Pat Dorsey’s Fishing Report: Colorado River

Fishing the Colorado River should be on everyone’s bucket list. Whether you’re a walk/wade fisherman or prefer float-fishing, this river has it all!

Current Conditions:

Flows: 414 cfs Parshall and 735 near Kremmling

Clarity: Fair

Water Temperature:  Low to mid 40’s

Hatches: Midges, sporadic blue-winged olives, and a caddis or two

14 Day Forecast: Look for the onset of spring run-off.  Clarity will change based on warm weather trends. Look for hatches of midges, blue-winged olives and sporadic caddis.

Tips and Other Information: The Colorado River is fishing fair to good in the Parshall area, especially for trout in the 8-12 inch range.  The numbers have been decent, but the majority of the fish are between 8-14 inches. Anglers can expect to see sporadic hatches of midges, with the densest hatches mid day.  It’s hard to go wrong with egg-midge combos this time of year.  Some of my favorites include: Mercury Midges, Top Secrets, Black Beauties, and red Larva trailed off a Hot Tail Flash Egg. The water is off-colored, but that can become a distinct advantage at times. Don’t be afraid to throw a Pat’s Rubber Legs as your lead fly and trail some flashy midges behind it. It the clarity deteriorates, fish with Chamois Leeches, Pink San Juan Worms and other brightly-colored flies. The clarity will change based on warm weather trends.

Effective Patterns:  #18 Hot Tailflash Egg, #8 Pat’s Rubber Legs, #14 Pink Worm, #10 Chamois Leech, #18-20 Buckskin, #20-22 Sparkle Wing RS 2, #20-22 Mercury Pheasant Tail, #20-22 Mercury Midge, #22 Minute Midge, #22-24 Sparkle Dun, #24-26 Parachute Adams, and #22-24 Griffith Gnat.

Fishing Report: Williams Fork River

The Williams Fork is one of the prettiest places on the planet.  This stretch is proof that trout don’t live in ugly places.

Current Conditions

Flow:  100 cfs

Clarity: Good

Water Temperature:  Low to mid 40’s

Hatches: Midges, sporadic blue-winged olives and a caddis or two

14 Day Forecast:  Look for low flows and technical fishing. Anglers can expect to see reliable hatches of midges and a blue-winged olive or two. Target the traditional winter lies (slow, deep pools) where you’ll find the largest concentration of fish.  The water is cold, and the trout are still favoring the slower water.

Tips and Other Information:  Fishing is fair to good on the Williams Fork. The bulk of the catch however is small fish. We are seeing lots of fish in the 6-10 inch range, a mixed bag of small bows and browns.  Thats not to say you won’t catch some nice rainbows, and the occasional brown over 14 inches, because you will. There are a few rainbows in the 14-18 inch range that have been willing to cooperate lately. Anglers should prepare for reliable hatches of midges with the occasional riser in the slower pools and tailouts.  Look for the blue-winged olive hatch to intensify in the days to come. Currently it is sporadic.

Effective Patterns:   #18-20 Buckskin, #20-22 Mercury Midge #22-24 Sparkle Wing RS 2, #20-22 Mercury Pheasant Tail, #18 Hot Tail Flash Egg, #22-24 Sparkle Dun, #22-24 Griffith Gnat, and #24-26 Parachute Adams

Fishing Report: North Fork of the South Platte River

Trophy trout await you on Boxwood, Long Meadow, North Fork Ranch, or the Meadows on the North Fork of the South Platte.  

Current Conditions:

Flows: 116 cfs

Clarity: Fair to Good. Geneva Creek is adding some color on warm days

Water Temperature: Low to mid 40’s

Hatches: Midges and winter stoneflies

14 Day Forecast: Look for low flows and technical fishing. Anglers can expect to see sporadic hatches of midges and a few winter stoneflies. Clarity and water levels will change based on warm weather trends.

Tips and Other Information:  Fishing along the North Fork of the South Platte has been good the past few days.  Anglers are fooling trout with an assortment of small bead heads, midges, and egg patterns. Look for flows to remain in the 75-125 cfs range for the remainder of the winter season.

