While flows have come down gradually over the last couple of weeks, water clarity remains on the lower end and the fishing is tough. This is not to say you won’t have a productive time on the water, but rather you will need to be a little more patient and be willing to cover a lot of ground. You expect water clarity to improve over the course of the day so there’s really no hurry to the water. That said, afternoon rain through the weekend and into next week will force some difficult decisions and clarity on this stretch of the Colorado is highly variable so don't be surprised if you find that it is largely blown out upon arrival. Regardless, off colored water can be used to your advantage as trout are less skittish and are generally more at ease. That being said, it is imperative that you hit them on the nose with your flies and go with flies that are dark in profile and move a lot of water. Nymphing with a black stone, leech, worm, egg or caddis larva at the lead to one or more smaller midge or baetis imitations has been and will continue to be effective. However, you’ll want to play around with your depth and indicator position. Trout will favor the banks and slack water, where the current is slowest and they can conserve the most energy, but will move in and out of the faster water to feed on emerging bugs. Surface action has been minimal, but we’re seeing consistent midge, BWO and caddis hatches so don’t discount those dry flies altogether.
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The Colorado River, which flows through seven US states and two Mexican states originates in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park. There are three sections of river as it pertains to the state of Colorado, the Upper, Middle and Lower. The Upper Colorado is a comparatively large freestone river that originates at the confluence of the Frasier River west of Granby and stretches to the confluence with Troublesome Creek west of Parshall. This picturesque stretch of river, which is lined with cottonwoods and willows, earned its Gold Medal status for its plethora of medium to large sized brown and rainbow trout.
Fishing on this smooth and meandering section of the Colorado is great for anglers of all skill sets and can be fished most of the year. Feature wise, this section provides everything from shallow riffles and slow runs to deep pools. Nymphing and streamer fishing are both effective, but it is most known for its summer dry fly fishing. During this time, there is an abundance of PMD, Caddis and Stoneflies. However, the Salmon fly hatch is arguably what entices anglers the most.
There are a number of great public access points. The following access points reference Granby as the starting point.
#1: Roughly 4 miles northwest of Granby on US Hwy 40 is a roadside pull off on the left side of the road with access on either side of the river.
#2: 11 miles west on US Hwy 40 to the Town of Hot Sulphur Springs Pioneer Park. From Hwy 40, turn right on CO Rd 20 then left over the bridge. There is a camping a picnic area that provides over a mile of public water on either side of the river.
#3: 13.1 miles west on Hwy 40 into Byers Canyon there is a parking area on the right hand side of the road and a short trail to the water.
#4: 13.3 miles west on Hwy 40 to the Hot Sulphur Springs State Wildlife Area/Joe Gerrans Area. From Hwy 40 take a left at the east end of the bridge onto CO Rd 50. There is roughly 2,300 acres of water on either side of the river.
#5: 13.4 miles west on Hwy 40 to Hot Sulphur Springs State Wildlife Area/Paul Gilbert Day Area. From Hwy 40 turn left on CO Rd 362. On the right side of the bridge you will find the day use area and a short (1/4 mile) section of public water.
#6: 13.6 miles west on Hwy 40 to Hot Sulphur Springs State Wildlife Area/Lone Buck. From Hwy 40 take a left at the sign for Lone Buck to find camping and a day use area with 2,300 acres of water on either side of the river.
#7: 15. 5 miles west on Hwy 40 to Kemp/Breeze State Wildlife Area. From Hwy 40 take a left on CO Rd 3. The parking lot is 0.7 miles on CO Rd 3 on the right. From there you can take a trail to the Confluence of the Colorado and Williams Fork.