Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Hatches and Trout Flies for the Colorado River, Colorado
Since the river changes elevations drastically and since it flows across much of the
state of Colorado, you can expect the dates of aquatic insects hatches to vary
considerably depending on the location. A good selection of streamers is a good start.
The first of April until mid May brings on the first Blue-winged Olive hatches. They
hatch again from about the middle of August until mid October. If you are fishing the
Colorado River during these dates, it will pay you to have imitations of the BWOs.
Several fast water areas have huge Salmonfly hatches. Most of them have Golden
Stonefly hatches. Sometimes these hatches conflict with the spring runoff and the
water is still high but they are fishable for the most part. They start about the first of
June and hatch until the end of August depending on where you are fishing the river.
There is also several areas Little Yellow Stoneflies and Little Brown Stoneflies hatch.
Don't forget imitations of these stoneflies if you fish during that time period.
The slower moving, smoother water sections of the river have Trico hatches that start
about the middle of July and last into October. Several areas, more particularly along
the lower end of the river, have the Trico hatches. This may be your only opportunity
to fish a hatch so be certain to have plenty of imitations of all the stages of this little
Other than the BWOs, the Pale Morning Dun is the most consistent mayfly hatch. They
hatch from the middle of June to the middle of August in most areas of the river,
including the Rocky Mountains National Park.
Dark Red Quills hatch in many sections of the river. They start around the first of July
and last until the end of August depending on the location on the river.
Caddisflies are very important insects to imitate on the Colorado. There are several
species. One of the first is the Little Black Caddis (Brachcentrus species) called the
mothers day hatch. It starts towards the end of April and last until near the end of May
depending on the location. Green Sedges, the larva of which is called the Rock Worm,
are plentiful in the fast water areas. They hatch from about the middle of May through
July depending on the location. The most plentiful caddisflies are the spotted sedges.
There are several species that start hatching in May and last through September.
Others are the Short-horned Sedges, little black caddisflies that hatch in May and June
and Little Sister Caddisflies that hatch in July and August. There are other less
important species that hatch in isolated areas of the Colorado River.
In some areas of the river you will find populations of scuds. Imitations of these
crustaceans may be your best choice in some areas at certain times of the year. As
with most any trout stream, the Colorado River has a huge population of midges.
Although they hatch throughout the year, midges may be your best opportunity during
Terrestrial insects become important around the first of June in some areas. You would
want to have imitations of Japanese beetles, Carpenter ants, flying ants and
grasshoppers along with you if you fish the river anytime from the first of June until the
first of October.
Be sure to check out our "Perfect Flies". We have specific imitations of everything the
trout eat in the Colorado River. We feel certain it will be to your advantage to use
them. They are the most realistic and effective flies you can purchase.
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Colorado River Colorado
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