Colorado River:        Middle Section

Weekly Overview:

November 26, 2020:

  • Difficulty: Intermediate

  • The Middle Colorado has produced decent results over the last few days, but it is seemingly slowing down with cooler weather and freezing overnight air temps. As such, give the water time to warm up before starting to fish. The double and triple nymph rig continues to be the most effective mode of fishing. Lead with a bigger fly like a Pat’s, leech or searcher/attractor pattern followed by one or more smaller midge or baetis patterns. While imitative patterns work well, don’t hesitate to go with some bright and shiny flies this week. Sun exposure over the next few days will make for a skittish and selective trout resulting in deep holding positions. Do your best to get your flies deep by using ample split shot. Tungsten bead head flies will help with this as well. Target the deeper runs and slower pools most of the day, but don’t neglect the banks, cutoffs and shallow riffles. Streamers have beef fairly productive, but slow in the morning. While streamers are a viable option in the coming days, sun exposure and cool weather will hinder productivity.

  • Ideal Days to Fish: 11/26 & 11/28

  • Go to flies: ​

    • Subsurface - Pat's Rubber Leg (#8-12), Electric Caddis (#16-18), Caddis Candy (#16-18), Hare's Ear (#18 - 20), Psycho Prince Nymph (#18 -20), Pheasant Tail (#18-20), San Juan Worm, Olive RS2 (#20-22), Stalcups Baetis (#20-22), JuJu Baetis (#20-22), Black Beauty (#20-22), Zebra Midge (#18-20)

    • Surface - Parachute Adams (#22-24), Griffiths Gnat (#22-24), PMD Thorax Dun (#20-22), Parachute PMD (#20-22), Resting Caddis (#16-18), X2 Caddis (#16-18), Elk Hair Caddis (#16-18), Chubby Chernobyl (#10-12), Amy's Ant (#10-12), Hippie Stomper(#10-12)

    • Streamers - white Sparkle Minnow (#6), black Wooly Bugger (#4-5), Cheech Leech (#6)

      • ​Need flies for your trip? FlyCast has collaborated with our friends at Anglers All ​to package a dozen flies that are hot on the Colorado River right now - Click here for hand selected flies

Detailed River Info:

Background: 

The Colorado River, which flows through seven US states and two Mexican states originates in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park. There are three sections of river as it pertains to the state of Colorado, the Upper, Middle and Lower. The middle section begins in Gore Canyon near Kremmling and flows southwest to the town of Dotsero, six miles west of Gypsum off of I-70. On this picturesque stretch of river you'll find numerous Brown and Rainbow Trout as well as Rocky Mountain White Fish (or Whities). While this freestone river does experience its share of crowds especially near the Pumphouse access point and through Gore Canyon, solitude is just a float away. 

Angling: 

The Middle Colorado is great for anglers of all skill sets and preferences. While wading is certainly a option through Gore Canyon down to Needle Eye, you will be restricted to the banks for the most part. The stretch between Gore Canyon and Rancho Del Rio is generally the most busy as it offers a number of camping and entertainment options. That being said, it holds sizable trout and is a great float. If you're fortunate enough to float, we high recommend it. Fishing via raft is one our favorite ways to go as you can cover a lot of ground in a short period of time and access water only accessible by boat. We like to pull the boat out from time to time and fish that low pressure water or to enjoy a beverage. After Gore Canyon and depending on flows, you're looking a very manageable and fishing friendly float. For the most part you'll be dealing with class II water with the occasional class III rapid. This is a great river to learn how to row as there are minimal consequences and the water is generally forgiving. However, if you've never been behind the oars, we recommend learning from an experienced rower. 

Float Options:

  • Pumphouse to Radium - 4 miles

  • Radium to Rancho Del Rio - 5 miles 

  • Rancho Del Rio to State Bridge - 4 miles 

  • State Bridge to Two Bridges - 6 miles 

  • Two Bridges to Catamount Bridge -  8 miles 

  • Catamount Bridge to Burns - 5 miles 

  • Bruns to Pinball - 4 miles 

  • Pinball to Cottonwood - 14 miles 

  • Cottonwood to Dotsero - 6 miles

  

River Access:

There are a number of access points along the middle Colorado. Arguably, the most popular is at Pumphouse. Traveling from Denver, take I-70 West to Silverthorne then head north on Highway 9. Take CO-9 N roughly 35 miles to County Road 1(Trough Road), just before you reach Kremmling. From there you will take County Road 1 for 15 miles until you've reached the Pumphouse access road. If you plan on starting below Rancho Del Rio, we recommend passing Silverthorne and taking I-70 until you've reached the town of Wolcott just past the town of Edwards. From there you will take Colorado State Highway 131 until you reach the water. 

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