Blue River - Silverthorne

Weekly Overview:

July 6, 2020: 

  • Difficulty: Intermediate/Advanced

  • After a couple weeks of fill and spill at the Blue (top release), flows have come down to semi-normal levels. Fishing over the past two weeks was awesome with comparatively warm (in a good way) water temps and new bug life. Traditionally, this tailwater has minimal new bug life and the trout’s diet is limited to midge, baetis and to a certain extent mysis. More recently, we’re seeing yellow sallies, caddis, PMDs and green drakes. As such, the dry fly fishing has improved, particularly in areas with cover like bridges. Otherwise, the dry dropper or nymph rig will produce consistent results. Start by hitting the banks and outer seams and move on to the deeper runs, pools and pockets as the day goes on. Low air pressure this week will leave trout holding deep and feeding more opportunistically. Bigger lead flies will turn a few heads, but make sure you’ve got some imitative patterns in the mix.

  • Ideal Days: Monday through Wednesday 

  • Go to flies:

    • Sub-Surface Flies: Tube Midge (#22-24),Money Midge (#22-24), Zebra Midges (#22-24), Black Beauties (#22-24), Top Secret Midges (#22-24), Mercury Midge (#22-24), WD 40's (#20-22), Sparkle Wing RS2's (#20-22), olive RS2s (#20-22), JuJu Baetis (#20-22), Sparkle Pupa (#16-18), Chocolate Foamback Emerger (#22-24), Mysis Shrimp, SJ Worms, Beadhead Iron Sally, Caddis Candy.

    • Surface Flies: Parachute Adams (#20-22), Griffiths Gnat (#22-24), Elk Hair Caddis (#16-18), Amy's Ant (#12-14), Yellow Sally, Chubby Sally , PMD Thorax Dun, Parachute PMD, Resting Caddis, X2 Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis. 

Detailed River Info:


Below Dillon Dam is a prized section of the Blue River that runs 19 miles until it meets the Green Mountain Reservoir. The stretch of river that runs through the town of Silverthorne is one of the most sought after tail waters in Colorado. Dillon Reservoir is one of the few Colorado reservoirs that was stocked with Mysis Shrimp and as a result, when water is released from the dam, shrimp trickle into the river. This calorie-rich meal is the trout equivalent to a body builders training supplement and results in some beefy fish! This section of the Blue is unique in that it runs through the tourist heavy town of Silverthorne. Therefore, if you are looking for a fishing experience full of spectators touting Tommy Hilfiger bags with a shot at landing a trophy trout, the section through Silverthorne is for you. If you are seeking more solitude and less materialism, head north down Highway 9 and pull off at one of the designated parking areas for fishing access.


The Silverthorne stretch of the Blue is a pocket water paradise. Anglers can leave their “A River Run’s Through It” casts at home and instead focus on short and tactical casts. Anglers can expect to find Rainbow, Brown and Brooke trout along this stretch with the highest concentration of trophy Rainbows being located below the dam. With the exception of Mysis Shrimp, the fly selection for the Blue is relatively consistent with the other popular Colorado tail waters. Size 18 – 24 Midge and Baetis nymphs produce year round. In the warmer months, this stretch of the Blue experiences quality Green Drake and BWO hatches. The Blue River is an accessible year round fishery and can easily be coupled with a half ski, half fish day or a family trip to the outlet malls where you drop the family and you seek much needed alone time on the water. 


River Access:

The tail water section of the Blue River below Dillon Reservoir has several miles of public water access between the town of Silverthorne and Green Mountain Reservoir. The most popular section runs behind the Silverthorne Outlets and can be accessed very easily. If you're looking for more solitude, wander north on Highway 9 towards Green Mountain Reservoir. While there is sporadic stretches of private water, the public water sections can be easily identified by parking and Department of Wildlife signage. 

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