Effective Patterns:  #18 Hot Tail Flash Eggs, #18 Black Pheasant Tail, #20-22 Bead Head Flashback Black Beauties, #20-22 Pearl Jams, #20-22 Rainbow Warriors, and #20-22 red midge larva.

Fishing Report: Elevenmile Canyon – South Platte River

Elevenmile Canyon is known for its superb dry fly fishing. The Trico hatch is one of many that anglers should concentrate their efforts on.  Mark Adams

Current Conditions

Flow: 78 cfs

Clarity: Exellent

Water Temperature: Low to mid 40’s

Hatches: Midges and blue-winged olives

14 Day Forecast: Look for good hatches of midges and blue-winged olives. ​

Tips and Other Information: Fishing has been good in Elevenmile Canyon.  Anglers should prepare themselves for a good midge-bite in the a.m. followed by a nice blue-winged olive hatch in the afternoon. Stock your fly boxes with plenty of midge pupa and Baetis nymphs. The fish are moving back into the riffles and feeding hard.  As far as the surface feeders are concerned, its hard to go wrong with a size 24-26 Parachute Adams for the midges and a size 20 Mathew’s Sparkle Dun for imitating the “olives”.

Effective Patterns:  #20-22 Sparkle Wing RS 2, #20-22 Mercury Pheasant Tail,  #20-22 Rainbow Warriors,  #20-24 Chocolate Foam Wing Emerger,  #20-22 Jujubaetis, #20-22 Mercury Midge, #22-24 Mercury Flashback RS II, #20-26 Parachute Adams, #22-24 Barr’s Visa Dun, #22-24 Mathew’s Sparkle Dun, #22-24 Cannon’s Snowshoe Dun, and #22-24 Hi Vis Baetisand #24-26 Parachute Adams.

Fishing Report: Deckers – South Platte River

Deckers is a world-renowned stretch of the South Platte River. There are miles of public water to fish in and around the hamlet of Deckers.

Current Conditions

Flow: 145 cfs, Trumbull

Clarity:  Good

Water Temperature: Low to mid 40’s

Hatches: Midges and blue-winged olives

14 Day Forecast:  Look for good hatches of midges and blue-winged olives.

Tips and Other Information:  Fishing in and around the Deckers area has been productive as of late, despite the up and down flows.  Denver Water continues to hold back water in an effort to fill Cheesman Reservoir.  Look for flows to remain between 75-125 cfs for another couple weeks.  Currently the lake is still 4,000 acre feet from the top (about 95% full).  My guess is Cheesman Dam will spill normally during the first part of May.  The “big” spring midge is a major factor right now with regard to matching the hatch. The fish are responding to them nicely!   A size 18 Bead Head Black Beauty or Medallion Midge is the perfect imposter for these large midges. Don’t forget about the small midges…they are still extremely important too!  In the a.m., concentrate your efforts in the deeper runs and slower pools where you’ll find the highest concentrations of fish.  Your best bet is dead drifting midge pupa mid-column. Look for a nice blue-winged olive hatch each afternoon between 1 and 3 p.m. Overcast days provide the best dry fly fishing. Regardless of the conditions, sub-surface fishing in the afternoon is good with an assortment of Baetis nymphs.

Effective Patterns:   #22-24 Top Secret Midge, #24 Black Beauty, #24 Minute Midge, #18 Hot Tail Flash Egg, #20-24 Chocolate Foam Wing Emerger, #20-22 Jujubaetis, #22 Stalcup’s Baetis, #20-22 Mercury Midge, #20-22 Mercury Flashback RS II, #20-22 Sparkle Wing RS 2, #22 Sparkle Dun, #22-24 Cannon’s Snowshoe Dun, #22-24 Barr’s Visa Dun (BW0) and #24 Parashute Adams.

Pat Dorsey’s Fishing Report – Cheesman Canyon – South Platte River

Cheesman Canyon is one of the best tailwaters in the country. There’s a common belief among “canyon regulars” that if you can catch fish on the South Platte River, you can fool fish anywhere in the world. There’s no substitution for good technique in Cheesman Canyon.

