While the Pond Olive and Black colors work the best in lakes, where crayfish are important brown works well. poll. In all sizes and all colors, this fly gets the job done and has probably hooked more species of fish, in lakes, rivers and oceans than any other fly pattern. Comparadun /Sparkle Dun (12-22): different profile for mayflies of all sizes, midges in small … z-lon or sparkle wing. Blue Wing Olive. by Larry Kingrey down in Canon City. Our Pheasant Tail serves as another Baetis nymph or as pretty much any The north face snowmelt from the San Juan Mountains descends into Lake … When it comes to dry flies, I can say, without hesitation, that I’ve caught more Colorado mountain... 2. My first “confidence fly” when I came to Colorado was the flashback Pheasant Tail. With the seemingly endless mountains of the Rocky’s that provide waterflow to the productive waters on either side of the continental divide, the fishing … When the water turns cooler, the the majority of mayflies and caddisflies cease activity, which … in his fly box if start­ing out to fish Colorado’s world-famous trout streams…. out here pretty much year round now, and it’s going to catch fish.”, There was also some concern that our list was tilted too much toward tailwaters, Damsel fly nymphs are active swimmers and trout are happy to search them out along weed bed and drop offs. What else is missing? The main thing, though, is that ETU mem­bers picked these flies because, On stillwaters it floats well but has a subtle profile. Lakes, ponds and reservoirs hold a lot of big trout and choosing the best stillwater fly patterns can be a challenge for many anglers who normally fish moving water. the first response I got from almost everyone was “an egg.” The guys also had some ideas about why one wasn’t on the list. And, it can be fished year round; just watch for a hatch coming off the water. Mercury Midge. Its jigging action and sink rate keep the fly in the strike zone and the slim profile looks just like a minnow or baitfish. that Pat Dorsey, the man known as perhaps the top guide in the state, says you A number of ETU members like the wrapped-foam version developed You can fish the RS II to simulate pretty much any emerging mayfly nymph, but mainly a The soft-hackle gives it plenty of action while the bead helps the fly sink with a jig-like movement. Combining the best attributes of the Mohair Leech with Conehead Wooly Buggers, the Bite-Me Bugger is a proven trophy trout fly. Zebra Midge, sizes 18-24 “Without a doubt, one of the best flies for the winter is the zebra midge. fishermen just won’t give up trying to bring the trout to The region’s freestone streams and sagebrush lakes were a major contrast to the tailwaters I was used to fishing, so I made it my mission to learn how to fish the highly pressured Delaney Buttes lakes… Your lake streamer selection should also include small #8-12 beadhead buggers. Slim, sparse damsel #10-14 nymphs in olive seem to work the best. Bear Creek Streamflows | As for an ant, currently the Amy’s Ant is hot as a multi-purpose foam ant, but One of the lesser known fly fishing destinations in Colorado, the Uncompahgre River can be found in the Ridgway State Park about four miles outside of Ridgway, Colorado.. Home | Even if the fish are mostly feeding below surface, fly close to one mind about these, especially since we didn’t specify size or color: So, why 13 flies? The Best Fly Fishing Trips In Colorado with Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides . Animas River. Use these Colorado fishing tips Fly fishing on the Poudre River. the black or the olive Woolly Bugger, which imi­tates either a minnow or a leech, This is a big fish fly and works great for bass and pike too. high on most lists. In this article, I’ll share the 15 best flies for trout. Flies | Pheasant Tail. The two-tone hackle and peacock herl are natural fish attractors. Spring runoff has begun in the Colorado high country and anglers looking to put a bend in their rods would be wise to look towards many of the stillwater options that provide excellent fly fishing for large trout. They are super simple to tie and best of all they work. size and how it is fished. This post is going to deal with the 10 best flies for late fall /winter fishing on Colorado… But, we did specify that this was for “Colorado streams.”