Upper Colorado River
Rob Herrmann Photography

Colorado River - Upper

Difficulty Intermediate
Ideal Days To Fish 6/18, 6/19 & 6/21

Weekly Report

Report DateJune 17, 2021

Flows on the Upper Colorado continue to see some sizable intraday swings, but remain well below historical levels for this time of year. Water clarity will be at its best in the early hours and temps will get to a point where it is no longer safe, when it comes to trout survival, to fish after 1 pm. As such, we’d encourage you to fish the early hours of the day when productivity is best as opposed to sleeping in. With the exception of Thursday (6/17), air temps are forecast to sit between 75 and 85 degrees through next week with a chance of afternoon rain on Saturday (6/19). We’ll take all the rain we can get at this point. Air pressure. During this time, air pressure will remain on the lower end so you’ll want to consider bigger and flashy bugs when it comes to your lead flies. Stones, leeches, caddis pupa and worms are all great options. Otherwise, trail with one or more smaller midge, baetis or caddis pupa. Focus on the soft water along the banks and through the deep and slow pools in the early hours, but as the day goes on, hit the riffles, seams and tailouts. That being said, trout will favor the slow stuff. Surface action has been good with consistent mayfly and BWO action. Caddis are growing in numbers as well so if you see trout actively rising to the surface, don’t hesitate to rig up some dries.

Recommended Flies

River Flow

Flow Region

Detailed River Info


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. 

River Access

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.