Upper Colorado River
Rob Herrmann Photography

Colorado River - Upper

Difficulty Intermediate
Ideal Days To Fish 10/14, 10/16 & 10/17

Weekly Report

Report DateOct. 14, 2021

After increasing at the end of last week, flows on the Upper Colorado, near Parshall, have leveled off but remain at productive levels. A cold front is expected to move in on Thurs (10/14) bringing a strong chance of snow. That said, it will move out quickly and air temps will begin to moderate starting as early as Fri (10/15). Regardless, productivity has been great as of late and the trout are not terribly selective. Nymph rigs will continue to produce the most consistent results. However, smaller streamers are highly effective as well, especially in times of cloud cover and mild temps. When nymphing, you’ll want to lead with bigger attractor patterns on Thurs and Sun through Mon as air pressure will hold on the lower end and trout will be more enticed by bigger offerings. Otherwise, small attractors like a Brassie, Frenchie, red Copper John, Perdigon or Rainbow Warrior will produce from the lead. Trail any of the aforementioned patterns with one or more smaller imitative midge or baetis like a Zebra Midge, Black Beauty, Top Secret, RS2, Darth Baetis or Juju Baetis. Hatch activity has been good as well with midge and BWOs making regular appearances throughout the day.

Recommended Flies

River Flow

Flow Region
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Detailed River Info


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 Upper Colorado is a comparatively large freestone river that originates at the confluence of the Frasier River west of Granby and stretches to the confluence with Troublesome Creek west of Parshall. This picturesque stretch of river, which is lined with cottonwoods and willows, earned its Gold Medal status for its plethora of medium to large sized brown and rainbow trout. 


Fishing on this smooth and meandering section of the Colorado is great for anglers of all skill sets and can be fished most of the year. Feature wise, this section provides everything from shallow riffles and slow runs to deep pools. Nymphing and streamer fishing are both effective, but it is most known for its summer dry fly fishing. During this time, there is an abundance of PMD, Caddis and Stoneflies. However, the Salmon fly hatch is arguably what entices anglers the most. 

River Access

There are a number of great public access points. The following access points reference Granby as the starting point.

#1: Roughly 4 miles northwest of Granby on US Hwy 40 is a roadside pull off on the left side of the road with access on either side of the river.

#2: 11 miles west on US Hwy 40 to the Town of Hot Sulphur Springs Pioneer Park. From Hwy 40, turn right on CO Rd 20 then left over the bridge. There is a camping a picnic area that provides over a mile of public water on either side of the river. 

#3: 13.1 miles west on Hwy 40 into Byers Canyon there is a parking area on the right hand side of the road and a short trail to the water.

#4: 13.3 miles west on Hwy 40 to the Hot Sulphur Springs State Wildlife Area/Joe Gerrans Area. From Hwy 40 take a left at the east end of the bridge onto CO Rd 50. There is roughly 2,300 acres of water on either side of the river.

#5: 13.4 miles west on Hwy 40 to Hot Sulphur Springs State Wildlife Area/Paul Gilbert Day Area. From Hwy 40 turn left on CO Rd 362. On the right side of the bridge you will find the day use area and a short (1/4 mile) section of public water.

#6: 13.6 miles west on Hwy 40 to Hot Sulphur Springs State Wildlife Area/Lone Buck. From Hwy 40 take a left at the sign for Lone Buck to find camping and a day use area with 2,300 acres of water on either side of the river.

#7: 15. 5 miles west on Hwy 40 to Kemp/Breeze State Wildlife Area. From Hwy 40 take a left on CO Rd 3. The parking lot is 0.7 miles on CO Rd 3 on the right. From there you can take a trail to the Confluence of the Colorado and Williams Fork.