Fall has officially made landfall here in the Rockies. The mornings are crisp, the trees are in full color and the fish are definitely biting! The change in the season heralds in the brown spawn as well as the kokanee salmon run. Kokanee start their life as a typical silver salmonoid but during the spawn exhibit brilliant sexual dimorphism. They gain a deep beet red color and grow a massive kype jaw which gives them a very prehistoric appearance. In my mind there is no better time to fish! But do not allow your passion for the fall fishing to override being an ethical fisherman; don't chase spawning trout off of their nests. A big juicy meal can make a fish in the spawn disregard its need to breed in favor of biting your hook. Hi-Vis hoppers are a great choice as soon enough these hoppers will be gone for the winter and the fish know that. A white squirmy worm will imitate a dead worm well and produce more bites than a simple RS2 would this time of year. A streamer will pull a fish into an active chase if it is protecting a spawning bed but it is up to you if you are willing to pull them away for that nice picture. We hope to see you on the river!
Eric Zamudio is a guide with Breckenridge Outfitters. Stop by the shop throughout the weekend for updated conditions, flys and everything for a day on the river.
River flows by cfs
Upper Arkansas (Nathrop) — 319
Lower Arkansas (Salida) — 271
Blue River (below Dillon Reservoir) — 101
Blue River (below Green Mountain Reservoir) — 798
Colorado River (Windy Gap) — 115
Colorado River (Kremmling) — 1220
Eagle River (Minturn) — 51.7
Eagle River (below water treatment in Avon) — 84.2
Eagle River (Gypsum) — 157
Middle Fork South Platte River (below Montgomery Reservoir) — 4.3
South Fork of the South Platte (Antero) — 0
South Platte at “Dream Stream” (below Spinney Reservoir) — 90.2
South Platte at Williams Fork (below reservoir) — 203
Note: All CFS (cubic feet per second) data taken on Sept. 21 from U.S. Geological Survey data.