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Blue River

For Denver area flyfishers, the Blue River, which rests just an hour-and-a-half west of the city off I-70, is an excellent after-work and short weekend option. However, due to its location, it can suffer from crowding.

Despite its location and a good population of trout, not many people consider the Blue their favorite river. However, for those who know the Blue, “Big trout,” “Broken tippet” and “the one that came off,” are all phrases that are commonly heard as those anglers head home from the river.

It hasn’t always been that way; improvements on the Blue over the last four or five years have benefited the fishery. New catch-and-release regulations to strengthen the population of larger fish and the fact that the rainbows, browns, and brookies in this river have bellied up to a diet of seafood – a white shrimp called Mysis – have played a big part in these improvements.

The Blue below Dillon Reservoir is not a typical Colorado tailwater. In fact, fishing the Blue below Dillon is a somewhat urban experience – it flows through Silverthorne, and those fast food joints, gas stations, and factory outlet stores make a strange setting for a blue ribbon trout stream.

River description excerpted from Flyfisher's Guide to Colorado by Marty Bartholomew

River description excerpted from Flyfisher’s Guide to Colorado by Marty Bartholomew

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Latest Guide Report

Fishing Report Date: 03-07-2015

The Blue River continues to be a top producer this spring. Flows have settled down to just over 100 CFS, but it’s still fishing great. At this point it’s no secret that there’s some great fishing going on in Summit County, so be prepared for plenty of company. Be courteous to your fellow anglers and try to give folks a little space or a high five. There’s plenty of open water to go around.

This particular Saturday was a family trip, so I got to the river a little late. With the big weekend crowds, all of the typical holes were occupied, sometimes by up to three anglers. This forced me to call an audible, which ended up working out just fine. Every fish I ended up catching throughout the day was in a foot of water or less. I slowly crept upstream, looking for fish along the edge of the river and then sight fished to them. By watching the fishes’ body language, or looking for a white flash of the mouth I could tell when to set the hook. Fish after fish came to net from within a foot or two of the shore. Another tactic that worked great was fishing upstream casting under the bridge just below the I-70 bridge. By using a micro New Zealand Strike Indicator, I could see what was happening, but not spook fish. Plus the ultra sensitivity of the wool relayed even the slightest take in the dark under the bridge.

Fly-wise things haven’t really changed since earlier in the winter. Your starting lineup should include some type of mysis in the mix, like the Minute Mysis, BTS Mysis, Charlie’s Mysis etc. We’ve had best success on sizes 16-18. Other small midges are also consistently pulling fish. Pure Midge Larva in red and cream, Black RS-2′s in #22, #22 Chocolate Emergers, #18 Two Bit Hooker, #20 Rainbow Warrior, and #22 UV Emergers are all winners.

Blue River Bow Release

Another one going back to the river.

Blue River Bow Sight Fishing

This is an example of what to look for when sight fishing on the Blue river

Blue River Bow Below Bridge

This bow was targeted and caught within a foot of the shore.

Report Statistics
5/5Time on Water: 5
Number of Anglers: 1
Hoook Ups:
Fish Landed:
Weather Experienced

Temperature: 45
Wind Conditions: Light-Breeze
Precipitation: None
Water Observations

Water Temperature: 34
Flow Level: 110 CFS
Runoff? Clear
Erik Myhre

Report Submitted By: Erik Myhre

Blue River Water Flow Graphs