Current Conditions 

Flow: 118 cfs

Clarity: Excellent

Water Temperature: Low to mid 40’s

Hatches: Midges and blue-winged olives

14 Day Forecast:  Look for good hatches of midges and blue-winged olives. ​

Tips and Other Information:  Denver Water continues to hold back water in an effort to fill Cheesman Reservoir.  Look for flows to remain between 75-125 cfs for another couple weeks.  Currently the lake is still 4,000 acre feet from the top (about 95% full).  My guess is Cheesman Dam will spill normally during the first part of May. For the meantime, my recomendation is to concentrate your efforts in the transitional zones that drop off into the deeper runs.   In the a.m., flies of choice have been #22 Mercury Midges, #24 Black Beauties, and #24 Top Secret Midges. When you visually see the “big” spring midge coming off, adjust your tactics and techniques to match the hatch. A  size 18 pupa trailed by smaller pupa is what I recommend. Make sure you drift your pupa mid column! Look for a nice blue-winged olive hatch each afternoon between 1 and 3 p.m. Overcast days provide the best dry fly fishing. Regardless of the conditions, sub-surface fishing in the afternoon is good with an assortment of Baetis nymphs.

Effective Patterns: #22-24 Top Secret Midge, #20-24 Chocolate Foam Wing Emerger, #20-22 Jujubaetis, #22 Stalcup’s Baetis, #20-22 Mercury Midge, #20-22 Mercury Flashback RS II, #20-22 Sparkle Wing RS 2, #18 Hot Tail Flash Egg, #22-24 Sparkle Dun, #22-24 Cannon’s Snowshoe Dun, #22-24 Barr’s Visa Dun (BW0) and #24 Parachute Adams.

Fishing Report: Spinney Mountain – Charlie Meyers State Wildlife Area

The Charlie Meyers State Wildlife Area (commonly called the Spinney Mountain Ranch or Dream Stream) is a classic meandering, meadow stream. Anglers have the opportunity to catch rainbows, cut-bows, cutthroats, and brown trout when they fish this fabled stretch of water. 

Current Conditions 

Flow: 98 cfs

Clarity: Excellent

Water Temperature:  Low to mid 40’s

Hatches: Midges

14 Day Forecast: Look for low flows and technical fishing until Spinney Reservoir fills.

Tips and Other Information:  Flows were bumped two days ago which is great news!  Anglers willing to work hard and cover water are catching a decent number 8-16 inch rainbows, cut-bows, and the occasional brown.  There are a still plenty of lake-run fish in the system. Make sure you pinch your barbs and watch your step in the shallow riffles to avoid stepping on redds. Crowds are extremely heavy, so plan accordingly. There are plenty of opportunities to catch trout with surface offerings in the slower pools and tailouts. It’s hard to go wrong with a size 24-26 Matt’s Midge or Parachute Adams to fool these “risers”.

Effective Patterns: # 20 Manhattan Midge, #18 Micro Egg, #18-22 Mercury Pheasant Tails, #18-20 Buckskins, #20-22 Barr Emergers, #20-22 Jujubaetis,  #20-22 Flashback Black Beauty, #20-22 Minute Midge, #20-22 Tube Midge, #20-22 Chironoflash, #20-22 Mercury Blood Midge, #20-22 Foam Wing Chocolate Emerger , #20-26 Parachute Adams, #18 Griffith Gnat, and #20-22 Matt’s Midge

Fishing Report: Blue River

Current Conditions

Flow: 81 cfs Silverthorne

Clarity: Excellent

Water Temperature: Low to mid 40’s

Hatches: Midges

14 Day Forecast:  Look for low flows and technical fishing. Anglers can expect to see sporadic hatches of midges. Target the traditional winter lies (slow, deep pools) where you’ll find the largest concentration of fish.  The best fishing is between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Tips and Other Information:  Considering the time of year, conditions are ideal in the town of Silverthorne, and fishing has been good. Anglers can expect to see sporadic hatches of midges with the occasional riser in the slower pools and tailouts.  In addition to the trout eating midge larva and pupa; Mysis Shrimp imitations are fooling a decent number of fish.  A red larvae or a Mysis pattern trailed with darker pupa has been an effective rig as of late. Its hard to go wrong with a size 26 Parachute Adams to fool the trout feeding on adult midges.
 
