Blue River

Angler pulls fish out of his net in the middle of the Blue River with forested background

14 Day Forecast:  Look for hatches of midges. Winter has arrived early in Summit County.

Effective Patterns: #18-20 Mercury Flashback Pheasant Tail, #20 Laney's Mysis, #20-22 Jujabaetis, #22 Stalcup's Baetis, #20-22 Mercury Midge, #20-22 Top Secret Midge, #20-22 Sparkle Wing RS 2, #20 Matt's Midge, #22 Griffith Gnat, and #20-24 Parachute Adams.


Blue River

Flow: 13 ft3/s
Temp: 19 °F
Wind: 11 MPH W
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Get Information for Fly Fishing on the Blue River Near Frisco, CO by Pat Dorsey

Many anglers I know have a love-hate relationship with the Blue River. Just about the time you think you have the river figured out, a humbling experience devastates your ego. The Blue River is a fantastic fishery and a favorite of mine. The Blue certainly is a beautiful as they come, and gives visiting anglers a real sense of Colorado. It’s a tough river at times, but a good challenge will always make you a better fly-fisherman. The water is extremely cold coming off the bottom of Lake Dillon. This cold water dictates and controls the feeding window of the trout. It’s not a great morning fishery, but as the water gradually warms up throughout the day, the fishing improves dramatically. The upper stretches of the Blue (from the base of the dam through Silverthorne) holds trophy trout, fattening up on Mysis Shrimp from the lake above. The water is gin clear requiring perfect presentations. Down stream the river changes back in a typical mountain trout stream with a diverse insect life. Several tributaries inter the river before it spills into Green Mountain Reservoir.

The river is  lined with cottonwood trees and willows and is tucked to the east of the beautiful Gore Range. Because the water is so cold the river fishes best from mid-day to dark. Anglers can expect to catch mostly brown trout, a hand full of cut-bows as well as a few rainbows and the river can be excellent with dry fly patterns later in the afternoons and evenings. The hatches include blue wing olives, caddis, red quills, green drakes, pmd’s, and stoneflies. The regulations are catch and release in Silverthorne and on the lower reaches the limit is two trout over 16 inches in length and is artificial flies and lures only.

Tips & Other Information:

Flows are well below their normal historic values. Dillon Reservoir is low, so expect for Denver Water to keep flows low all winter. In town, a Mysis pattern, red larva, dropped with and assortment of  mayfly nymphs are your best bet right now.  Fishing overall on the Blue River has been a disappointment as of late, as the number of trout are way down. Your best bet is to fish in town and sight fish to individual fish to increase your odds of hooking fish. Anglers who are blind fishing are not enjoying much success…

Pat Dorsey Fly Fishing