Afternoon rains have been messing up various sections of river across the state. When faced with off-colored waters, increase your fly size and go to darker patterns. It’s easier for the fish to spot your offerings that way.
The increased releases to the Blue River, below Dillon Reservoir, have resulted in additional releases of Mysis shrimp; consequently, fishing with small translucent or whitish patterns has been effective. Midges also continue to be effective. Further downstream, work terrestrials in the afternoons, and if the rains come be ready to switch over to streamers.
Fall is the time when many anglers look forward to the kokanee runs, which will begin over the next couple of weeks. While many feel snagging (where allowed) is the way to go, in truth kokanee will readily strike flies and lures even though they aren’t feeding. In lakes, small, brightly colored streamers, spoons or jigs (pink, orange, red and chartreuse) will often elicit a strike. If faster retrieves aren’t working and fish are present, try working weighted flies or jigs below a float. In streams, many anglers feel egg patterns are the way to go. However, many a kokanee has been caught using more traditional fare, such as pheasant tails, prince nymphs and San Juan worms.
Look for fish to start showing up in the Dream Stream (catch and release only), Blue River and Gunnison River over the next few weeks. Any reservoir with an inlet is likely to see kokanee showing there, including the inlets to Dillon Reservoir. Just remember to check regulations before snagging. And one last point: If snagging is permitted, paint your hooks red or orange or add a bit of yarn to them. It will increase your success rate.
Wolford Reservoir is seeing kokanee starting to stage along the dam. Now is a good time to use electronics to locate schools and then work small jigs in those areas. Pink has been a good color choice. The ramp continues to be fully functional for all boats, though many anglers are wishing the skier traffic would abate.
Speaking of ramps, Williams Fork Reservoir’s ramp is closed to launching Tuesday through Thursday. Elevenmile Reservoir remains full and is popular with boaters. However, most are reporting slow action, both from the shore and trolling. Those doing best are napping during the day and fishing late afternoon into the night. For faster action, head up to Jefferson Lake, which was recently stocked; anglers are having good success on a variety of baits, and late afternoon is producing well with small flies behind a bubble.
Dave Coulson is the Colorado state editor for www.fishexplorer.com. He contributes a weekly fishing report to the Summit Daily.