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Trouts Journal

Trouts Frisco Forecast | March 18th Edition

Zeke Hersh / Mar 18, 2021

Welcome to the Trouts Frisco/Mountain Forecast!

You might not feel like spring is coming with all this snow we just encountered. Not only for the high country but even more for the Front Range. But I can assure you that I am seeing spring starting to show itself. Many of the rivers have freed themselves from their ice, temperatures are warming enough to melt new snow in lower-lying areas and fish have been consistently feeding on our open rivers. My excitement for the spring and the summer to come is starting to rise. The next few months are some of my favorites here in Colorado. One day you can be skiing deep powder, the next fly fishing, and then the next mountain biking, rock climbing, or some other kind of fun outdoor activity that Colorado has to offer. So, get out there in the next few weeks!

A few places I think about visiting this time of year:

The Blue River North of Silverthorne:

The Blue has opened up in most places north of Silverthorne. This is a great time of year to check this water out. Look for deeper slower holes where fish will have wintered and can be stacked up in. As the ice breaks free on Green Mountain Reservoir keep an eye out for rainbows moving up into the river system. This is a great time of year to hike the public access points, find those deeper holes and runs and experience the Blue River in a potentially quieter time.

The South Platte River below Spinney Mountain Reservoir (The Charlie Meyers State Wildlife Area):


The next couple of months can be rewarding fishing on the “Dream Stream” with rainbows, cutbows and cutthroat moving up out of Eleven Mile Reservoir to look for their spawning grounds. This can bring fresh fish out of the reservoir almost daily. Watch out to not be wading across redds and please don’t fish to trout on their reds. Please give them a rest and let them do their thing! Look for staging fish in the deeper holes and the resident browns patrolling the waters for sources of protein.

The Arkansas River from Buena Vista to Canon City:

In the weeks to come more and more water is opening up and starting to fish well on the Arkansas. There is so much public water on this river, which means so much exploring to do. Fish are still stacked in the deeper holes, but the last time I fished it, there were a few fish moving up into the riffles and into the shallower water on the edges. On the cloudy days don’t forget about the possibility of running into a blue-winged olive hatch.

The Colorado at Parshall below the Williams Fork confluence:


If you read the last report on this section you might remember me mentioning some crazy midge hatches. Well the next couple weeks are usually when this happens. Look for a warming weather trend and get to this section and see if you can find the large midges hatching. If you don’t find them, don’t worry the nymph fishing can be quite spectacular and look for rainbows on the move in the Colorado and up into the Williams Fork.

The Wild Card*- The Colorado River from Kremmling to Dotsero:


Not so much a “Wild Card” but you may not be thinking about this section. Much of the river has freed of ice and the fishing has been good. The fish are stacked up in their winter holding water. Think about targeting the slow and deeper holes and runs. There are also options open to float, but make sure you know before you go, as there can still be ice dams on some sections. Give us a call for updates or you can always call the shuttle services for more information as well.

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Flies:

Pat’s Rubber Legs

Ivan mentioned this in his last report with a ton of information on what stoneflies are doing with their molt this time of year. That guy is a wealth of knowledge! So not only for the knowledge he’s dropping but also that this is a favorite of mine to start fishing this time of year. Definitely have some Pat’s Rubber Legs in your box!

Wired Stone

Yup, two stoneflies are making the list this time. I know Tanner and Ivan might be wondering is this really Zeke writing this blog piece. But, yeah, it’s me and yeah this is the time of year to start throwing these larger pieces of protein. This fly looks super realistic, sinks fast and comes in a wide variety of sizes.

Flash Tail Egg

If you watched “Five Flies for March” you might have seen that - I’m the egg man. Well here’s an egg again! The last fishing day I had, the fish were so keyed in on a pink egg, it literally was the only fly I was using. With rainbows spawning and a great attractor pattern, this fly should be well stocked in your box for the months to come.

San Juan Worm

I guess in this piece I am on a freestone kick. If I am fishing freestones this time of year, all these flies in this report will probably get the nod at some time during the day. The San Juan Worm is a great pattern to have in your fly box this time year for many reasons. It's a big source of protein, with the potential of off-color waters this fly in its bright colors can be very visible and attract attention and then who doesn’t like spaghetti and meatballs if you’re fishing a flashtail egg too.

Flashback Pheasant Tail

A classic pattern for a classic time of year. The basic flashback pheasant tail fishes great for me in the spring and fall when the blue-winged olive nymphs are moving about. Sure, there are other good patterns that will fish well during these times. But the trusty flashback PT always gets the job done.

Flows:

The Blue River below Dillon Reservoir- 57.4 CFS

The South Platte River above Eleven Mile Reservoir- 54.7 CFS

The Arkansas River at Salida- 233 CFS

The William Fork below Williams Fork Reservoir- 86.3 CFS

The Gunnison River at Delta- 62.6 CFS

The Colorado River at Catamount- 494 CFS

The Colorado River at Dotsero- 777 CFS

Weather:

The weather for the next ten days looks to be trending towards spring. We will start the forecast with some nice and warm days with temperatures in the forties and fifties. Then as we get towards the weekend, we will see the next storm hit the high country and stay around for three or four days with highs in the thirties and forties. Then it looks to start warming up again as we wrap up the ten-day outlook. While snow is still in the picture, the temperatures look to be quite comfortable from a fishing standpoint. Get out and enjoy some time on the water!

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