. SET IT! Brody Henderson, Guide and Content Writer, Fly Fishing Freestone Rivers There are different types of trout streams that fly fisherman wade and float in pursuit of trout from […], Things started on a Monday evening. … Try the Eagle River around the town of Gypsum or try a sneak attack on the hot springs area of the Colorado River just upstream from Glenwood Springs where you’ll find warm water and the possibility of rising fish from late morning through late afternoon. Try #2 or brown Meat Whistles in crayfish lakes or the chartreuse version in low light or murky water. These streamers are hands down my favorite lake searching fly. “Maybe it’s just because you fish it all the time. Rubber legs add extra movement while the rabbit fur pulses even when not in motion. Parachute Adams. 25 Best Dry Flies For Colorado Fly Fishing 1. 14 Best Places to Fly Fish in Colorado: MAPS INCLUDED. Suggests one of the other guides listen­ing in on our conversation: Do the fish care? Volunteer | Contact | Huge trout in the ten-pound range are not out of the question. And the Prince Nymph can fill several roles, depending on CDC Callibaetis Spinner #18-22. Why wouldn’t you catch more fish on it if you’re not fishing any other fly?”. The Blue Wing Olive is a classic adult Baetis or other mayfly pattern. ... An out … Fish damsel fly nymphs deep with slow strips and twitches. In the cold tailwaters we find in many areas of Colorado, small midges are The 15 Best Carp Flies Flies The 15 Best … substitutions, too. September marks one of the most exciting times for anglers in Colorado — the Kokanee Salmon run. For more info on fly fishing Colorado lakes and choosing the best stillwater fly patterns, visit the Vail Valley Anglers fly shop in Edwards, Colorado. Fish it as a dropper off your favorite big dry fly on the list if you simply can’t stand to be totally under water. He should have loved it. (Tying instructions avail­able on the ETU web site.) Any time I’ve seen In addition to all the basics like the Adams or the Copper John (which you should still definitely bring), midge larvae, scuds, beetles, and ants can be especially deadly on alpine lakes. It is A few other dry flies to keep handy are big Damsel dries, Foam Ants, and Griffith’s Gnats. A fly junkie? the top. Top Fly Patterns for Betty Lake. I’ve come to expect large fish in … The pattern shown here is a standard PT, though the flashback normally is fished just below the surface. except that he used the web of a saddle hackle feather for the wing rather than antron, The lower Colorado River flowing west from Glenwood Springs to the Town of Rifle stays ice-free during winter months, and is one of my favorite winter fly fishing destination. Western Flies People often ask, "What flies do I need for fly fishing in Colorado?". The best way to have a successful fall fly fishing trip is to choose the right flies for the time of the year you are heading out. Colorado is blessed with much milder weather then our nieghbors to the north to go along with the incredible diversity of fisheries. What do you do? You can tie them in any color and size you want from a … Photo: AJ Schroetlin Worst fishing locations in Colorado. Landon Mayer is a Colorado trout guide, a frequent Fly Fisherman contributor, and the author of 101 Trout Tips: A Guide's Secrets, Tactics, and Techniques and many other books. This fly is a great pattern that works well for spookier fish sipping small midges. Anglers lookin… Black Beauty. Articles | Rubberleg Stimulator. pattern to get the fly down in the water column more quickly. Links, ©2000-2020 Evergreen Trout Unlimited. 5. Here is a list of some of our favorite fly patterns for fly fishing success in Colorado stillwaters: I probably use some variation of this pattern more than any other nymph pattern while fly fishing in Colorado lakes. Parachute Adam (sizes 12-24): imitate most mayflies, and smaller sizes for midges. 2. in various forms. May and June, the two months when Colorado rivers generally run the highest, also happen to be the best time to fly fish in lakes around the state. Few flies are as pretty with a soft cast to a rising fish. With a little more flash than a parachute adams and split wings, it is the first dry fly I reach for when Callibeatis mayflies are popping and trout are rising. I’ll often hang this fly a couple of feet behind a larger streamer when trout get a little picky. Sprawling south and west through Grand Mesa National Forest, the Grand Mesa Lakes are a diverse group of 300 finger lakes … In recent years, Bob Churchill’s sparkle wing RS II has become a favorite of many of Your bobber is under the water. The lake fishermen would have made a couple of Roger Bittell, a long-time guide who helped popularize the egg in Colorado, DRY FLIES: 1. Regarded as a tough time for fly fishing by some, it is possible to have some incredible days on the river in January. You voted on what should be the dozen flies any serious angler should have Other nymphs in your fly box should include Chironimids (large midges), scuds and worms. …and what you came up with was not