Jackson’s Late Summer Fishing Forecast
So far, there have been no reports of COVID-19 affecting our trout population – very good news!
Mid-summer fishing has been great with good weather and river flows. We have had great fishing in all of our South Park rivers, as well as the Blue, Colorado and Eagle. During the last week we have had some much-needed rain, raising flows to mid-July levels, at least for a while.
Looking forward, much of our future fishing success is weather dependent. Ideally, we will see cooler nights, with some rainfall increasing the flows every 4 or 5 days, and bluebird days in between! As the days shorten, rivers that were negatively affected by hot afternoon water temps will start to improve. These weather conditions will result in a great late summer angling season and are typical, so let’s hope for that! As flows drop, it is advised to look to the bigger watersheds that sustain higher flows, including the Arkansas, Eagle and Colorado rivers.
This time of the year the Green Drake hatch fades, but the Trico Hatch begins! On most of our rivers, especially the South Platte, Eagle and Colorado, the Trico hatch begins now and lasts through September. This hatch (and the way to fish it) is different than most hatches throughout the year. These small mayflies (male-black & female-olive) hatch from sunrise to about 8 a.m. Their adult lifespan lasts only 2-3 hours; after mating and laying eggs Trico’s fall to the water as deceased “spinners.” These spinners are where the trout focus their attention, much more than the hatch itself…
The angler can fish tiny dry fly spinner patterns (size 18-24) for cruising trout, often seen gulping multiple flies at a time! Spinners also sink below the surface film and trout can be fooled with a sunken version, such as long time Mountain Angler guide Randy Veeneman’s famous “Veeneman’s Drowned Trico Spinner” pattern. It is recommended to fish these beaded spinners on a dry/dropper rig a few feet below the surface.
Other important late summer hatches include Blue Winged Olive (Baetis), Pale Morning Duns and Caddis. Of course, don’t forget your terrestrials like hoppers, beetles and ants. Streamer fishing also becomes more productive as the waters cool off into the fall.
Lastly, some words of wisdom! In these tough times, getting outdoors by yourself or with friends or family allows you to forget the world’s troubles! Make time for the little things and enjoy life to the fullest!