The Best Time to Fly Fish the Upper Colorado River | Spring 2021 | Fly Fishing Colorado
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The Best Time to Fly Fish the Upper Colorado River | Spring 2021

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Spring still provides some ice fishing opportunities in Colorado, but the longer days and warmer temperatures have anglers in the state getting excited for some rising water levels.  The Upper Colorado River is a popular destination nearly year round for fly fishing.  Wondering how to prepare for your next fishing trip to the Upper Colorado?  We’ve got the answers as to what flies to use, the best time of day to fish, and the weather you can expect this spring.

Hatches | Upper Colorado River – Spring 2021

Midge Flies

Some of the top midge flies recommended in spring are zebra midge, smokejumper midge, top secret midge, and the renegade.  The zebra midge comes in black, olive, purple, and red. Their sizes range from #16-#24.  The smokejumper midge comes in black, red, grey, and olive.  They range in size from #16-#22.  The top-secret midge comes in black, red, olive, and grey.  They range in size from #18-#24.  The renegade comes in brown/white, grey/white, and black/grey. They range in size from #14-#18.


Blue Wing Olive

The top pick for mayflies in spring is the Blue Wing Olive.  They span in size from small #16 to medium #22.  They hatch from mid to late morning and mid to late afternoon.  Their stages range from numph, emergers, dries and are in multiple different areas at different stages.  The recommended patterns are the parachute BWO, Mercury Baetis, Improved Pheasant tail, Beadhead Pheasant Tail, Beadhead Flashback Pheasant Tail, and Paracute Adams.  The parachute BWO range in colors from olive, black, and purple. Their sizes range between #16-#22.

Mercury Baetis

The Mercury Baetis comes in olive, black, and purple. The sizes range from #18-#24.

Improved Pheasant Tail

The Improved Pheasant tail comes in brown and tan. Their sizes are #12-#18.

Beadhead Pheasant Tail

The Beadhead Pheasant Tail comes in brown, orange, and olive. They range from #12-#22.

Parachute Adams

The Parachute Adams comes in grey, brown, and olive.  The sizes range from #12-#24.

Spring Fishing Upper Colorado River

Weather on the Upper Colorado River – Spring 2021

Springtime is still cold in Colorado, especially in the mountains.  You are going to want to make sure you bring along a warm jacket, hat, snacks, a thermos full of coffee, wool socks, and gloves. For a little extra boost in warmth, pick up some hand and feet warmers from Walmart or your local fly-fishing shop. Another way to help keep warm is to prevent exposure as much as possible. You can do this by having multiple set-ups – AVA specialists recommend a nymph and streamer on different rods.  Fish are moving slowly during the winter and spring season, so you will not have to wake up at the break of dawn to catch anything.  Wait until the temperatures warm up around noon to increase your chances.  You will want to find areas in the water that are deeper where it is warmest. Remember to take the temperature and elevation into consideration when determining what time to fish.

Guided Fly Fishing Trips

Fly Fishing Colorado

Fly fishing in May with AVA is an unforgettable experience. You can customize your adventure by selecting either a 2-hour Walk & Wade or a 4-hour Float Fly Fishing trip on the Upper Colorado River. Each guest will receive 6 flies per person, the only thing you’ll need to bring along is a valid fishing license.  If you are a beginner, you can have a guide help teach you the basics – which flies to choose for which fish, proper casting and give you the scoop on the sweet spots where all the big ones are!  If you’re an advanced angler, you can take advantage of all the gear that goes along with this guided trip and not worrying about a thing for a day of fun on the river.

Call Fly Fishing Colorado today to book your late spring fly fishing excursion, or head out sooner and test your luck on this stretch of river!


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