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Colorado River Fishing Report

Upper Colorado Has Been a Little Tricky

Report Date: November 2 2016

We are finally starting to see some cloudy afternoons and that’s just what the Doctor ordered. The trout doctor that is. The Upper Colorado has been a little tricky with the low water and indicator rigs have been the most productive way to get after the fish mid day. Small back and red midges behind a Stonefly is a solid rig just make sure you are playing with your depth a little as the day Read More


Prince Nymphs, Flash Back Pheasant Tails, RS2, PMDs, Pink SJ Worms, Olive Slump Buster, White Sex Dungeon, Peacock PMX, Chubby, Tricos


Midges, Tricos, BWO


Pump house, Radium, Rancho Del Rio, State Bridge
Bear creek Clear Creek exceptional fishing


River Levels


scattered clouds
humidity: 59%
wind: 6mph SW
H 26 • L 26
Weather from OpenWeatherMap



Colorado River Fishing Report Fly Fishing Guide

The techniques and methods used for successful fly fishing on the Colorado depend on what section of the river is being fished, as the size of the stream and the type of water vary considerably from the headwaters to the western state line. Be sure to check the flows before you head out.

The upper river inside the Rocky Mountains National Park starts as a small stream in the Kawuneechee Valley. The stream is accessible at many points inside and outside the park as it flows about fifteen miles to Shadow Mountain Lake. This is a good section for beginners to fish, as there are many shallow riffles with some deep undercut banks where plenty of rainbow, browns and brook trout love to hide.

The Colorado becomes larger near Grandby where it is joined by the Fraser River. There is a small impoundment here, collecting water from both the Fraser and the Colorado, which is then transported to the east slope trough the Big Thompson Project. There is Gold Medal water water available from Windy Gap to the confluence of Troublesome Creek.

The middle part area of the Colorado, paralleling US Highway #40 below Grandby to Kremmling flows through private ranch land except for Byers Canyon near Hot Sulphur Springs. The Blue River joins the Colorado near Kremmling, increasing the size and speed of the river as it flows through Gore Canyon. Minturn Anglers has access here to five miles of private water on the Colorado and a couple of miles on the Blue River at the Elktrout Lodge. Call for information on package deals that include lodging.

With the exception of spring runoff in the first couple weeks of July, float the mostly private lands in the downstream end of Gore Canyon to Dotsero. The river is mostly too rough to fish below Dotsero as the river moves into Glenwood Canyon. However, by the time the Colorado reaches Glenwood Springs and the large valley here, it is again large and deep, with the Roaring Fork River adding to its flow.

Colorado River Fishing Report FISHING REPORT ARCHIVE

Bear creek Clear Creek exceptional fishing

Upper Colorado Has Been a Little Tricky

We are finally starting to see some cloudy afternoons and that’s just what the Doctor ordered. The trout doctor that is. The Upper Colorado has been a little tricky with the low water and indicator rigs have been the most productive way to get after the fish mid day. Small back and red midges behind a Stonefly is a solid rig just make sure you are playing with your depth a little as the day Read More

Pump House Colorado River

Monsoon Rains

Recent rain fall has the Colorado River from Pump House down turing off color. Clarity fluctuates day to day but do not be surprised if you see a muddy river when you cross State Bridge. The current conditions are tough but fish are still being caught daily. Nymphing slow deep water with large flashy nymphs has been the best technique. Pats Rubber Leg, Pink SJ Worms, Prince Formerly are excellent lead flies. Trail smaller Soft Read More

Colorado River Float Trips

August Fly Fishing

The Upper Colorado from Pumphouse down has been getting a lot of pressure lately but the fishing remains good despite the amount of traffic. To avoid the heat and the heavy boat traffic get on the water EARLY. We are seeing Tricos, PMDS and Midges flying around earlier in the day with fish eating on the surface in the slower slicks along the banks. Hopper Dropper has been working well on overcast days as well Read More

Brown Trout Pump House

Summer Fishing Conditions

Flows on the Colorado have dropped significantly making fishing a little more difficult. There is a lot of green algae on the rocks so be sure to check your flies constantly. “Fish do not eat salad with their ice cream.” Despite the lower water levels we are still catching fish. Sunken Tricos, Red Spinners and Golden Stones have been getting attention under an indicator. We are finding more fish in the faster oxygenated water so Read More

Brown Trout Colorado River

Bug Smorgishborg

The Colorado River continues to fish great from Pump House to State Bridge. Flows have dropped and water clarity is about 3-4 feet. Yellow Sallies, Caddis, PMDs, Red Quills and Green Drakes are all flying around giving us a variety of flies to choose from. Despite all the bug life we are not seeing a ton of fish rising. For better results try nymphing or stripping streamers. Nymphing all water types has been putting a lot of Read More

