Spring fly fishing in Colorado can be the most intimidating time to get a line a wet and get out there. Water quality can be a little questionable with run-off in full effect, and there is always worry of overcrowding as most of the local outfitters will be stacking their trips in very specific river sections. These sections include the Dream Stream, Upper Blue, and 11-Mile Canyon, as they are dam released sections with lower flows and clearer water.
Spring Fly Fishing Locations
If you are looking for self-guided walk and wades, we can recommend hunting for water above Spinney Reservoir on the South Platte, Jurassic Park on the Blue River, Muddy Creek below Wolford Reservoir, and the section of the Arkansas River below Leadville as they are smaller waters away from the crowds. If you are not afraid to explore the state; head north to Walden to check out Delaney Lakes, venture south to explore the Piedra River east of Durango, or try a local’s early season favorite: the Upper White River near Meeker.
Where to Fish Once You’re There
When looking for hungry brook and cutthroat trout in the backcountry, be careful to avoid north facing slopes, lakes with heavy woodland surrounding the lakes, and those above 7,000 feet in elevation. These specifications can sound daunting, but if you end up making the wrong selection you may end up with soggy boots, iced over water, and sore feet. Once on the water, the task of actually catching a fish can seem more challenging than choosing the right water to fish. You will be battling clouded water from snow melt, fast currents from run off, iced over still water, and the worst of them all other anglers since options are limited. Although this sounds challenging, it can be very rewarding knowing you beat the odds and found your trophy.
What to Use for Spring Fly Fishing
This is also the season to get a little funky, don’t be afraid to throw big and bright streamers such as chartreuse sz 2 Meat Whistle, four-inch Peanut Envies, and heavy Sparkle Minnows. Don’t be afraid to trick out your nymphs as well, bedazzle them with flash backs or choose some brighter color patterns such as Hot Wire Copper Johns, wine colored Pat’s Rubber Legs and the classic RS-2 with some flash. While on the rivers the waters will be a bit clouded and the current a little faster than normal, feel free to put 7x tippets away and go up to 16lb floro on those streamers and 3x – 5x on your nymph rigs. You don’t want to lose your fish when they jump into faster current and with the clarity not being the best it shouldn’t spook you targeted fish. If the weather is still below freezing don’t forget to add a little-little bit of chapstick on your guides to avoid icing over and ending your day short.
The most important thing to keep in mind while spring fishing is make sure you have a good time, stay warm, and keep those lines tight… Stone Fly season is right around the corner! Looking for a guided fishing tour? Call Fly Fishing Colorado today to schedule your adventure!
*Featured image courtesy of Ripple Creek Lodge.