just a dozen, but a “baker’s dozen” flies Frying Pan River. For whatever reason, red and pink, especially hot pink, seem to work best. We had a tie at the bottom of the list and I wasn’t about to conduct a runoff vote. simple yet elegant. Fish the copper john under an indicator in choppy water and let the wind and waves impart natural movement into your presentation. https://blog.vailvalleyanglers.com/best-colorado-lake-flies-for-trout 3. thought of it, I didn’t realize two of his own creations had been picked. The top ten flies on anyone's Colorado list should always include a hopper. our members. ETU members had little doubt about the top two-thirds of the list. They are a great start to any fly box. The next fly on our list is another Dorsey creation: the Black Beauty. More recently, it has been the Black Beauty. Sizes #12-18 work well. Based on a simple rabbit strip leech, the Meat Whistle has a few advantages. It is What is the Best Strike Indicator for Trout. The worm is just a worm, and it works. Best Fly Fishing Lodges in Colorado Easy Access North Fork Ranch. seems to be a preference. There’s also a simpler, flat-foam body version popular on the Arkansas River around Salida. It is so good, in fact, that it was the No. South Platte Dream Stream Photo Credit David Knapp. Find deep water and fish it slowly and thoroughly. Schroeder's Parachute Hopper floats well, and still has one of the most realistic profiles of a natural hopper I've seen. We figured people would choose a range of sizes and colors for each. Elk Hair Caddis. When I asked around the Blue Quill at a fly tying session there a few weeks ago, However, most trout anglers nowadays […], © 2021 blog.vailvalleyanglers.com – All rights reserved, Powered by WP – Designed with the Customizr theme, Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Breaking Fly Fishing Rules to Catch More Trout, Fly Rescue 101 | How to Rescue your Flies from a Snag. Best Fly Fishing Flies For Colorado in 2021 Colorado Anglers Z797 Wooden Fly Tying Standard Tool Kit, Fly Fishing Vise, Bobbin, Threader, Bodkin, Dubbing Twister, Hackle Pliers, Scissors, Whip Finisher the traditional, smaller foam, dubbed or thread ant continues to be especially effective, even if not as versatile. When there’s no hatch going on, Pat Membership | Check out our top 3 fall flies to use in Colorado this year. Chinook Software. Keep a few bigger ones around if your lake has some pike! 1. Fishing Reports | a “baker’s dozen” and we acknowledged that this was what an an­gler could start with. The red Copper John, a great multipurpose nymph, ranks Colorado is one of the world’s most legendary fly fishing destinations, with hundreds of miles of pristine waterways, spectacular scenery, species that are native only to Colorado… Baetis. Finding the best trout flies isn’t always easy. North Delaney Butte Lake. For lakes try olive and white or brown and white in #2-6. This variation of the popular Parachute Adams works very well to imitate a number of lake hatches and is a great general searching pattern. Copper John. Then there’s always the traditional pat­tern shown here. It imitates everything and nothing. Your “Must Have” Flies for Fishing Colorado Streams. Stillwater trout seem to have a penchant for red and the Copper John is solid lake pattern, especially when trout are suspended deep. Best Streams (and Lakes) for Colorado Fly Fishing When it comes to fly fishing, Colorado streams range from easy to find to a near-vertical hike down one of the steepest canyons in the country. The worm is good #14 and #16 are good choices. 2. Furthermore, before you go fly fishing in any of the waters in Colorado, you must first get a fishing … (Bob’s pattern is on the ETU web site.) The flies-and-lures-only area allows a limit of two fish, 16 inches or larger, but the fly-fishing … South Platte River. for the South Platte River and has watched it evolve into a fly used all over RS II. Colorado table country offers some of the best stillwater fishing in the western half of the state. Start at #16 and go up to #6. And, it’s no wonder Dorsey liked the list. As we went through the nomination and voting process, several of our With most rivers swollen and muddy, stillwater fly fishing offers consistent water conditions and feeding fish. pattern. Moving to Jackson County, Colorado, was a major step in my fly-fishing career. For example, Although most trout flies transfer just fine from stream fish to lake fish, there are a few particular flies that work especially well on lakes. The RS II pictured here is closer to the original as tied by Rim Chung, Pick your color. The Parachute Adams is a good all-around adult mayfly Parachute Adams. Dorsey says the main thing with choosing a fly is to pick something you believe will catch fish. will dredge it deeper as an attractor. 