Winter time in the Vail Valley seems to make everyone and their mother flea to the ski lifts to rub elbows with the rest of Colorado. I’m not here complaining though because all that means for the Winter angler is an empty river and some trout who have gotten a good break from the crowds who pounded the banks all summer and fall. While Minturn and Vail are getting their fair share of snow and cold temperatures the river further down Valley is a fair bit warmer and is fishing very well considering we are closing in on the end of January. Skip the ski traffic and plan on hitting the water around 11:30 or 12:00. The fish haven’t been too shy while eating and we are finding bigger flies like #16 Caddis Larva patterns or larger soft hackle pheasant tails are fooling them almost as consistently as our small midges and baetis are. Spend some time getting your depth and speed dialed in as finding the right part of the water column is key to getting fish in the net. Need a guide? We got em >>>
Mornings are bitter cold and the money window to be on the water is a little shorter than we would like but that’s no reason to ignore the Colorado this time of year. The flows have been low and water clarity is darn near 100% so the fish are a little spooky and not willing to move a whole lot for a meal. Sub-surface is your best bet for productivity so bring your Pat’s Rubber Legs and San Juan worms for a lead fly and drop an emerger off the back. #18 and #20 Foam Wing Emergers in Grey and Brown have been getting a fair amount of eats and when they got bored with those foam wings we switched to a purple Sniper Baetis in a #20 and were right back on the feeding fish. Pulling some streamers along the bank isn’t a bad way to spend the first part of the morning or the late afternoon as the light gets a little lower. It’s not the best time of the year to be hucking meat but you never know what kind of hungry monster your Sculpzilla might swing in front of!
A few of our float guides have been spending their free time down on the Fork and the word is the fishing is hot right now. Flows are near perfect and as with the rest of the state the weather is stellar. Morning hours are a bit more slow than the mid day but fish are still eating before the temps come up, you just gotta get small and smack them on the nose because they won’t move much until the water gets warmer around noon. #20 to #24 midge patterns in darker colors are the ticket for the morning hatch and you don’t need to fish too deep until that sun hits the water. The middle of the day into the afternoon is when this river really starts to shine. Bring your Juju Baetis and your Chocolate Thunders in #18 and #20 and trail them behind a #14 or #16 Psycho Prince Nymph or some other flashy attractor and plan on chucking a fair amount of split shot to get into the zone where the fish are feeding. Nothing much to report on the streamer bite and we aren’t seeing a whole lot of top water action so bring the thingamabobbers and get down and dirty.
POST FLY FISHING SHOW SPRING CLEANING
Click to be a PRO
The Fly Fishing Show Madness is OVER but we still have some killer gear for CHEAP!!
Thank you to all of our customers who came down and saw us at the Fly Fishing Show and if you missed out on the fun this year DONT WORRY. We still have some awesome gear for closeout prices and we need to make room for the new gear ASAP. If you need to upgrade some of that old worn out gear before the Spring then we have you covered. Come into the Lone Tree/Denver Shop or the Minturn Shop and check out the sweet deals.
We have some CLOSEOUT Deals on select styles of Waders and Boots and up to 30% off Select Rods and Reels. Whether you’re in the market for a new fly rod or just need to stock up on leaders and tippet we have you covered down here at Minturn Anglers!!!
BECOME A PROFESSIONAL GUIDE FOR COLORADO’S FAVORITE FLY SHOP
Guide School is fast approaching!!!!
Save your seat in class today and come join the Minturn Angler’s family!!!
Let’s get started working your DREAM JOB!!!
Every year here at Minturn Anglers we get to see the next generation of guides as they begin down the long path. We like to think that our guide school graduates are some of the most well prepared and properly trained guides in the business and we accept nothing less than perfection!
Now that being said, there is no better job in the world than sharing your passion for the sport with others! If you have been looking for a way to get started guiding then give us a call at the shop and lets talk about getting you on our team! There is no better job than guiding and there is no better fly shop to work for than MINTURN ANGLERS!!!
The Pueblo Tailwater is a winter time favorite for Front Range Anglers and with temperatures that are consistently 10 to 20 degrees warmer than Denver and the opportunity to catch fish on dry flies in mid January its no surprise. Flows are up a little but water clarity is next to perfect so approach the river with some stealth. A light indicator rig will get the rod bent before the bugs start hatching. Some productive lead flies have been Red San Juans in a #16 or #14 with your favorite Midge pattern or small Mayfly Emerger trailing the worm 12 or 16 inches. #20 and #22 Medallion Midges and Red and Black Rojo Midges in the same size were hot in the morning hours. 11:30 or 12:00 was when I noticed the bugs starting to hatch and the fish starting to look up. Double Dry rigs or a Dry Dropper is your best bet to get after them on the surface. #20 and #22 Standard Adams as well as an Olive Vis-A-Dun Baetis tricked fish on the top and larger Chocolate Thunders and Barr’s BWO Emerger worked well as a dropper in #18 tied about 10 inches off the back of your Dry Fly.
