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Summit County Fishing Report

BRYCE EVANS
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado

FRISCO – While all the rivers and streams of the area certainly look inviting to paddlers, the same can’t be said for local anglers.

The melting snowpack has blown out most local waters, and the heavy flows make wading difficult.

Although, none of that means you can’t still catch fish. You just have to be a bit smarter about it.

“When the water is up this high, you definitely have to pick your spots really well,” said Zeke Hersh, owner of Frisco’s Blue River Anglers.

One spot Hersh had some success on recently was in Silverthorne, just below the dam.

“Believe it or not, the Blue (River) just below the dam in Silverthorne fishes pretty good at high water levels,” he said. “You’re probably going to be doing more hooking, rather than landing fish. The water flows make it hard for the fish to be landed. “

Hersh said he hooked between 10 and 15 fish in a two-hour span recently.

For those looking to do the same, he suggested using large mysis shrimp patterns and large nymphs, everything from rainbow warriors to crystal pheasant tails.

More important, though, Hersh said you need to fish in the right areas.

“When you’re fishing, you’re looking for any little pocket along the bank where any fish could hold,” he said.

Hersh said he went to as large as 2X tippet while on that stretch of the Blue, but he recommends sticking at about 3X.

Other areas are seeing similar high flows to that of Summit County.

Hersh said, while the Dream Stream – located between the Spinney and Eleven Mile reservoirs – is running high, the water is still clear.

“Looking for caddis hatching and a little yellow sally hatch,” Hersh said of the area. “So, small little yellow stonefly nymphs are working really well.”

Emergers and small pheasant tails, as well as some hare’s ears and San Juan worms, are working well in the area, too.

While reservoir fishing is certainly good this time of year, Hersh said to also look toward the “braided” sections of the Arkansas River.

“When it’s this high, there are overflows,” he said. “And when there are overflows, there are some old river channels that it will overflow into. Those are good options, the fish will move into that slower water.”

The South Platte River should have similar sections, Hersh added.

Luckily for local anglers, the high flows should settle down in the next week. Hersh, who’s also an avid fat tire rider, said a good sign is when the area’s mountain bike trails have dried up, which most have recently.

“There’s not a whole lot of snow still in the mountains, so I can’t imagine this lasting past this week,” he said of the snowmelt in the area.

Putting it simply, Hersh said patience is the key to fishing this time of year.

“It’s muddy water and you can’t move a lot, so you’re looking for any back pocket or swirl along the bank, and if you spend the time in that spot, there’s a chance you’ll get a fish, because that’s really the only area they can hang out,” he said.

And with the muddy water, Hersh said the best bet is to throw big, dark-colored flies.

“For these kind of conditions, dark flies in muddy water are going to stand out more,” he said. “The muddier the water, the darker the fly.”


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