{% layout none %} {% if settings.favicon %} {% endif %} {% include 'social-meta-tags' %} {{ content_for_header }} {% include 'assets' %} {% include 'boost-pfs-style' %} {% include 'sca-quick-view-init' %} Trouts Fly Fishing | Trouts Denver Forecast | March 18th Edition {% section 'announcement' %} {% section 'header' %}
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Trouts Journal

Trouts Denver Forecast | March 18th Edition

Tanner Smith / Mar 18, 2021

We thought spring had arrived and then just like that we got two feet or more of snow across the Front Range. The good news is snow this time of the year doesn’t really stick around for long and temperatures look to be bouncing back over the next 10 days. There are still a few days forecasted with snow, but that shouldn’t deter you much from getting out if you have the chance. Fishing should begin to heat up across the state over the next few weeks so take advantage of those opportunities to get out of the house.

Here are a few places within shouting distance of the Front Range that could be worth a stop...

DECKERS/CHEESMAN CANYON:

I know, real big surprise here. While winter has been fairly tough through these stretches this winter with the lower flows and stretches of extreme cold, that should only improve from here on out. Flows currently remain pretty low, but with the heat up in weather it will make more of the stretch worth the time. Bugs are starting to become more active as well. Midges and BWOs will still be the main course meals. However, you can now get away with sizing up. Put away the size 24-26s and run rigs with 18-20s. Stoneflies and Caddis will also be pretty viable lead fly options especially as we move into April. Also, don’t be surprised if you find yourself in the middle of a BWO hatch giving you a great opportunity to throw some dry flies.

Patterns to have:

Midges
- Black Beauty #18-22, Mercury Bead Black Beauty #18-22, Neon Nightmare Orange #18-20, Massacre Midge #18-20, JuJubee Midge - Variety of Colors in #18-20, Medallion Midge #18-22.

Baetis
- JuJu Baetis #18-22, WD-40 #18-20, Foam Wing Emerger #18-22, Extended Body BWO #18-22, Comparadun BWO #18-20.

Others to Have
- Buckskin #16-18, Soft Hackle PT #16-18, Mayers Mini Leech

11-MILE CANYON:

Flows here look pretty solid at the moment. Similar to Deckers, 11-Mile can be a great spring option. Just like at other tailwaters on the South Platte, the canyon should start to come alive with the warmer weather. This presents you with a lot of really solid opportunities over the next few weeks. Take advantage of the clear water and use sight fishing to your advantage. Also, be sure to scan flats and look for risers. There is a bunch of water that gets overlooked here because it isn’t ideal nymph rig water. This will give you some space if you are up to hunt for a few noses or fishing feeding in the flats. Lower stretches should also become more viable options as well giving you plenty of water to escape the crowds that tend to congregate up top.

Patterns to Have:

Midge and BWO patterns are very similar to Deckers/Cheesman bugs.

Others to have - Mercury PT #18-22, Manhattan Midge #18-22, Pat’s Rubber Legs #12-14

DREAM STREAM:

It’s tough to mention fishing along the Front Range in March without mentioning the Dream Stream. Yes there will be a few lake run fish on the lower stretches, but don’t expect huge numbers. I wouldn’t count out the middle and top sections this time of the year. If you have been keeping eyes on flows you will see that they have been up for two days then back down the next two. This will make the upper stretches more consistent because they aren’t as reliant on lake run fish moving in and out. Fish up top will be a little more fickle for that reason so plan accordingly. A good combo of Midge, BWO and smaller attractor patterns will be a good place to start. Again, the Midge/Baetis game will mimic other tailwaters on the South Platte.

Patterns to Have:

Midge and BWO patterns are very similar to Deckers/Cheesman bugs.

Others to have - Rainbow Warriors #18-20, Hares Ears #16-20, Guide’s Choice Hares Ear #16-20

Sleeper Picks - Clear Creek and Bear Creek:

I understand that there might still be some ice and off color water with the recent snow melt, but don’t count them out. Keep an eye on flows and if you see them regulate go check them out. Keep rigs simple here. Run a dry dropper rig, I like to use a big puffy dry fly that I can see well. Don’t expect a ton of eats on the dry, but using them as your indicator on this smaller water will give you better drifts. Run two droppers below that dry mixing in a bigger attractor like a Guide’s Choice Hares Ear or Bigger PT. Below those run your standard Midge/Baetis nymphs. Zebra Midges and JuJu Baetis are solid options.

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