my hooksets with smaller sub surface nymph patterns. I have noticed on my last couple outings that my nymphing game has gotten a little sloppy and my hook to land ratio is not what it once was. That will improve as nymphing becomes the most productive way to get the net wet over the next few weeks, but right I am rusty.

Maco_BT

Now is the time to start finding autumn fly patterns that you have confidence in and putting them in the box. I know streamers are a great way to find big aggressive fish but it is not always the most effective technique. In fact streamer fishing can sometimes be downright brutal. Lately the bobber has been putting more fish in the net than my beloved technique of stripping chicken feathers. So I am asking for your top three go to nymph patterns for the fall. Lately all I have needed is a JuJu Baetis but I know that will soon be off the menu. So for now here are my top three fall nymph patterns.

 

1- Olive Micro May – This is a great all around fly for both spring and fall. The bead head is perfect as a lead fly in a two or three fly set up. It is also great for a dropper when fish are feeding just under the surface.

micromay

2- Gray Flashback RS2 – i like to call it the Rizzdee because RS2 is too difficult for me to say. This is a great pattern for fish that are keyed in on smaller emerging BWO’s. I like to fish it light and on swing. Try to carry them both with and without a glass bead head.

rs2

3 – JuJu Baetis – This is another nymph pattern that will carry you through most of the year. Simple tie that just looks buggy and hooks a ton of fish. I like to use this as the trailing fly in my nymph set up.

jujubaetis

 

Ok I know that these are not super secret patterns and i am sure that you have a bunch in your box. What is working for you?

Eagle River Colorado: Fly Fishing Report

Eagle River Brown Trout Fall_14

I had a couple hours to kill yesterday so I wadered up and hopped in the Eagle River near Edwards, Colorado. The sun was high and there were no clouds so I figured finding a bunch of rising fish was not in the cards. I stripped streamers until 12:30 and had a bunch of chasers and even had a few pinned up for a second. Most of the fish were in the shallow riffles and deeper pockets.  Like clockwork the BWO hatch starting pouring off around 12:30 bringing a few sporadic risers I out down the streamer pole and hunted risers for a bit. With the low clear water the fish were easily spooked and before I could present a bug to them they were down. I walked down stream to a deeper run and crossed over to the dark side. My set up was simple, white bobber, one small shot, a flashback RS2 trailed by a JuJu Baetis. This was the only thing I needed for the rest of my session. The fish were slamming the JuJu and ignored the RS2. The best fish landed was the one pictured here. It wasn’t a giant butter bean but he was gorgeous and perfectly proportionate. Fall is in full swing get out there before the dreaded snow flies.

Eagle River_Brown-Trout Underwater