Cold temps and snow have returned to beautiful Estes Park. The cold night forecasts will likely ice up the majority of the canyon water pushing us back below the dam. Nymphing returns as the best strategy for finding fish, but always be prepared with small midge dries just in case. Water is very low and clear giving fish the ability to really see what they will be eating, so stay small and realistic. Try to start fishing mid day when those fish are moving about. Mornings and evenings are pretty cold but when mid day temps come to their warmest you can start to see midges hatching and if the fish are rising it's a pretty good indication that they are eating dries. If fish aren't taking bugs off of the surface stick to a nymph rig and find those deeper, slower holes. Fish will conserve as much energy as possible and will hold in deep pools where the current is minimal. Another thing to keep in mind is your tippet sizes and material. 5x, 6x, and 7x will be the way to go on most of the clear water. (Hint, Hint) Flourocarbon will offer a very stealthy presentation when fish are rising to small dries and eating tiny nymphs. Since the flies are so small it also helps to add a pea sized amount of Loon biostrike about a foot in front of your first fly to better locate your fly amid naturals.
Everything above and below Lake Estes is fairly frozen so moving more towards the actual tailwater will be the most productive. Fishing in here is a great option for the winter and can yield some very nice fish. As with any other tailwater the fishing is going to be rather technical. Be stealthy on your approach and downsize flies, leader, tippet, and indicators. Also try fishing some of the water others pass up with creative approaches like swinging small soft hackles or slow stripping small streamers and leeches. This can be a great way to make the most of crowded water.
Give the shop a ring if you have any questions!
Dries :: Biot Midge # 20-22, ARF Midge #20-22, Mole Midge #22-24, Eric's Hi-Vis Midge #20-24
Nymphs:: Black/Green Poison Tung #20-22, Cap'n Hook # 20-22, Juju Midge #18-22, Foam Wing RS2 #18-22, Sparkle Wing RS2 #18-22, Biot Midge Emerger #20-22, Pure Fire Midge Red #18-20
Streamers:: Thin Mint #8-12, North Platte Spiders, Mini Dungeons, Sparkle Minnow #8, Hot Head Leech #10, Black & Red Zonker #10
To Book your Guided Trip please contact the shop at (970)498-8968. Come Fly Fish Rocky Mountain National Park!