Mark Adams fooled this Tarryalle Creek Beauty with a Pine Squirrel Leech early last week. This fish moved several feet from underneath an undercut bank to crush his leech pattern. Make sure you have your fly boxes stocked with an ample supply of streamer patterns.
Tim Casey landed this huge rainbow today on a Trico Nymph. The South Platte trout were gobbling Trico nymphs when we arrived to the stream this a.m. Heck of a fish Tim...keep up the good work!
Marshall Montgomery shows off a beautiful brown trout that he fooled at Boxwood Gulch. Currently the North Fork of the South Platte is flowing at approximately 400 cfs.
The North Fork of the South Platte is fishing excellent! Conditions could not be better with 250 cfs of cold, clean water flowing from the Roberts Tunnel, combined with 140 cfs of natural flow. Anglers are catching a mixed bag of trout including rainbows, cut-bows, browns, brookies and the occasional tiger trout.
An assortment of bead heads, caddis, larvae (pupae), midges, mayfly nymphs, San Juan Worms, and leech patterns have been effective as of late. Streamers during the afternoon hours have been excellent producers as well. Denver Water is speculating that they will keep the Robert's Tunnel on until September 1, 2016. It will be shut off for a short duration for some repairs, then it should be turned back on. Of course, everything is subject to change--but for now things look extremely promising for all our private leases (Boxwood Gulch, Long Meadow, North Fork Ranch, and the Meadows) along the North Fork watershed.
This is a normal water year (if anything, a little on the dry side), so the chances are pretty good that the Roberts Tunnel will remain on (to meet downstream demand) throughout the winter. This is great news for anglers alike....
Bill Wegner fooled this beautiful South Platte brown trout yesterday with a PMD imitation. PMD hatches are intensifying by the day.
Anglers need to carry a thorough assortment of nymphs and dry flies to match the PMD hatch. As far as nymphs/emergers are concerned, I would recommend carrying #18 Barr's Emerger (PMD), #18 Mitchell's Split Case (I like the Baetis version best to match this hatch), #18 Flashback Pheasant Tail, and #18 Mercer's Trigger Nymph (PMD). These patterns should be fished mid-column.
During the peak of the hatch when the trout are keying on duns, I would recommend carrying #18 Mathew's Sparkle, #18 Cannon's Snowshoe Dun, #18 Barr's Vis-a-Dun, and #18 Stalcup's CDC Biot Comparadun. The best dry fly fishing has been on overcast days.
Matt Donahue fooled this stellar rainbow on a size 16 Graphic Caddis! The caddis hatches remain strong throughout the majority of the South Platte watershed!
Cheesman Dam continues to spill. There is approximately 275 cfs coming off the bottom valves, the Jet Valve is currently shut off, and there is approximately 100 cfs coming over the spillway. The water temperature coming off the bottom of the reservoir is approximately 47 degrees and the water coming over the spillway is approximately 60 degrees. After the two release points mix (the bottom valves and spillway), the water temperatures near the gauging station (flume) are in the mid 50's. Denver Water is closely managing the water temperatures below Cheesman Reservoir, trying to keep them between 50 and 60 degrees.
Looking ahead, anglers can expect to see reliable hatches of midges and caddis. Within the next week or so, look for pale morning duns, then in a couple weeks, look for Tricos. Caddis hatches have made it to the dam now that the water temperatures have reached the mid 50's. The fish were driving hard yesterday (July 5, 2016) on caddis pupae up near the dam. This is a sight to see! The fish are sweeping back and forth grabbing caddis pupae as they are drifting mid column.
Once the water comes off the spillway, Denver Water can opt to warm the water back up (because it will be back in the 40's) by turning on the Jet Valve. The Jet Valve is 60 feet below the the top of the Dam. Denver Water is doing an impeccable job of managing this incredible resource. My hat is off to Dave Bennett and his colleagues. Nice job everyone!
Pat Dorsey is an author and fly fishing guide. He is a co-owner of the Blue Quill Angler in Evergreen, Colorado.