Since increasing to a more productive level toward the end of May, flows on the Blue River, below the Dillon Dam, have held steady for the last several days. At this flow, there is ample water for trout to spread out. That being said, water clarity remains high and trout remain skittish and selective so you’re going to need to work for it. Rain over the next few days will make timing a crucial, yet tough to nail down, factor when it comes to a productive outing. In general, we’re expecting storm activity to occur later in the afternoons so the plan on hitting the water in the morning or late afternoon/evening. Regardless, day of planning will go a long way given the erratic nature of Colorado weather. Nymphing will do most of the heavy lifting and you’ll want to focus on a combination of searchers/attractors at the lead to one or more smaller imitations in the midge and baetis variety. Trout will feed most heavily during the warmest hours of the day, but they will be especially active in the hours leading up to and immediately after storm activity. Hatch activity has been strong as of late with midges and BWOs making regular appearances so come prepared to fish some dries. Trout are holding to the deep and slow water during the coldest hours of the day, but are regularly spreading out to feed in the faster moving riffles, seams and transitions during the hatch.
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Below Dillon Dam is a prized section of the Blue River that runs 19 miles until it meets the Green Mountain Reservoir. The stretch of river that runs through the town of Silverthorne is one of the most sought after tail waters in Colorado. Dillon Reservoir is one of the few Colorado reservoirs that was stocked with Mysis Shrimp and as a result, when water is released from the dam, shrimp trickle into the river. This calorie-rich meal is the trout equivalent to a body builders training supplement and results in some beefy fish! This section of the Blue is unique in that it runs through the tourist heavy town of Silverthorne. Therefore, if you are looking for a fishing experience full of spectators touting Tommy Hilfiger bags with a shot at landing a trophy trout, the section through Silverthorne is for you. If you are seeking more solitude and less materialism, head north down Highway 9 and pull off at one of the designated parking areas for fishing access.
The Silverthorne stretch of the Blue is a pocket water paradise. Anglers can leave their “A River Run’s Through It” casts at home and instead focus on short and tactical casts. Anglers can expect to find Rainbow, Brown and Brooke trout along this stretch with the highest concentration of trophy Rainbows being located below the dam. With the exception of Mysis Shrimp, the fly selection for the Blue is relatively consistent with the other popular Colorado tail waters. Size 18 – 24 Midge and Baetis nymphs produce year round. In the warmer months, this stretch of the Blue experiences quality Green Drake and BWO hatches. The Blue River is an accessible year round fishery and can easily be coupled with a half ski, half fish day or a family trip to the outlet malls where you drop the family and you seek much needed alone time on the water.
The tail water section of the Blue River below Dillon Reservoir has several miles of public water access between the town of Silverthorne and Green Mountain Reservoir. The most popular section runs behind the Silverthorne Outlets and can be accessed very easily. If you're looking for more solitude, wander north on Highway 9 towards Green Mountain Reservoir. While there is sporadic stretches of private water, the public water sections can be easily identified by parking and Department of Wildlife signage.