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Trouts Journal

The Deadly Half Dozen

Ivan Orsic / May 12, 2015

There's alot happening around the state of Colorado right now. In most rivers you're going to find higher than average flows, and most likely, off color water. Tailwaters will definitely be your most consistent source of clear water, however this is still not a guarantee either. The good news is trout have to eat for a living and that means they're still going to be catchable through these less than ideal conditions. In fact, while many rivers may not contain the postcard perfect, crystal clear water you're used to, the fishing can be pretty incredible right now. Another bonus of this time of year is that you usually don't have to get too technical with fly selection. I got to thinking about it and I feel confident that you could take only 6 different fly patterns with you and go to ANY river in the state of Colorado and catch fish. And while I wish I could take the next month, drive all over the state and prove this fact, I guess I'll just have to settle for listing them out. So without further adieu, here are my top 6 flies right now that will be catching fish all over the state.

1. Biot Epoxy Stone - Dark - This Stonefly imitation has quickly become a go \-to of mine. Buggy, lifelike, and a great lead fly with your nymph rigs, this fly flat out catches fish. I'd fish this anywhere truthfully, however I'd definitely be fishing this if I was headed to the Rio, S. Platte, Colorado, Roaring Fork, Eagle, White or Arkansas. Buy Now


2. San Juan Worm- If you don't fish San Juan worms in Colorado, your making things hard on yourself. While they're by no means the end all, be all answer to every fishing situation, if you don't spend at least a little time frequently fishing this fly- particularly when the rivers are high- you're missing out. I'd be fishing the worm in the exact same places I'd fish the Biot Epoxy Stone, as well as any other place the water is a little high/off color. Many people go with the standard San Juan Red, but Orange and Pink have better visibility in off-color water. Buy Now

3. Juju Baetis- This pattern has proven itself time and time again to be a fish catching machine. I like the purple ones in particular. While Baetis can be found in most every river in the state, places like Cheesman Canyon, the Dream Stream, Blue River or Yampa. Depending on the watershed, anything from a size 16-22 will get the job done. Buy Now

4. Two-Bit Hooker- All smirks at this fly's name aside, the two-bit hooker has definitely earned its keep in my fly box over the past year. I typically fish the dark olive color. A size 14 or 16 works great to mimic a some of the larger mayfly nymphs that can found on freestone rivers. The profile is great on this fly and the two beads used really help get it down into the zone. I'd fish this anywhere the visibility was halfway decent and the flows were up such as Cheesman, the Arkansas, the Yampa or Poudre. Buy Now

5. rs2- Just like a San Juan Worm, I'm never heading to the river without a few of these on hand. The rs2 has been around for a while now and for good reason. I use this fly everywhere but places like the Blue River, Taylor, Frying Pan and other clear water fishery where the fish might want a little more finessing. Buy Now

6. Juju Midge- Just like it's baetis brethren, the Juju Midge is another fly I feel every angler in Colorado should be carrying. This fly shines in technical situations and I'd be fishing this in any clear tailwater I'd fish an rs2. An Olive color in larger sizes can even be taken as a baetis as well. Buy Now

Thanks again for tuning into the blog and good luck on the water! Embrace the high water and make it happen out there! Check back in next week as we'll keep the high water conversation going with a post titled 'Making The Most Out Of Runoff".

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