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Trouts Journal

Trouts Frisco Forecast | November 2021 Edition

Zeke Hersh / Nov 15, 2021

Welcome to the Trouts Monthly Frisco/Mountain Forecast!

The time change has hit us, and so has a little winter weather. The reality is we have had some lovely weather, and this has made for some fantastic fall and early winter fly fishing. Everything from excellent wade fishing and dry fly fishing days to amazing float fishing with great streamer bites. In the next month, expect to see some colder temperatures and limitations on fishing, but I hope some great fishing continues. We sure can use some snow as we prepare for the ski season, and hopefully, we will start stacking up the snowpack for the summer to come. These snowy days can also offer some surprising fishing, so don't let a snow day keep you inside.

The South Platte below Spinney Mountain Reservoir:

AKA the "Dream Stream." The month of November has brought me some good fishing memories of fishing this section. You still might run into a few blue-winged olive hatches, you might also see some Kokanee Salmon in the river, and the nymphing and streamer fishing can be pretty productive.

The Blue above Dillon Reservoir:

There are a couple of public spots as you head from Dillon Reservoir to Breckenridge. The most known area is the "Stairsteps" in the Breckenridge area. This section can fish quite well all winter long, with a few springs supplying warmer water to the river system. You could see some midge hatches, the nymph and streamer fishing can be productive, and word is Kokanee Salmon have moved up from Dillon, all the way to the "Stairsteps."

The Arkansas River from Buena Vista CaƱon City:

This section is still not moving from the list, purely on how good it fishes all winter long. Then add in the warmer temperatures you can experience in the valley and not to mention the mountain biking that can still be had. You might even stop over at one of the many hot springs resorts in the area. As for the fishing, you still might run into a blue-winged olive hatch, but look for nymphing to be the most productive technique in the weeks to come.

The Colorado below Glenwood Springs:

We are nearing the end of what most people think of as float fishing season. However, you can float these lower stretches deep into the winter, if not all winter long. With some warmer temperatures still hanging around, right now could be a great time to put the boat in for one more float. You can still catch some fish on long dry fly dropper setups, but look to move to nymphing as the fish move deeper with colder temperatures. You might also still see a few blue-winged olive hatches and midge hatches. And never forget your streamer box as the streamer bite can also last most of the year.

The Wild Card*- The Roaring Fork below Basalt to Glenwood Springs:

I am adding the "Wild Card" to this report. While the Roaring Fork might not be a wild card on some people's lists. This is a great time to get there in the late fall and early winter. There are still some great chances to see some blue-winged olive hatches in the next few weeks, and the nymphing and streamer fishing has been quite good and should continue for some time.

Best Flies To Use This Winter

Kreelex Minnow

This sparse streamer pattern is a favorite in my streamer box. This fly is easy to cast but still sinks well with its skimpy dressing. With its flash, this fly just attracts fish and is easy to get moving. All the colors work great and put fish to the net.

Parachute Adams

Going back to the basics! This fly should always be in your dry fly box in many different sizes. Being an attractor pattern, this fly can look like so many other insects in its various sizes. For the next few months, think of the smaller sizes to represent blue-winged olives and midges.

Jigged Tungsten CDC Tailwater Sowbug

This is a great searching pattern and can look like many different food offerings for the trout in the months to come. This fly sinks well with the tungsten jig, and the CDC adds some life to attract the fish. If you haven't fished this pattern, I highly recommend checking this one out.

Tungsten Zebra Midge

This pattern can be year-round, but I feel the winter months are when this pattern really shines. I like to fish this pattern in its larger sizes in the winter months as an attractor pattern. I might also fish one of its smaller versions on the same setup. This is a great pattern to have in your fly box in many sizes and colors.

Umpqua Mighty Midge

As we get into winter, we have to start thinking about fishing midge patterns. The Mighty Midge is a favorite with its two-tone color, tied in two color variations, and the fly is incredibly durable. This is a must for your fly box for the months to come


It has been a remarkably nice fall for fishing. We have been having some of the usual early-season snowstorms, but with good periods of warmups. This pattern looks to continue in the weeks to come. As we usher out this last cold front, the temperatures will warm up nicely again, then the following week, we will have another cold front move through Colorado. This is a great time to get out fishing during those warming trends.

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