Because the Colorado is at a lower elevation, it will warm earlier and the insect hatches will start earlier than higher up where the snow is still on the ground. Hence the Colorado affords the opportunity for some good fishing quite early in the year provided the water condition is good.
The benefit of a colder March. After winter the fishing picks up around March. The quality of the fishing will depend on the temperatures prevailing at the time. The ideal water is light green where the visibility is good. The difficulty is that if the weather begins to warm in March and the run-off starts early, by the time the BWO's start to come off in late March the visibility will be poor. On the other hand if the winter remains colder through March, that will slow down the beginning of the run-off and will tend to keep the water a little clearer. This will make for some great fishing.
It should also be noted that from 15th March until 15th May fishing is prohibited 50 yards both upstream and downstream from No Name, Grizzly and Canyon Creeks while the rainbows are spawning.
Over the period from March through April, it is best to check local conditions and find out the quality of the water. If you can get on the water before the discoloration begins, you will experience some of the best fishing the area has to offer.
The midges will hatch in the morning and the BWO's will come off in the afternoon so be loaded with flies. The fish are not as particular as the Frying Pan and the Roaring Fork towards Basalt so you can use a heavier leaders and larger flies. Size #16 to #18 midge emergers are fine and will work better than on the Pan. In addition towards April, the caddis will start to move about, so carry some caddis larva and pupa patterns.
In addition, you might find it easier with a heavier rod. Maybe a six weight. It can tend to get a little windy so a faster action rod will move the line through the air a little better. In addition, the average fish is larger so a heavier rod will enable you to handle the fish more quickly and get your line back in the water.
Once the discoloration begins, the fishing will not be as acceptable until after the run-off has finished. The problem then is the rafters! Bless their hearts. They have a lot of fun, but traditionally they don't seem to care much for fishermen on the river and will float right through where you are fishing with nary a thought.
Theo’s bead head stone, tan - #10