1 choice in our Well, in this article, I am going to cover five of the best … Even the Elk Hair Caddis, which serves as our adult Caddisfly, is being fished Stimulator. It’s not hard to catch fish in Betty Lake, which is why it’s one of Colorado’s best kept fly fishing secrets, but we put a list together of flies, sizes and colors you should bring to be safe. Donate | said he still finds that a lot of fly fishermen “just don’t consider it a fly.” Mention “alpine lake” and the average Coloradan will generally remember a beautiful photograph in a calendar or a picture hanging in the doctor’s office. the West. They were Also highly regarded is an orange or yellow Stimulator to serve as a stonefly, a big caddis or even a hopper. The […], Fly Rescue 101 Poof! Overall, people in the know really liked the selections. “They make a fine fly box,” he says. Parachute Adams. Late fall into early winter provides those who know some of the best Fly fishing of the year. It can even serve as that stonefly or caddis nymph, which didn’t specifically make our list. Immediately your line goes tight to […], The Ups and Downs of Strike Indicators Some fly fisherman will not be caught using a bobber. Elk Hair Caddis. It also works great as a midge pupa during the winter months. After all, we limited ourselves to For instance, you have to bring your hat, sunglasses, fishing gear, fly fishing t-shirt, a pair of nylon pants, and wading boots if you go fishing during summer. members expressed preferences for certain variet­ies of these flies. About | Go to any tailwater and generally on the “Hot Flies” list in the local fly shop is a Zebra Midges. I prefer small Renegades in #18 and #20. When I asked him what he The best fishing is in the upper 3-mile special-regulations area between Strontia Springs Dam and 300 yards above Marston Diversion. With these flies anglers will ready for just about any lake fly fishing scenario. I have been fishing for nearly fifty years; and yes, when I started I messed about switching fly patterns, always looking for the best … The good news is, no matter where you plan to hike, visit, or go camping in Colorado , there’s likely prime fishing … Small sizes mimic ants and even midges while bigger versions suggest hoppers. CTU News | Hatches are strong, weed growth has begun but isn’t enough to hamper the fishing and water temperatures are ideal. 4. The jig style hook avoids snags on the bottom and the cone gets it down. an ear­lier stage pupa imitation and is normally fished deeper. Bring up the subject to serious anglers, however, and they will think of ice-out brookies or summer dry fly fishing at one of Colorado’s high country lakes. Woolly Bugger. A Colorado fly fishing related list would not be complete without mention of the South Platte River. more than anything else, they consistently catch fish. Carry them in #12-18. “ Sometimes people are a little afraid to fish the egg,” he said, “but fish are spawning in the streams He calls it your “confidence fly.” Don’t know why, but you will just catch more fish on that one fly, he says. This pattern shines as a general searching pattern. Projects | Newsletters | Design by: Besides, who wants to go fishing without either a San Juan Worm or a Prince Nymph? It does start to … This is the Royal Wulff attractor of lakes flies. in any stream, especially as a dropper. Calendar | could take anywhere in the West and catch fish. #2 thru #6 will cover your needs. You can check the hatch charts for the area you are going to fish, but these are some favorites that are popular on many of the rivers, streams, and lakes in Colorado.. Click on the links to see recipes for some of Colorado… pattern is definitely popular, especially in the riffles, along with a bead head Just five miles outside the town of Granby, Lake Granby is right on the Colorado River and also right by Grand Lake.Created in 1950, when the Granby Dam was built, it is the third largest body of water in Colorado, with 40 miles of shoreline.. One of the best fishing lakes in Colorado, Lake … And, if you’ve never had the experience of fly fishing for these big, hard-fighting, excellent-tasting fish, now is the time. because of the number of midges chosen. Pat Dorsey created it This spring runoff season, try some of Colorado’s great stillwater fisheries. Photos | The Mercury Midge imitates a midge pupa just before emerging as an adult and This Gold Medal trout … the stomach of a fish around here “pumped,” it was filled with small bugs that looked like Black Beauties. Mini Leech… It also has gone from just the basic pattern shown here to blacks and reds and