Colorado River Float Fishing: First Week of October

Colorado River Float Fishing: First Week of October
























Flow: 1,000-1,200 CFS
Water Temps: 50-55
Clarity: Crystal Clear Tuesday, Slight Tint the rest of the week.
Peak Fishing: Fish are active on midges in the morning from 9-11 and switching over to BWO’s 11-2 pm. Comparatively slower from 3PM until just before dark.
Overall Rating: Good-Excellent. Still  70+ chances, 40 hook ups, 30+ fish boated everyday.

Point Flies: #8 Rubber Legs (brown or coffee/black) #10 Prince Nymph, #8-12 Twenty Incher Stone, #8-12 BH Black Bugger
Trailer Flies: #12-16 Hot Wire Prince, #10-12 Rubber Legs, #16-18 Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail, #18  BH Stalcop’s Beatis in grey, olive and brown, #18-20 Grey or black Johnny Flash, #18-20 Grey Loopwing Emerger.
Dry Flies: #18-22 Parachute Adams, 12-14 PMX and other small rubber legged attractors
Streamers: #4 Black Circus Peanut, Gonga and Double gonga in black, tan on the sunnier days.
Leaders/Tippet/Rigging: 9ft 3x leaders, 4x-6x tippet, AB, BB & 1 size split shot.  Weight, length and fly selection really depends on the water type you are fishing and is the difference between catching a few fish and a lot of fish.  As a rule of thumb we are fishing longer and heavier than we have all year.  Generally 6′ on up to 10′ in some spots indicator to weight.  two BB split shot, three fly rig, 14 inch spacing, 4x to the first fly, 5x to the middle fly, 5-6x on the third fly.

Floated the Colorado everywhere from Pumphouse to State Bridge from Tuesday 9/27 until Saturday 10/1.  Tuesday we experienced some extremely clear water and a sudden drop in flow out of Green Mountain that threw  the fish off in the afternoon.  Aside from those 2 hours, we hooked up on a regular basis from put in to take out all 5 days.  The short rig has it’s place in certain water but for the most part we were running pretty long and heavy. This meant being selective about where we through our flies. At this clarity it is very easy to see the cuts, shelves and drops.  When you see brown, it’s too shallow.  You want to look for the green bottom (deeper water) and throw your flies into it just as it slides of the “brown bottom (shallow water).  If you do that, and only that with the flies mentioned above  and the suggested rigging you will catch fish.  Make sure you are getting a long drift through the runs and cast less.  Once the water shallows up either backrow up the run or look for the next spot.  Within the runs off the structure you need to find that right water speed.  In most the runs  that right speed was against the outside bends of the runs.  That said, I would really work your first prominent run in the morning inside out and fine tune your depth, water speed, and fly selection.

NOTE ON STREAMERS: I swung some streamers at the Radium bridge each evenin from 7PM until dark and picked up a few nice browns.  Absolutely love the Double Gonga we just got in at the shop.  I was using a a skagit style setup on a switch rod with a 7 ‘ 1/2 sinking T11 MOW Tip. I was casting across to the slow water on the opposite banking and most the fish were attacking just as the fly began to swing towards the main seam off the slack water.  Streamer action should really pick up in the next couple of weeks!

It’s time to nail down your 2024 fly fishing trip with Minturn Anglers.

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Justin Nolan

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