March update for the Front Range

At long last we have arrived at the month of March.  A cold and snowy winter here on the front range has most of us awaiting the longer days and warmer temps the moth can bring with it. It’s the time of year we all start getting new lines, restocking on leaders and tippet, and finishing up those fly boxes. Let’s take a brief look ahead at what to expect for the month and get prepared for what should be another amazing year of fishing.  

March’s warmer temperatures will cause a lot of the lower elevation lakes to start to ice-off.  These can include some of the reservoirs and a lot of the Wyoming plains lakes. This can be a magical time of year for anglers. The fish are hungry and very willing to take a fly. In order to catch these lakes in their first week or two keep an eye on average lows and wind.  A few warm days with a good breeze and you are perfectly set up for a great day of fishing.  

The next obvious place to find fish as we have been doing all winter is to fish the tailwaters. Think the Big Thompson below the dam in Estes Park, or any of the famous stretches on the South Platte. These river sections no matter the weather should be relatively ice free and the fish will be moving around looking to eat. Fish the deeper pools and slower runs but don’t ignore the riffles as fish will start moving in to the faster water as the temperatures warm up.   

Bug life will also start to increase across the state. As more and more freestone sections of river join their tailwater brothers in being ice-free, bug life only intensifies. The BWO hatches will start to become more frequent and the first hints of stoneflies crawling around mean larger flies are not always a bad choice. Tungsten pat’s rubber legs is a go-to for me in the early part of spring all the way till summer.   

Now this isn’t to say fishing midges isn’t important, it is as the midge hatches in the early spring can be thick and a small Griffith’s gnat is my dry fly of choice for March. Fish it big or small with a light dropper underneath like a 24 neon nightmare midge. This or a small Parachute Adams with a BWO nymph under it seem to be my most productive rigs this time of year. 

March is an amazing month where the water starts to come back and the bugs really get going. Fish the runs deep with at least 5x if not smaller tippet and keep your eyes on the top water action. It can come in fast and make for some truly epic days on the water. Fighting through a little snow and cold can really mean great, quiet, fishy days. 

If you have any questions or need to restock and get your gear ready to fish please stop in or call Front Range Anglers in Boulder we would love to help get you on the water and have the best season possible: 877-935-2975

Guide: Tyler Jaskey