Few things are more rewarding for an angler than having a lake (or at the very least, a fishing hole) all to themself. There is something magical about cruising across glass-smooth water and seeing nothing but a tree-lined shore, the occasional bird, and an orange sun glimmering on the morning water. Life doesn’t get any better.
But let’s face it, we don’t always get that experience. Far more often, you’re fishing on crowded lakes, trying to find a spot for yourself without encroaching on other anglers. Some days, especially the weekends, it seems impossible to have a successful catch without bumping into your fellow boaters.
What’s an angler to do? With these tips, you can have a great day on the water no matter how many boats are crowding the lake or people in the river.
Time of Year: For many fishermen seasonal hatches are what they have their calendars marked for months in advance. Different famous rivers have different hatches throughout the season that fishermen live for. The most famous hatch on the Upper Colorado and in the world is the Salmon Fly Hatch. This hatch happens early June for a few weeks. Salmon flies are a large species of the stonefly, normally found in cold, clean western rivers. The stonefly nymphs take three years to mature into adult flies. They are always available as a food source to trout as nymphs but more so in May and early June.
Conditions: The way the river is flowing is very important while fishing for the best fish in the river. While the rivers rely on the snow run off in the summer, this can make the rivers blown out and hard to fish. Finding those little yetis along the river side are the best with the fish hiding behind those big rocks. High alpine lakes are going to be the best options when the river is blown out and people are to lazy to hike to these beautiful locations.
Best Water to Fish: In states like Montana and Washington, fishermen are usually allowed to walk along a river’s waterline even if the surrounding land is private property. Not so in Colorado, where landowners own the shore and the earth under the river, too. Anglers and rafters can float navigable waters in a boat, but they can’t touch bottom. The Upper Colorado starts up near Granby and ends after the Rancho Del Rio stretch near Avon. Browns and Rainbows dominate this section of the Colorado and they are almost all quality fish! This stretch of river has made my top 3 list because of the quality of water and how you can get away from the crowds on a busy river. On this river, it is impossible to throw a bad drift. The water all looks so good it is difficult to throw your fly somewhere you wouldn’t expect a fish to hold. You can also catch a lot of fish on a variety of big flies.
Using these few tips to help you stay away from the crowds this summer and winter. So pack your lunch grab your rod, and net and get out on the water. If you are looking for a guided fly trip, contact us at Fly Fishing Colorado!