Summit County Weekly Fishing Report
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Summit County, Colorado
BRECKENRIDGE – The recent warm weather might feel nice on an angler’s shoulders, but it doesn’t help much with filling up their nets. As the snow continues to melt in the High Country, the streams in the area are flowing faster, causing riverbeds to get blown out.
Visibility – for fish and anglers – is rough, and if fish can’t see the flies, they aren’t going to bite.
“It’s pretty much a waiting game, right now,” said Ned Parker – owner of Breckenridge Outfitters – in regard to the rivers clearing and flows settling down.
Parker said the Colorado River in William’s Fork is completely blown out and, really, “not worth fishing,” right now.
Although, if you happen to get caught on a muddy riverbank and still want to cast a fly, Parker said the best route is simple: streamers.
“Pretty much on all the rivers right now – when the flows are up and it’s a little off-color – streamers are a great way to catch fish,” he said. ” … There are some fish pushed up along the sides, so if you happen to be up there, you can still fish along the sides. Just throw some bright-colored flies if you’re in the muddy water.”
It could change quickly, Parker said, which is why he recommended getting on the Blue River as soon as possible.
“The Blue below the Green Mountain Reservoir and below Dillon are fishing very, very well,” he said. “That’s probably going to change in the next week, just due to hotter weather and more run-ff from the higher country.”
For now, though, Parker says to head to the Blue with some streamers. Led-eye marabou leaches should work well, and really, any heavy streamer will do the trick.
“With the flow coming through those holes, you definitely want something that’s heavy that can get down so the trout can see it,” Parker said. “On brighter days, if the water clarity’s not that bad, throw some darker patterns. If it is bad, throw bright – orange, yellows, light brown, stuff like that. The fish will see it and come after it.”
Parker expects some hatches of caddis and blue-winged olives in the area soon, but if the flows get harder and the Blue gets muddy, it will be tough to catch much.
The South Platte River in Park County has also been fishing well, Parker said. He and his guides at Breckenridge Outfitters have been running trips down in the Dream Stream section below the Spinney Mountain Reservoir, and Parker said the flows are at about 63 cubic feet per second.
He said both caddis and blue-winged olives are working well, and the same goes for the upper sections of the Arkansas River.
“It’s flowing high, but the flows aren’t really all that dirty yet,” he added about the Arkansas. “Caddis, blue-wings, stone flies and definitely ripping some streamers through those holes should be good.”
This time of year, Parker said, streamers can be a great asset to any angler hoping to draw a fish out of a murky hole in the river.
Although, he suggests using it a bit differently than most.
“A lot of people don’t fish this way, but using a streamer as the leading fly on your nymph rig is a great way to go, especially as your drift moves to the hole,” he said. “You can just let it swing, and the fish will take the streamer on that swing.”
Most nymph rigs consist of two nymphs (sub-surface flies) separated by roughly a foot of tippet, and in Parker’s setup, he said to replace the second nymph with a streamer.
After tying an initial nymph to your tippet, Parker said to add another foot or so of tippet, tied to the shank of the nymph’s hook, and add the streamer to the end of that tippet.
Similar to the idea of the double-nymph rig, this setup with the streamer will allow the fly to be submerged for fish under the surface.
After casting this rig in a hard-flowing river, the lead fly – in this case, the streamer – will swing quicker down river, attracting the fish.
“A lot of people don’t fish that way, but it’s a great way to get a few more fish in the net, especially with these bigger, dirtier flows,” Parker said.
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