North Park Fishing Report 11-3-2017
Fall is in the air here in the Colorado Rockies and winter is quickly approaching. The leaves are changing and the Colorado hillsides are glowing with vibrant colors. The best part about fly fishing is that trout live in beautiful places and there is still time before it starts to freeze. The browns are about done spawning across the valley now but still willing to eat before winter. The next few weeks will probably continue to slow down so you better get here now while you still have a chance.
Over the past week fishing here in the valley has been good but is beginning to slow. Colder temps and a few snowy days have the rivers at decent levels and the trout are hungry. The action in the valley’s meadow stream has been good with flows raising a bit but cold nights have been making early morning fishing a little slower, go ahead and sleep in until the water starts to warm up a bit. The local lakes here in the valley have been fishing well lately with fish starting to pack on the pounds for winter. Streamers have been producing throughout the day, but especially earlier and later during low light periods. During the day the fish are still a bit deeper so indicator rigs have been producing the best numbers but streamers will still work as well.
The meadow streams have been good over the last couple weeks with fishable water levels and the browns are out and about after their spawn. Water levels have started to drop again but are still at a good level for fishing. Colder nights have pushed back the prime feeding times to a little later in the morning though as the water temps rise. This time of year the fishing is very technical with lower flows and cold water temps so you need to be stealthy and hunt them. The fish are holding tight to cover and in cut-banks. Walk softly, keep a low profile, use longer leaders, and make longer casts reaching out to the fish without spooking them. Terrestrials are dying off but nymphing is still producing fish and with the browns being aggressive, searching with a small to medium sized streamer can be very effective as well.
The Platte is at a level in which you can still wade fish easily and should continue to drop over the next few weeks. The fish have staged themselves into the deeper troughs, riffle runs, and pocket water. The best action is usually later in the morning and throughout the afternoon due to the cold water temps. Nymphing down deep has been producing fish, and stripping smaller streamers have been the most productive, but some sporadic Caddis and BWOs have been coming off still, so watch for sippers on warmer days.
The flows in the valley are good for this time of year, with a couple snows in the last month the flows have risen but the temps have dropped. The action doesn’t start to heat up until the water warms a bit first so early to mid afternoon seems to be prime time. Streamer fishing has been good in the last couple weeks with the browns spawning. Nymphing can still be effective in deeper bends and pools, try small golden/brown stoneflies and caddis patterns. Some BWOs and caddis are still coming off as well, so watch for fish rising on calmer warm days.
There are 2 stretches of public water on the Platte in the valley. They are Verner SWA and Brownlee SWA which are located west of town off CR 18. These two stretches are concurrent and cover about 2 miles of water.
FYI: North Platte Flows in North Gate Canyon (Routt Access to Pickeroon)
0-750 CFS good Wade fishing level
500-4000 Good Float/ Fishing Level
4000 and above best for Whitewater
North Platte River Flows: click here
The Delaney Lakes, Lake John, and Cowdrey are all fishing awesome! With colder nights, the fish are starting to put on the fall feed bag. Running an indicator rig with chironomids, leeches, and eggs down have been producing some fish, and stripping streamers from the bank has been very productive as well. The night bite has been good as well, and slowly striping large streamers and crayfish along the bottom has been producing some very nice fish! Good Luck!
For those wanting to fish under an indicator, there are several different patterns you will want to have by your side… Mini leeches #8 and #10 in a variety of colors, black, wine, olive, gray, and brown. Eggs #12-16 in a variety of colors, Scuds #12 – #16 in tan, olive, pink, and orange. Chironomids #12 to #16 in black, olive, and red. Water Boatmen #14 -#16. While these are not the only flies that will produce fish, it will give you a running start in the right direction.
High Country Lakes and Streams
The high country season has pretty much wrapped up. With cold weather and snow accumulating in the mountains, most of the trails are snowed in and the lakes frozen.