Colorado River Brown Trout

Colorado River: Still Rocking

Fly Fishing on the Upper Colorado remains rock solid. Fish seem to be eating everything we are presenting to them. Streamers, nymphs and dries if you want to throw it chances are they will eat it. Olive, Black and Yellow streamers have been moving a lot of fish. Keep them tight to the bank and vary your stripping speed. Pump House to Radium has been especially good streamer fishing. If you are floating look for the Read More

Pumphouse Brown Trout Colorado River

Colorado Pump To Radium

The Upper Colorado continues to fish well from Pumphouse to Rancho. Flows have come down and are currently at 2500 CFS in Kremling with great clarity. PMD’s, Caddis, Yellow Sallies and Red Quills are all on the menu on the Upper C. Nymphing soft seams and shallow riffles has been producing good numbers of fish. If the bobber is not your thing try throwing streamers. Chuck them close to the bank and pull them off. We are Read More

Brown Trout Colorado River

Colorado River: Fly Fishing Conditions

The Upper Colorado River is fishing great with a lot of bugs hatching. We have been seeing Yellow Sallies, Caddis, Blue Wings and Red Quills on the sruface. Current flows are 3450 CFS and clarity has improved significantly. Dry dropper along the banks have been taking a few fish but nymphing slower seams and back eddies has been doing the most damage. Pats Rubber Leg tailed by  Golden Stones, Red Copper Johns, Flash Back Barrs Read More

Colorado River Brown Trout

Colorado River: High Water Fishing Conditions

Flows have bumped up to 4400 CFS in Kremling slowing down the fishing on the Upper Colorado River. Despite the higher flows we are still finding some fish along the softer edges. The Salmonfly Hatch is still rolling but do not expect to catch fish after fish on Adult Salmonfly imitations. If the fish are not looking at your Dry Fly offering try a Stonefly dropper (Pats Rubber Leg, 20 incher) off your Dry and see what Read More

Colorado River Adult Salmonfly

Salmonflies Are Here: Upper Colorado River

The Salmonflies are here. Thats right the big bugs are crawling around and can be seen in decent numbers hanging from Cedar Trees and Alders.  Flows have dropped to 2500 cfs on the Upper Colorado River allowing for good wading and floating  opportunities. Visibility is about 3 feet at Pumphouse but will fall off considerably after Radium. Keep an eye on the gauge as those flows can change rapidly, especially with the warmer weather that Read More

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Access Point(s)

Colorado River Description

The Colorado River is the main river of the American Southwest. It drains almost a quarter million square miles in Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California. At the same time, it supplies Southern California and many other areas with most of their water. From headwaters in the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, the river drops over a mile by the time it reaches the Grand Canyon at Lee’s Ferry, and then another 2,200 feet in the 277 miles before it reaches the other end of the Grand Canyon and on to the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean. Over its course, the appearance and character of the Colorado changes drastically over the miles, from rapids to sections of calm water, and depths between six to 90 feet. Talk to a Minturn Anglers guide to explore trout fly fishing opportunities on the stretches outside the state of Colorado. Within Colorado, the river is a great freestone fishery along its entire length, with no dams to impede its flow. From a very small stream at its headwaters, many small and large tributaries increase its size to over 100 feet wide as the Colorado flows west. These sparkling blue-green waters are home to large rainbow trout as well as generous populations of browns, cutthroat and brook trout. Even though the upper sections of the river to Kremmling flow through several reservoirs and private property, there are still many places to access the river can be accessed. There are a number of pulloffs and exits along Route #40. Many areas, especially near Hot Sulphur Springs, offer good wading opportunities, with the best being downstream from Kremmling at the Fraser River confluence near Granby. The water here is about 50 feet side and offers moderate flows, is easy to wade and offers long riffles and runs. Byers Canyon, closer to Hot Sulphur Springs, offers much faster flowing pocket water. The Blue River joins the Colorado west of Kremmling, adding considerably to its flow. Floating the Colorado becomes the primary and sometimes only option in this section. Many boat launches make for easy access of the river here. Be sure to have an experienced person at the oars, as the river is swift and some areas are dangerous to float. Wading opportunities are limited to boat launch areas. The section from Kremmling to Dotsero is followed by State Route #1 and the Colorado River Road, but there are few access points. Expect better access and good trout fishing from Dotsero through the Glenwood Canyon, following Route #70. The water here is too deep to wade, but there are boat launch ramps available. Rad more about the Colorado River.


Brown Trout
Rainbow Trout
Cutthroat Trout
Brook Trout

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