It is officially fall on the Blue River, near Silverthorne. Flows continue to hold steady and are at a comfortable level for this time of year. That being said, flows are on the lower end of the ideal range which has pushed trout to the deep and slow water most of the day and has made for skittish and selective trout. Water clarity is about as good as it gets so be sure to practice stealth out there and do your best to keep a low profile so as to keep from spooking trout. Nymphing with smaller midge, baetis and caddis imitations has been and will continue to be the most effective mode of fishing. However, a searcher or attractor pattern that is intended to cover a variety of aquatic bug life species has been productive in the lead, or point fly, position. Focus on the deep and slow water most of the day, but look to the slack water along the banks as well as the outer seams in the morning and early afternoon, respectively. Midges remain the primary food source and have been the most reliable pattern to fish as of late. BWOs continue to make an appearance but can be hit or miss depending on the weather. With this in mind, come prepared to fish some dry flies, but count on nymphing to be the most effective and consistent.
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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.
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.