Posts Tagged ‘fly fishing colorado’

Wildcat Canyon

Wild Cat Canyon is the rugged section of river upstream from Cheesman Reservoir. Located in the center of the Hayman fire area, this section of river was closed to access for several years after the fire. There is now a trail, actually an old 4 wheel drive road down Corral Creek that is open for hikers to access the middle of the canyon. On October 31, Mike, Alex, and I decided to hike down the trail into the Canyon and check out the fishing that has basically been untouched since the Hayman fire. Alex had been in a couple of times this past summer and knew how to get to the trailhead that takes you down into the Canyon. Much of the 3 mile trail passes right through the Hayman burn area and is a spectacle of burned trees that has a stark beauty of  it’s own. The hike down takes about an hour or so to get to the stream where you can go up or down depending o

Haman Burn Area from Corral Creek Trail

n how you are feeling.  Going upstream is recommended as the lower section of the river is a nasty canyon where if you fell and hurt yourself, you will more than likely be there a while. Hiking back out of the canyon after a long day of fishing is a different story.  Brutal from the start and  uphill almost the entire 3 miles out.

The river is very similar to Cheesman Canyon. It has a variety of canyons, huge boulders, rifles, pocket water and pools. There are also log  jams and areas where severe erosion has, and is still taking place. Shifting red granite gravel has washed in since the fire  and covers much of the bottom.  

Log jams and severe erosion are effects of the Haman Fire


We found the fishing to be average. It appeared that the Browns had already spawned and retreated to the deeper holes and pocket water areas.  A few redds were visible at the tailouts of longer runs. Most of the fish we caught were Browns and several 8-10″ Rainbows. Several larger fish were spotted among log jams and deeper boulder areas.

Impressive rock and the raw power of nature are evident at every turn


Although the fishing was a little dissapointing, I am sure there are times when it is exceptional. The area is stunningly rugged, remote and filled with an anticipation to see what is around the next bend. I haven’t fished many places in Colorado where there was not even a footprint but this is definitely one of them. I hope to return, but will plan to camp over night. Hiking in and out the same day is a little much, with more hiking than fishing!


I recently went fly fishing on the Blue River in Silverthorne with fellow Blue Quill Angler fly fishing guide Joe Shafer. We got to the river about 1:00 pm. The water was gin clear and the flows were 144 CFS. We both started off using a Dry Dropper rig using our 9′ 5wt Sage TCX fly rods. It didn’t take long before I landed my first chunky 18′ rainbow on a size 18 Barr’s PMD Emerger. Right after that Joe nailed a beautiful rainbow on a red Amy’s Ant. It was non stop action after that. Occasionally we would throw some streamers to fish sitting in heavy currents with great results. We were fishing a double streamer rig with a #8 Laney bugger and trailed it with a #10 Pat’s Rubbberlegs. The fishing was awesome all the way until we got off the river at around 9:30pm. We both got the hat trick, landing numerous rainbows and browns on dry flies, nymphs and streamers. Now is the time to fly fish the Blue River in Silverthorne.

Jerry Vigil fly fishing guide for the Blue Quill Angler

Boxwood Gulch on the north fork of the South Platte River is fishing great!  The flows are at about 250 CFS and we landed a BEAUTIFUL 8-9 pound rainbow the other day.  Pink worms, rs2, and prince nymphs.  Try fishing a beetle or adams on the surface for some fun dry fly fishing in the afternoon.

Blue Quill Guide Adam Ronscavage

Its not to often one finds the Roaring Fork river this fishable this early in post run off.  Last Thursday, the river had four feet of clarity and was fishing extremely well. Driftboat fishing is the way to cover more of the water while getting out and wade fishing all of the public areas.  With several different bug hatches, big Stone Flies in the am, Caddis in the afternoon and evening, and Green Drakes in the evening (Green Drake nymphs worked well throughout the day). Hook ups were most consistent while nymphing  if  the fly was presented at the right depth, close to the bottom. It also didn’t hurt to take a sip of beer, look away and have a fish magically appear on the end of your line. The Roaring Fork eats driftboats, so use caution when floating this river. The upper stretch below Carbondale has the most educated fish, after all these fish live in the high rent district. Fishing often gets easier as you get down stream, as you get onto the less fortunate fish. These are the ones I like!  Dry fly fishing was best in the evening when the Green Drakes came off. Be safe and tight lines!  Bob Dye

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad High Water?
    It has been a few years since we had a true high water year and 2008 is shaping up to be a great one. While many news reporters and anglers are moaning and groaning over high water, there are a few of us that are exited about seeing the rivers full again. It can only mean health to our rivers and alot of happy trout. The main thing to be concerned about in fishing high water streams is Safety. Several people have already lost their lives in rafting accidents this year. There is a point where the water is just too high to fish safely. Be careful and don’t take any risk in wading. A wading staff is a great addition to any anglers arsenal to add additional stability in the rough water. Three legs are always better than two!! 
  Can fish be caught in high water? We asked a several of our guides some of their secrets to fishing high water.
Jim Cannon: ” I  fished Cheesman Canyon at over 2300 cfs and caught fish on streamers right out from underneath the big boulders on the edges of the trail.  My best day in the Canyon nymph fishing was at 900 cfs using double worms and a bunch of weight. When it  reached 915 cfs several weeks ago I took my float tube across the Ice Box and had the opposite side to myself. The fishing was really great using worms, crane fly larvae, golden stones and caddis larvae.”
Bob Dye:” Fish still have to feed and I look forward to the challenges presented in high water.  I fish the seams and edges where fish stack up to get out of the heavy current. When visibility is around two feet I like to fish a big dry fly with a bead head dropper along the edges. ”
Pat Dorsey: “High water doesn’t bother me, in fact it is an opportunity to become a better angler. I go with bigger flies with flash in them, use more weight to get the nymphs down deep, and look for the soft spots where the trout congregate. Late last week several of us fished the Gunnison at over 3,000 cfs. We took over 15 fish out of one small eddie where the trout had congregated to get out of the fast water.”
 Jonathan Keisling: “I like to fish streamers on a sink tip line and also tungsten weighted czech nymphs in large sizes. With the streamer I work the edges down stream, behind boulders in the  eddies and soft water where fish are holding. With czech nymphs I get down deep in the riffles and longer runs. High water fishing is exciting because I often hook into some of the largest fish in the river. Landing them can be a real battle!!!”
Steve Parrott: “The main thing is to not be scared off by high water. Focus on the soft water next to the bank, behind boulders, below islands where the water converges and back eddies. I like using a 0 or 1X fluorcarbon leader with a yarn indicator, dead drifting heavily weighted rubber leg buggers in brown and yellow, and black and orange. At the end of the drift a couple of quick twitches will usually produce an additional fish or two as the fly quickly moves up in the water column.”

The Tiger Muskies are starting to show up in the shallows at Evergreen Lake. I got my 9 weight out last night and walked around the lake and found lots of targets(8 to be exact) suspended in very shallow water. I got several looks but no takes. It is very exciting to cast to fish in the 30+ inch range. My goal is to catch one this summer. Jim Cannon/Blue Quill Angler