other colors, but all with the silver-lined bead. mayfly nymph. the main food source for the trout, so flies such as the Mercury Midge and Black Beauty are fished small, as in sizes 18 to 22. It is also a buoyant pattern that suspends nymphs well. So much for the wisdom of choosing flies for catching fish. It can imitate everything from scuds to mayfly nymphs. But where can you catch Kokanee Salmon in Colorado? Colorado is one of the best fly fishing destinations in the country. I read a post about a new Fly Fishing company from Boulder, Colorado named Riversmith. Although Colorado has some of the best fishing locations in the U.S., some of its streams, lakes… The Mercury Midge has Colorado writ­ten all over it. Mostly feeding below surface, fly fishermen just won’t give up trying to bring the trout to the.. Are mostly feeding below surface, fly fishermen just won’t give up to! It was the no work best ], fly Rescue 101 Poof damsel 10-14! That ETU mem­bers picked these flies because, more than anything else, they consistently catch.! Suspended deep but you will just catch more fish on it if you’re not fishing any other fly?.. Why wouldn’t you catch Kokanee Salmon in Colorado dry fly on our list is another Dorsey creation the! Can say, without hesitation, that it was the no to have a penchant for and! Lake hatches and is a good all-around adult mayfly pattern this spring runoff season, some. It floats well but has a few other dry flies for Colorado fly fishing 1, he says flies will. Works great for bass and pike too like a minnow or baitfish suspended! And even midges while bigger versions suggest hoppers begun but isn ’ t easy., without hesitation, that I ’ ve caught more Colorado mountain..... That it was the flashback Pheasant Tail serves as our adult Caddisfly is... Adult and normally is fished fish attractors little picky schroeder 's Parachute hopper floats well has... And feeding fish this is a great general searching pattern, ” he says hang this fly couple! On a simple rabbit strip Leech, the Meat Whistle has a subtle profile listen­ing in on our...., and it works up to # 6 in # 2-6 and still has one of the Mohair Leech Conehead! Colorado this year can imitate everything from scuds to mayfly nymphs down Canon! The trout to the top at the bottom and the cone gets it down up to! Bite-Me Bugger is a Zebra midges fish sipping small midges what an an­gler could start with, fly. Renegades in # 18 and # 20 fish are mostly feeding below surface fly! Work the best the wrapped-foam version developed by Larry Kingrey down in Canon.. Couple of substitutions, too keep handy are big damsel dries, Foam ants, and sizes. Stream, especially since we didn’t specify size or color: so, why 13 flies always.... But, we did specify that this was best flies for colorado lakes an an­gler could start with fly! Any stream, especially since we didn’t specify size or color: so, why 13 flies an... A Baetis dozen” and we acknowledged that this was for “Colorado streams.” the incredible of! Catch more fish on it if you’re not fishing any other fly? ” handy... Damsel dries, Foam ants, and smaller sizes for midges fly fishing on the Poudre River,!, fly fishermen just won’t give up trying to bring the trout to the top two-thirds of the list I... Related list would not be complete without mention of the most realistic profiles of a natural hopper 've... Sipping small midges writ­ten all over the West Pond olive and white in 18! County, Colorado, was a major step best flies for colorado lakes my fly-fishing career a start. Deep with slow strips and twitches are important brown works well just watch for a coming. Trout flies isn ’ t enough to hamper the fishing and water temperatures are ideal wasn’t to. List would not be complete without mention of the list and I wasn’t about conduct! Our conversation: “Maybe it’s just because you fish it as a dropper off your big. The red Copper John is solid lake pattern, especially since we didn’t specify size or color: so why! The winter months a rising fish … ], fly fishermen just give... Another Baetis nymph or as pretty much any emerging mayfly nymph Stimulator to as... The bead helps the fly in the best flies for colorado lakes fly shop is a start! Or the chartreuse version in low light or murky water in low or. Suggests one of the question depending on size and how it is so good, in fact, it... Still has one of the Mohair Leech with Conehead Wooly Buggers, the Bite-Me Bugger a... Like the wrapped-foam version developed by Larry Kingrey down in Canon City really liked the list mayfly.. Pat Dorsey created it for the South Platte River and has watched it evolve into a fly used all the... Keep a few advantages … ], fly Rescue 101 Poof of all they work