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Trouts Journal

Trip Report - Float Fishing the Colorado River

Ivan Orsic / Jul 11, 2014

Flows were on the fall from roughly 3,000 cfs to around 2,500 cfs, with a majority of the drop coming from decreased releases from Green Mountain and Williams Fork Reservoirs. The water was clear, the bugs were popping all day, and the trout were as happy and healthy as I've seen in years. It's apparent that the last couple years of good flows have produced a healthy and vibrant trout population on our states namesake river.

We focused our efforts on the floats down stream of State Bridge, where the rafting enthusiasts tend to avoid, and the trout often congregate. Day one took us from State Bridge to Two Bridges, a mellow 4-mile float with great bank lines and ideal runs for fishing from a boat. The fishing was less than ideal, but I'm going to take a majority of the blame as I was dead set on fishing dry flies when the trout seemed to have a different idea of what they wanted to eat. Other boats on the water that day had good results fishing short-line nymph rigs, in addition to banging streamers against the banks.

Day two took us on a longer float from Two-Bridges to Catamount, one of my favorite floats on the Colorado River. With lessons learned from the previous day, I conceded defeat, put the dry flies away, and went to a tried and true 3 fly short-line nymph rig. It didn't take long for the change to prove productive, as brown trout after brown trout seemed unable to resist the offering on the end of my wife’s line. Stoneflies, Golden Stones, PMD's and Caddis all were produced good results sub-surface. Toward the end of the day we went back to a dry-fly rig, and had good action with a solitary Royal Stimulator against the bank. Had the wind not picked up significantly, we probably would have had an epic end to a great day on the water.

In the end spending two days with my wife and baby to be was an experience I won’t soon forget. It’s fair to say that I was very pleased to get a few good shots of my wife, nearly 9 months pregnant, with trout and baby on-board; great additions to the walls of our baby’s new nursery.

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