The month of July has really seen an increase in the numbers of fisherman on the area lakes and streams in our region. On every lake, stream or river, you’ll find folks trying their hand at grabbing some trout for meal or just bragging rights. Float trips down the Rio Grande are especially popular right now.
This is a boon to the area but can cause problems with how the fish react to wading fishermen. The fish are still there in significant numbers but are a little more cautious than usual and the takes can be very light.
Last Tuesday I fished on the Rio Grande and found the fish taking tan Elk Hair Caddis on top and Pheasant Tail Nymphs fished as a dropper. As the evening wore on into twilight, large streamers produced some nice Rainbows out of the faster runs. Bead Head Prince Nymphs also produce for me so I suggest having a few of these in your box too.
The South Fork is also clearing and some nice fish have been taken as well. Dry flies such as Caddis, Drakes and Coachman will all take fish and I find that partly cloudy days to be the best for these waters.
Smaller creeks still hold vast numbers of small Brook Trout ready to bite about anything that is thrown in the water. They are both fun to catch and make a great shore lunch when cooked over an open fire.
Area lakes continue to produce stocker fish and at times fishing can be quite good. The bite is not like it was two weeks ago so patience is the key to catching fish now. Power-bait type presentations and worms work the best when fished with a small weight and number 14 hook. Using a treble hook does seem to increase the chances of snagging a fish once they bite.
The boat fishermen report lighter creels this past week but some still are getting their limits by starting very early in the morning. Trolling typical spinner and worm rigs seems to be the ticket on catching these fish.
Big Meadows is feeling the heat from additional fishermen due to Beaver Reservoir being closed for the season. This past week has seen dozens of people fishing and it’s starting to tell on the bag limits too with less fish being caught per fisherman.
Rio Grande Reservoir, Road Canyon and other Upper Valley lakes continue to produce fish but the moss is already starting to show up along some of the shorelines affecting access. Trolling worm and spinner rigs seems to be the best bait. Rio Grande Reservoir produced some very large Rainbows this past week.
We had some relatives visiting this week and they caught a lot of fish using a clear plastic float with a dry fly suspended about 5 feet below that, especially at the evening feeding times. Casting this rig from the shore on cloudy and windy days also worked well on area lakes.
Whatever your poison, find a wet spot and get out there and try your luck. The days are glorious and time spent afield is never wasted.