Fishing on the Blue has been fairly consistent over the last couple of weeks. Mild temps and stable flows have led to predictable trout and high water clarity has made for great sight fishing. While the mornings have been slow with sub-freezing overnight temps, the late morning and afternoons have been great! Wednesday (11/24) was comparatively slow with sub-30 deg F temps and a dramatic swing in air pressure. However, things are looking up for the next few days as air temps return to the high 40’s to low 50’s range. While midges are hatching consistently throughout the day, surface action has been hit or miss. That said, if you see trout actively rising to surface flies, don’t hesitate to rig up some smaller midge duns and cluster patterns. Otherwise, small and simple midge and/or baetis imitations will do the trick when nymphing. Focus on the slack water and banks in the early hours as trout will settle here until water temps rise. In this type of water, a light nymph rig or dry dropper is a great option. As the day goes on and water temps rise, trout will gravitate to the deep and slow water, particularly in areas with cover. During this time, increase your depth and ensure plenty of weight. In the late morning and afternoons, emergers will be key as the hatch materializes. As such, we recommend trailing with a smaller pupa pattern like a Mercury Black Beauty, Manhattan Midge, Chocolate Foam Back Emerger, Mercury RS2 or Juju Emerger. As far as lead flies go, smaller attractors like a Perdigon, Rainbow Warrior, Frenchie Jig or Flashback PT will produce as air pressure will be elevated and trout will need some encouragement. Smaller larval patterns will produce from the lead as well.
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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.