You’ve waited long enough! It is time to release our Blue River fly fishing reports and forecasts!
The Blue River is one of my favorite Colorado fly fishing destinations! Not only can you catch trophy worthy trout within an hour and a half of Denver, but it offers a wide variety of landscapes and fishing conditions. Arguably, the most popular is the section near the outlets in Silverthorne, Colorado. Its’ ease of access and sizable trout can often lead to heavy angler traffic. However, this section is situated below the Dillon Reservoir and can be fished year round. There are a number of parking options, some more legal or acceptable than others. So, if you’re willing to risk a parking ticket like many anglers, you can park at the outlets and hurry down to the water. Instead, I would recommend driving past the outlets and parking under the bridge or along the access road.
Flashbacks Are Good For More Than Just Nymphs
One of my more memorable Blue fishing stories took place last year when Travis and I skied Arapahoe Basin in the morning and fished the outlets in the afternoon. Skiing conditions were garbage so it was easy to leave the mountain for the stream. It was a chilly 9 degrees F when we began gearing up under the bridge and there wasn’t an angler in site. Trout in this stretch are fairly skittish so we quietly shut the truck doors and tailgate and stealthily approached the water. After fishing for an hour or so I figured I would check in with my fishing partner and strategize over a beer. However, when I set down my gear to search for Travis he was nowhere to be seen. I bushwhacked through the thicket to find him nearly lying down below a hole he was fishing. My instinct was to laugh, but in all seriousness that’s how careful you have to be when fishing this tricky tail water. Moments later he hooked a nice sized rainbow and shoved my skepticism in my face. After that, we celebrated with one of our go-to fishing beers, an Eddy Line Brewing Crank Yanker IPA. Not only do they come in 16oz cans, but they offer a nice little kick. Soon after we resumed fishing and the slick nature of the riverbed caused me to take a little swim! I fell! Not Travis, me! Travis is notorious for his clumsy dances on the water and I have become accustomed to laughing my ass off at him. I finally paid the piper. I was soaked and the temperature was dropping as the sun set behind the dam. I sucked it up for another hour, but was left with an empty net.
Floating On a Dream
If you have the means to float, I highly recommend putting in below Green Mountain reservoir and floating towards Kremmling, Colorado. Having a raft is ideal as you can legally float, so long as you don’t get out of the boat, through several miles of private water and hook into some dinosaur trout. There is about a mile of public water below the dam as well. Fly fishing vets would likely shoot me for sharing this, but there is a private section a couple miles past the put-in dubbed Jurassic Park where the trout are stocked and regularly fed. Be careful through this stretch as the ranch owner has 24 hour patrol men and women who will ticket you for anchoring down. If you hook into a fish make sure your raft captain is prepared to row against the current while you net your fish. My fishing mentor and idol, Craig (yessss that’s my dad), pulled out a 15-pound rainbow that he fought for nearly an hour on this stretch. His rower was, to say the least, tired!
While I cannot say that I’ve caught a trout of that size on this stretch, I’ve grown fond of the memories and traditions. One of my favorite traditions is to enjoy a sports drink (red beer) along the way. Sports drinks are a necessity for float trips. It often gets hot and you need to quench your thirst and replenish calories. To paraphrase Jimmy Buffet, It’s always 5 o’clock on the river.
The Blue River has something for everyone and I highly recommend you give it shot. If you don’t have a raft or you don’t want to fight the crowds at the dam, during the non-winter months there are a number public access points along highway 9 that are worth a shot.
As always please feel free to send us your best fishing stories and pics! We’re always looking for feedback and river intel so drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or share your testimonial at fishflycast.com