Colorado River

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

14 Day Forecast: Look for  hatches of midges, blue-winged olives, Tricos, and red quills.

Effective Patterns: #16 San Juan Worm, #18-20 Buckskin, #20-22 Sparkle Wing RS 2, #20 Rainbow Warrior,  #20-22 Mercury Midge, #18-20 Mercury Flashback Pheasant Tail, #18 Hot Tail Flash Egg, #20-22 Chocolate Foam  Wing Emerger,  #16-20 Parachute Adams, #24 Stalcup's CDC Biot Trico Comparadun, #16-18 Ak's Red Quill, #20-22 Matt's Midge, and #20-22 Mathew's Sparkle Dun.

Measurements

Colorado River – Near Kremmling

Flow: 562 ft3/s
Temp: 27 °F
Wind: N/A
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Colorado River – Below Glenwood Springs

Flow: 1560 ft3/s
Temp: 28 °F
Wind: 6 MPH SW
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Colorado River – Near Dotsero

Flow: 903 ft3/s
Temp: 32 °F
Wind: N/A
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Colorado River – Below Corral Creek

Flow: 903 ft3/s
Temp: 27 °F
Wind: N/A
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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:

Flows are getting low on the Colorado River, especially near Parshall (134 cfs).  If you pick and choose your spots however, anglers are still catching plenty of nice fish despite the low water.  Anglers should prepare themselves for hatches of midges, blue winged olives, red quills, and Tricos. Egg midge (Baetis nymph) combos are an excellent strategy right now. If you look for them, you’ll find plenty of rising fish in the slower pools and tailouts.

Pat Dorsey Fly Fishing