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Colorado River

Closeup of hand holding large trout just above the water in the Colorado River

14 Day Forecast: Look for sporadic hatches of midges. Prepare for low flows and technical fishing.

Effective Patterns: #20-24 Medallion Midge, #20-22 Mercury Midge, #22 Jujubee Midge, #22 Minute Midge, #22 Tube Midge, #22-24 Black Beauty, #20-22 Red Larva, #20-22 Manhattan Midge, #20-26 Top Secret Midge, #22-24 Chocolate Foam Wing Emerger, #18 Hot Tail Flash Egg, #20-24 Griffith Gnat, #22-24 Matt's Midge, #22-26 Parachute Adams.

Measurements

Colorado River – Near Kremmling

Flow: 546 ft3/s
Temp: 27 °F
Wind: 16 MPH N
Details

Colorado River – Below Glenwood Springs

Flow: 1640 ft3/s
Temp: 18 °F
Wind: 11 MPH SW
Details

Colorado River – Near Dotsero

Flow: 993 ft3/s
Temp: 30 °F
Wind: N/A W
Details

Colorado River – Below Corral Creek

Flow: 993 ft3/s
Temp: 27 °F
Wind: 16 MPH N
Details

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Stream Report, Effective Patterns, & Expert Information for Fly Fishing the Colorado River

The Colorado River begins its journey in Rocky Mountain National Park and heads west offering anglers several opportunities to sample this great stream. Near the small community of Granby is the confluence of the Fraser River. At this point the river is a meandering, meadow stream flowing through lush ranchland and the river remains this way until it hit Byers Canyon. Byers Canyon is only about 3/4 mile long and this section is tough to negotiate, especially during higher flows. Below Byers Canyon the river is “as good as it gets” with many access points including Paul Gilbert, Lone Buck, Kemp-Breeze, Sun Set Ranch, Powers Unit, Reeder Creek and the Pump House to Radium stretch. The Colorado is lined with cottonwood trees and willows and is a dry fly paradise. Anglers can expect to catch a mixed bag of both browns and rainbows. The regulations in this area are flies and lures only and all fish must be returned to the water immediately.

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 something for everyone!

Tips & Other Information:

The best stretch to fish the Colorado River during the winter is below the confluence of the Williams Fork down to the first bridge. Anglers should prepare themselves for sporadic hatches of midges and look for the occasional fish eating adults in the slower runs, deeper pools, and tailouts.  The Parshall Hole is a great place to look for rising fish during the winter that are keying on midge-adults. Nymphing with midge larvae and pupae is your best bet right now, however.   Target the transitional zones that funnel into the deeper runs and pools.  The best fishing is between 11:00 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the water warms up a few degrees.

Pat Dorsey Fly Fishing