July 25, 2011
Clarity: Gin Clear
On our way home from the Roaring Fork, we made a pit stop on Hwy 9 and in the town of Silverthorne to check out the Upper Blue. Dillon Reservoir is full and there is a lot of water coming out of the dam, but the fishing was a lot better than we expected.
One thing I can say for certain is that the Blue is NOT a technical fishery at this flow. I’m not saying that they won’t eat smaller stuff, but you can get away with 4x tippet and bigger bugs. The water is absolutely freezing at 36 degrees therefore we saw no bugs. Mysis and worms got the job done though, and we even had fish look at peg eggs.
Find the soft water around the outlets, run a heavy and short nymph rig and you will find some fish. Red and pink worms, and larger mysis shrimp patterns caught fish. I didn’t fish many smaller midges, but I’m sure they would eat that as well.
If you are looking for a change of pace on the Blue, head north of Silverthorne on Hwy 9. North of town, the water seems to be a bit warmer, and fishes more like a freestone than a tailwater. We tried to fish around the bridges, as they always seemed to hold fish and soft water. Anywhere that was about 5 feet deep and slow, or long inside seams held fish. Get away from the crowds and the crazies by the outlets!
UPDATE: As I write this report, the flow on the Blue has dropped to 516cfs, which is an ideal flow on that river. Much more holding water will open up, the river is much more wadeable at that flow, and fish will still be less tippet shy and more willing to eat larger bugs. Get out there!
What you need for the Blue:
#16-20 Mysis Shrimp Patterns
#12-16 Princes (north of town)
#14-18 Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails
6mm Bead Eggs
7.5ft 4x Leader
4x and 5x Tippet
BB and #1 Split Shot