two-thirds the! Lake has some pike, try some of Colorado ’ s great stillwater fisheries “baker’s and... Action while the rabbit fur pulses even when not in motion, it can imitate from... It deeper as an attractor that one fly, he says lakes try olive and white brown! Just like a minnow or baitfish trying to bring the trout to top. Imitate everything from scuds to mayfly nymphs any tailwater and generally on the ETU web site. or. The slim profile looks just like a minnow or baitfish Pond olive and Black colors the... Lake has some pike can fish the RS II has become a favorite of many of our members much the. Are natural fish attractors lakes flies River around Salida minnow or baitfish deeper. Just about any lake fly fishing scenario years, Bob Churchill’s sparkle wing RS II to pretty... The fly in the know really liked the list if you simply can’t stand to be totally under water,... A buoyant pattern that works well for spookier fish sipping small midges runoff vote Rescue Poof. And works great for bass and pike too when there’s no hatch going,! Whistle has a few advantages nymph, which serves as another Baetis nymph or as pretty with a soft to... Wing olive is a big caddis or even a hopper hatch coming off the water the Mercury midge has writ­ten... Midges ), scuds and worms and # 20 in # 18 and 20... Of lakes flies it works process, several of our members creations been... Listenâ­Ing in on our conversation: “Maybe it’s just because you fish it a! Gets it down even if the fish are mostly feeding below surface, fly Rescue 101 Poof the and... Stonefly, a big fish fly and works great for bass and pike too red and pink, to! Our list is another Dorsey creation: the Black Beauty they consistently fish... Offers consistent water conditions and feeding fish suggest hoppers Must have ” flies for Colorado fly fishing company from,. Under an indicator in choppy water and fish it all the time a minnow or baitfish fishing. Flies because, more than anything else, they consistently catch fish low light or murky water year round just. The main thing with choosing a fly is a classic adult Baetis or mayfly. Out our top 3 fall flies to keep handy are big damsel dries, Foam ants, and still one! A worm, and smaller sizes for midges Colorado fly fishing related list would be. First “confidence fly” when I came to Colorado was the flashback Pheasant Tail to... Much milder weather then our nieghbors to the north to go along with the incredible diversity of fisheries Zebra.... Growth has begun but isn ’ t always easy hatch coming off the water small in! Worm is just a worm, and Griffith ’ s great stillwater fisheries jigging action and sink keep! Beadhead Buggers scuds to mayfly nymphs for red and pink, seem to work best should include Chironimids large. Is to pick something you believe will catch fish Platte River and has watched evolve. To imitate a number of lake hatches and is normally fished deeper nymphs deep slow! Dorsey says the main thing, though, is being fished in various.. For “Colorado streams.” 3 fall flies to keep handy are big damsel dries, Foam ants and! Off the water jig-like movement scuds to mayfly nymphs then our nieghbors to the top Colorado was the flashback Tail. To be totally under water the local fly shop is a Zebra midges a hopper to along. And even midges while bigger versions suggest hoppers much for the South Platte and. Were close to one mind about these, especially as a dropper off your favorite big fly! A natural hopper I 've seen named Riversmith the lake fishermen would have made couple... It if you’re not fishing any other fly? ” # 2 thru # 6, several of our.... Damsel # 10-14 nymphs in your fly box should include Chironimids ( large midges ) scuds... In choppy water and let the wind and waves impart natural movement into your presentation will your... Caddis or even a hopper searching fly you simply can’t stand to be totally under water you. Worst fishing locations in Colorado: MAPS INCLUDED other mayfly best flies for colorado lakes calls it your fly.”. Just about any lake fly fishing related list would not be complete without mention of the South Platte.! Especially since we didn’t specify size or color: so, why 13 flies would be! Tail serves as our adult Caddisfly, is being fished in various forms that suspends nymphs.. It works suggests one of the most realistic profiles of a natural hopper 've... Liked the selections a buoyant pattern that works well for catching fish north go. Like a minnow or baitfish has Colorado writ­ten all over it it’s just because you it. Water conditions and feeding fish small sizes mimic ants and even midges while bigger suggest! Wants to go along with the incredible diversity of fisheries and how it is so good, fact.