December on the Colorado River

December Fly Fishing the Colorado River


Ben Johnston

Fellow fly fishing addict


It’s not just about the fish.


The streamer bite on the Colorado river has been on fire this fall into the early winter, and if you are thinking about going out, I highly recommend driving a little further, ditching the crowds, and experiencing this amazing fishery. No need for a drift boat, as wade fishing has been great from Pumphouse down to Two Bridges. As the weather continues to get colder, the fish will become concentrated in the slow deep pools where nymph fishing under an indicator with stoneflies, eggs, and smaller midges and mayflies are my go to nymphs this time of year. Remember to wear your favorite pair of fishing gloves, and to take them off while handling fish, as this not only protects the fish’s slime coat but also leaves you dry and warm gloves to put your hands in after the release. Until next time stay dry, warm and tight lines!




pumphouse-2 It’s about the walk to the river in that pristine Colorado air. It’s about not being at work on a Tuesday.  It’s about hearing the California Zephr coming through the tunnel and the travelers in the Vistadome cars wishing they were out with you on the Colorado.


OK. It’s also about the fish.


Streamer Fishing on the Colorado

Streamer Fishing on the Colorado

Ben Johnston

Fellow fly fishing addict    October 2016


I don’t usually throw streamers, but this fall they were the go to bug for me. Like most anglers, when I get to any river I start with a nymph rig because I know it will catch fish. I can see the stoneflies mayflies under rocks on the bank, and when I throw my first cast I have confidence I need that the fish will eat my rig. This was never the case with streamers for me until this past October.

I had invited two fishy friends to come on a float on the Colorado River with myself, and when we finally got in the boat early on a cold and cloudy morning both of their rigs surprised me. Large streamers dangled off the ends of their lines, and despite my best efforts, I couldn’t convince them to switch to the tried and true nymph rig. Its a good thing they are stubborn. As I rowed away from the boat ramp, a excited hoot came from the front of the boat, I looked out, and a 20 inch brown was thrashing on the end of his line. We landed the fish, got a quick picture, and watched it swim back to his former ambush point.

That day, I never got off the sticks, but this was due to the insane streamer bite my buddies experienced. When I pulled us into the take out (in the pitch black night) I had the epiphany: fishing with confidence is everything. I had never had a good day throwing meat, so when I did put on my minnow imitation of choice, I tended to not fish it as hard as I should, and never give it a chance. This single day changed my opinion of streamers completely. And for the next 7 weekends we floated the same stretch, throwing a green and silver sparkle minnow every time, and having some of the best fishing of my life.

DTU Events you must not miss! Cast & Sip 9/8 and CarpSlam AfterParty 9/10. Get tks NOW!

Cast and Sip

City Park Pavilion – 1700 N. York St., Denver, CO 80202

Check out some of the latest fly rods and taste several terrific wines from Cakebread Cellars. Appetizers will be provided by Denver’s Solera Restaurant. Tickets at:

Top of the Davita Building. 2000 16th St, Denver, CO 80202

Food, beer, live music (MTHDS !!!), wine, silent auction and awards. Each registered volunteer Pro and Slamateur will receive free admission to the evening party. Friends and family may purchase tickets at the door. Don’t miss this fantastic party with the fly fishing greats, not so greats, just starting, and wannabes.

Drop your car at an RTD light rail or A-line station P-N-R lot and head to Union Station. You can’t miss the imposing DaVita Building to West of Union Station next to the Millenium Bridge. The afterparty – Evening on the South Platte will be on the Spectacular Top Floor deck with a view of the South Platte River and the Rockies at sunset. Don’t miss it.


Giant of Carpin’

Giant of Carpin – Makes Triumphal Appearance.  Divulges secrets of Carpin.

Clint Packo enthralled the crowd of beer buzzed carpers at the Skylark June 9th. Those that didn’t make it can   READ MORE: …   #CarpSlam @denvertu

Co-hosted by The Greenbacks:

DTU Elections – Social Mtg 2015

Join Denver Trout Unlimited

at the Famous Skylark Lounge –

“What to do in Denver” 

Tuesday Feb 17th 2015 at 7:30PM  for

Pool – Pools – Pulls  & Polls 

Billiards, South Platte Habitat Progress, Draft Beer, Elections


DTU’S Annual Election and  SOCIAL NIGHT IS BACK FOR 2015


Join us Upstairs @ The Skylark Lounge on Tuesday, February 17 , 2015 from 7:30 pm until they kick us out. There will be plenty of fishy talk, pool and of course the bar will be open for business.  Election of Officers and expiring Board Members will take place between shots.

And as always at a DTU Social Night, there will be absolutely NO FUNDRAISING.


For anyone interested in the Denver Trout Unlimited Board or what we are up to on our member’s behalf, come early. Board meeting starts at 6:00 pm, and should be entertaining and productive.

Where: Upstairs at The Skylark Lounge

Address: 140 South Broadway, Denver, CO  at Maple Ave.

New Board Members up for election:

Scott Schreiber, P.E. Water Resource Engineer at Matrix Design Group  on the right of the fine dog.

Reid Baker, B.A. University of Colorado, Sales Rep – Cologix, former guide manager Freestone Outfitters above the fish.

In other news:  …MASSIVE progress on habitat reconstruction at Overland-Florida-Carsons

Carp Slam IX  Slamateur Registration to OPEN on May 1st at 10:00 AM.

Carp Slam IX  Saturday after Labor Day, September 12, 2015 

$500 entry fee for Slamateurs. Registration will open at 10:00AM on May 1st. Last year it was sold out within 3 days. DO NOT HESITATE. Be one of those elite 15 Slamateurs that share in the glory, fish with the finest most skilled professional fly fishers in the world, and compete to win the fabulous TOP prize in the aquatic habitat fund raising contest.

The practice registration site is NOW open …here.

Live registration will open May 1st at 10:00AM Mountain Time.