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Can you fly fish in Colorado in the Spring?

Man Fishing

By: Tiffany Greenhill

It’s spring time and the anglers are all extremely anxious for some warmer weather for fly fishing, but is spring in Colorado a good time to actually go fly fishing?

Spring is a great time to start off the fly fishing season

As the temperatures start to rise slightly in the Spring, we are excited to get rid of our cabin fever, but we may not notice a huge difference in temperatures. But, for those fish, those slightly higher temperatures are the difference between being extremely lethargic and being extremely active.

Colorado Fly Fishing

Eggs start Hatching

  1. This is the time of the year when the mayfly larva become active.
  2. The spring BWO (blue winged olive) start to hatch.
  3. Stoneflies begin hatching too.

Fish Start Spawning

This is also the time of the year when the rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and the cut-bow trout spawn.

In the weeks before the spawning begins, the trout eat a lot to replenish from a long winter and to ensure that they reach their sexual peak.

During Spring, do not fish spawning fish

While it seems exciting to fish actively spawning fish on “reds” it can obstruct the reproductive cycle of the trout and it could bad effects on future fish populations.

Be Careful not to Disturb any Eggs

More times than not the “reds” can be found together in one area on the river, angler should be extra careful as to not disturb or crush any of the eggs. A few months after the trout spawn, they begin to start feeding again to recuperate and gain back the weight and energy they shelled put.

Spring is a great time for anglers to catch some big fish as they will not be as picky about food as they are at other times of the year.

Hot Spots for Spring Fly Fishing in Colorado

Colorado has plenty of great spots for fly fishing, but these are some of the hot spots for spring fly fishing.

Yampa River

If you happen to be near Steamboat Springs the Yampa River is going to be your best bet with so many hot spots including the Stagecoach Reservoir. The Frying Pan and Roaring Folks River offer downright contrasting waterways that produce awesome spring fishing as the trout begin fattening up for their spawn.

The South Platte River

The South Platte River is a spring time hot spot for a lot of anglers, the South Platte River has a ton of reservoirs and tailwaters to choose from. These areas create big trout and the springs is the best time to catch some giant trout.

The Gunnison River

The Gunnison River in south Colorado offer some outstanding fish, the tailwaters of the Taylor are known for huge fish and further downstream you can find trout that are more cooperative, especially for the beginner anglers.

The Colorado River

The Colorado River and the Williams Fork section of the Colorado River at times have amazing spring fishing. On cloudy days the BWO’s and midge hatches will have the trout biting like crazy, especially on cloudy days.

Great spring fishing is just around the corner here in the high country, so those of you that need to wet your whistle and get out there, those are going to be some great options and for those of you that have tried and still haven’t gotten it down don’t fret, once summer hits it is going to be a great time to go as well and be sure to check out www.flyfishingcolorado.net for some awesome boat and wading trips.


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