Summit County Weekly Fishing Report
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Summit County, Colorado
SILVERTHORNE – For those anglers who may see the recent warm temperatures as a surefire sign that fishing season is beginning to heat up, Sean Dailey said that, well, you’re right.
“It’s getting a lot better,” said Dailey of Silverhorne’s Cutthroat Anglers, located off Highway 9. “And we don’t have the big crowds right now with it being slow season. So, it’s definitely worth getting out.”
Flows are up, flies are hatching, and Dailey said some basic techniques should land some fish in the area.
On the Blue River, Dailey suggested casting a dry-dropper rig with an emerger below a may fly, such as a blue-winged olive.
“Blue River is fishing better than it was a couple weeks ago,” he said. “Big betas hatches in the afternoon. Still the generic bead-head patterns on the top, dropping down to a smaller midge pattern – a zebra midge, rojo midge, jujubees, the generic midge patterns.”
He also said to look to CDC, pheasant tail flashbacks, hare’s ears and prince nymph patterns.
The caddis and betas hatches on the Blue should be getting better in the next week.
“It’s getting warmer, so around late afternoon and evening look for those caddis hatches,” Dailey said.
When the visibility is low, he said to fish brighter colors, and if the fish are hitting the surface, fish betas and look for caddis.
For sub-surface patterns, Dailey recommends hunchback midges.
As far as sizes go, he advised leaning toward small dry flies, but that midges and nymphs can be fished larger than in previous weeks.
“The bugs are starting to get bigger, as opposed to a month ago when every thing was 22 or 20,” he said. “Now you can get up to 16 or 18 on your nymph patterns and 20 on your midge patterns. Your betas is still pretty small, 18 or 20s.”
The Colorado River is also fishing well right now, Dailey said.
Some salmon fly hatches should have started as recently as Tuesday, and Dailey said big stone flies – likely adult salmon flies – and betas are fishing well.
“Depending on where you’re fishing, it’s still the generic bead heads and emerger patterns, betas emergers representing the may flies,” he said.
A good place to look on the Colorado, Dailey said, is the area surrounding Hot Sulfur Springs, where the river will likely be less washed-out than around Pumphouse.
For those wanting to head west, Dailey said to take a look at the Eagle River, where caddis are already popping up.
“Look for (caddis) around 1 or 2 (p.m.) and betas in the morning,” he added. “Especially on overcast days, the betas should work well. There should be some salmon flies on warmer days, too.”
Bead heads, prince nymphs and pheasant tail flashbacks are also a good choice, he said.
If the visibility of the water is low, Dailey said to use a brighter pattern like a red copper John or the flashbacks.
If the fish aren’t coming to the surface, try caddis pupa larva. “Those have been productive,” he said.
The Mother’s Day caddis hatch on the Arkansas River was productive, and Dailey said the river is fishing well.
“The Arkansas is always a great place to go, and the flows are real good right now,” he added.
Basically, the dry-dropper rig is exactly what it’s name indicates: A dry fly with an emerger (or dropper) tied below it.
Dailey said this strategy is a good above-surface alternative to the double-nymph rig.
And the rig is simple to tie.
First, tie a dry fly to the end of your tippet, normally a betas or a blue-winged olive. (Dailey suggests the blue-winged olive right now).
Then, extending between 12-16 inches of new tippet from the blue-winged olive, tie an emerger pattern – a fly that will generally submerge slightly below the surface.
For the emerger, Dailey recommends a jujubee or UV emerger, between 20-22, or an RS2, which is a replica of the betas hatch.
One key, he added, is to make sure the dry fly at the top has sufficient flotant on it. Also, the emerger shouldn’t pull the dry fly down below the surface.
“The flies themselves sit really high up on the water, so if you don’t have sufficient flotant, you’re going to sink them down,” he said.
The rig should give an angler a chance to catch a fish whether it’s hitting above or below the surface.
“If you can’t get them to hit on top, the fish will be getting that emerging midge coming out that are about to hatch.”
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