If someone would have told me in February that my first float on the Upper Colorado wouldn’t be until August, I would have said that’s impossible. The Colorado is my favorite trip in the state and it takes a lot (9,000 CFS all summer) to keep me away. Finally, flows dropped to 3,000 in the last week and I jumped all over the chance to take clients up to the “Big C” today. We floated from Radium to Rancho and as expected, the fishing was nothing short of spectacular. How could it be anything less? These fish haven’t seen people in months! The fish were as big, healthy and as hard fighting as I have ever seen. The hot flies were #6-8 Rubberlegs, Prince Nymphs size 8-14, san juans in tan or rust, buggers dad drifted under an indicator, and Barr’s Tungstone #10-14. Rigs were generally 4-7 ft long from indicator to split shot. We nymphed drop offs, and seams off the main channel. Plenty of hoppers out and once the water clears up just a hair the fish are going to be all over them! Be sure to give us a call for a trip in September. Until then, off to Grey Reef early Thursday morning!
Row vs. Wade
3,000 CFS is still a lot of water and a boat is certainly ideal. That said, we picked up plenty of fish along edges that could be easily caught on foot. If you are going to float, I would highly recommend the section from Radium to Rancho. Everybody does, Pumphouse and I’d prefer to fish a section that holds bigger fish, more fish, and ZERO PEOPLE! We pretty much had the river to ourselves today. Yarmony Rapid is the only spot to really worry about, but it’s not bad if you take the right line. Enter river left, pull away from the hole at the top, gradually work back to the right and expect to take on a little water as you leave.
What you need for the Upper Colorado
-9-11′ 6-7 Weight Rods.
–9′ 3x Leader and 3x-4x Tippet
-AB & BB Split Shot
-#8-10 Amy’s Ant
-#14 Puterbaugh Caddis
-#10 Wooly Bugger (dead drifted)
-#8-14 tungstones, princes (and other flies of that type)
-San juans in Tan and Rust.