Effective Patterns:    #20-22 Mercury Flashback Pheasant Tail, #20 Laney’s Mysis, #22-24 Mercury Black Beauty, #22 Red Midge Larva, #20-24 Brassie, #22-24 WD 40, #18 Hot Tail Flash Egg, #24-26 Parachute Adams, and #22 Matt’s MidgeBlue Quill Angler’s veteran guides who frequently visit many of these streams on a daily basis guiding their clients.  We have guides on the South Platte, Blue, Colorado, William’s Fork and North Fork several times a week. This incredible network allows you to share their successful tips, and techniques as well as keeping you informed on effective fly patterns.

Fishing Report: Colorado River

Current Conditions:

Flows: 414 cfs Parshall and 735 near Kremmling

Clarity: Fair

Water Temperature:  Low to mid 40’s

Hatches: Midges, sporadic blue-winged olives, and a caddis or two

14 Day Forecast: Look for the onset of spring run-off.  Clarity will change based on warm weather trends. Look for hatches of midges, blue-winged olives and sporadic caddis.

Tips and Other Information: The Colorado River is fishing fair to good in the Parshall area, especially for trout in the 8-12 inch range.  The numbers have been decent, but the majority of the fish are between 8-14 inches. Anglers can expect to see sporadic hatches of midges, with the densest hatches mid day.  It’s hard to go wrong with egg-midge combos this time of year.  Some of my favorites include: Mercury Midges, Top Secrets, Black Beauties, and red Larva trailed off a Hot Tail Flash Egg. The water is off-colored, but that can become a distinct advantage at times. Don’t be afraid to throw a Pat’s Rubber Legs as your lead fly and trail some flashy midges behind it. It the clarity deteriorates, fish with Chamois Leeches, Pink San Juan Worms and other brightly-colored flies. The clarity will change based on warm weather trends.

Effective Patterns:  #18 Hot Tailflash Egg, #8 Pat’s Rubber Legs, #14 Pink Worm, #10 Chamois Leech, #18-20 Buckskin, #20-22 Sparkle Wing RS 2, #20-22 Mercury Pheasant Tail, #20-22 Mercury Midge, #22 Minute Midge, #22-24 Sparkle Dun, #24-26 Parachute Adams, and #22-24 Griffith Gnat.

Fishing Report: Williams Fork River

Current Conditions

Flow:  100 cfs

Clarity: Good

Water Temperature:  Low to mid 40’s

Hatches: Midges, sporadic blue-winged olives and a caddis or two

14 Day Forecast:  Look for low flows and technical fishing. Anglers can expect to see reliable hatches of midges and a blue-winged olive or two. Target the traditional winter lies (slow, deep pools) where you’ll find the largest concentration of fish.  The water is cold, and the trout are still favoring the slower water.

Tips and Other Information:  Fishing is fair to good on the Williams Fork. The bulk of the catch however is small fish. We are seeing lots of fish in the 6-10 inch range, a mixed bag of small bows and browns.  Thats not to say you won’t catch some nice rainbows, and the occasional brown over 14 inches, because you will. There are a few rainbows in the 14-18 inch range that have been willing to cooperate lately. Anglers should prepare for reliable hatches of midges with the occasional riser in the slower pools and tailouts.  Look for the blue-winged olive hatch to intensify in the days to come. Currently it is sporadic.

Effective Patterns:   #18-20 Buckskin, #20-22 Mercury Midge #22-24 Sparkle Wing RS 2, #20-22 Mercury Pheasant Tail, #18 Hot Tail Flash Egg, #22-24 Sparkle Dun, #22-24 Griffith Gnat, and #24-26 Parachute Adams