The flow chart for Deckers from the past week or so looks like a roller coaster and has been rising and dropping about 20 to 30 CFS everyday. The most recent reading is showing just over 80 CFS and despite the sporadic changes in water flow fishing is stellar considering its late January. There is no rush to beat feet early and rob yourself of some extra sleep or another cup of coffee. The most productive window to be on the water is 11:00 to about 3:00 or 3:30 and while mornings have shown decent fishing the water is COLD until the sun comes over those peaks and starts warming things up. The majority of the fish can be found in the deeper holes when feeding and the menu is pretty diverse. Larger Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails and Two Bit Hookers in Red and Black are working great as attractors and as a food source with a Scud or Sow Bug in the middle and your go to Midge pattern bringing up the rear. #20 to #24 Top Secrets and and Miracle Midges have been some of my most productive bugs recently and if you have a particularly sunny day switch the Scud for a #18 Rainbow Warrior or Blue Poison Tung.
The Denver South Platte
It’s no secret that I love The Dirty Denver South Platte for all it’s trash fish and homeless guys and I truly can’t say enough how lucky I think we are to have such a special river within 20 minutes or so of our homes or offices. For whatever reason I really only see anglers exploring the Platte through town in the Winter months and this year has been no exception. Flows have been stupid low for awhile now but the fish seem to have acclimated to the boney conditions and are surprisingly active for January given the warm sunny afternoons we are still having. Carp fishing has been tough with the low flows but thats not to say they aren’t eating. Most of the fish are pushed up into the deep pools and holes looking for any cover they can find. A long heavy indicator rig is going to be the best approach for the carp. Find the deepest water you can and dredge it with some big Pat’s Rubber Legs or dead drifted Slumpbusters in Rust or Black. Trout fishing has been hot through Denver as well so don’t leave the 5wt at home. While there is no real secret to finding trout on the DSP the best advise I can offer is to look for long runs and riffles along the bank and throw plenty of red bugs on your rig. Red San Juan’s. Red Midge patterns. Red leech patterns and Crawfish imitations. Red is the killer when you are looking for trout. Keep your feet moving and your eyes open for structure. If it looks like a trout would like to live there chances are you’re very right.
FULL DAY FLOAT TRIPS FOR THE PRICE OF A 3/4 DAY ON THE ROARING FORK
BAD BAD LEROY BROWN
Get on the water with a PRO today!!!
Just because the snow has covered the mountains doesn’t mean you need to go waste a day on an over crowded mountain skiing or snowboarding with 10,000 other Coloradans. Take my word for it, a day on the front of a Minturn Anglers raft floating down the Roaring Fork is a much better use of your precious time!
The guides around the shop are getting antsy in all their free time and they want nothing more than to put you on some wild trout. After a few scouting missions with some successful results on the water our float guides have turned their sights on the Roaring Fork and have been putting on a clinic down there.
As a little bit of extra incentive we are offering FULL DAY FLOAT TRIPS for the price of a 3/4 DAY FLOAT!!! Come on up and get in a boat with one of our certified river ninjas today!
BOOK ONLINE RIGHT HERE >>>
FLY TYING NIGHT IS BACK AT BOTH SHOPS IN NOVEMBER!!!
Minturn Anglers weekly fly tying night is a Winter tradition guides and customers alike have grown to LOVE
Tying season is upon us and we are starting up our tying nights the first week of November. Minturn will be holding theirs Wednesday nights from 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m at the Minturn shop. Lone Tree/Denver tying night will be held every Tuesday from 6:00 p.m.-8:00p.m. in the shop. Bring your vise and basic materials with you to the shop and tie some bugs and share some stories. The best way to hone your tying skills is by tying with other guys and gals! I learn something new every week and I love the diversity I see in the group. We have some stellar high school kids and a fair mix of all age groups moving up from there with a few Minturn guides here and there. Come hang out. Have a beer and fill those boxes with us!
All or part of this operation is conducted on public lands under BLM Special Use Permit and under Special Use Permit with the White River National Forest.
Minturn Anglers is an equal opportunity employer operating under the Colorado River Outfitter License number 472, State of Colorado Outfitter 2597, and numerous special use permits with the BLM, White River National Forest, and the Colorado DOW.