Fishing tip of the week:
Fish can see colors, fact or myth?
We know through scientific information that at least some fish see colors; however, we do not know if all fish are capable of seeing in color because not all fish have been tested for color vision.
Color vision is the capability to see objects, and how well they reflect or transmit light of different colors, not the ability to determine how bright they are. A lemon looks yellow in sunlight because all but the yellow part of the white light from the sun, is absorbed by the lemon’s skin, leaving only the yellow light available for vision.
Most anglers have an arsenal of flies, lures, jigs, plastics and crank baits in virtually every color imaginable. But does one color work better than another? The answer is yes, and no. Without getting too technical explaining how colors are absorbed by water, and the speed they are absorbed, let us look at what colors are most productive, and when color does not play a part in attracting fish.
Bright day, bright color, dark day, dark color. This simple phrase is a wealth of fact. On bright sunny days, silver, chartreuse, red, orange and fluorescent yellow are good choices. On dark or overcast days and at night, try gold, black, pink and purple. There is a point where color is no longer a factor. Keep in mind that water clarity, time of day and seasons play a big part in the ability of fish to see, along with the depth you are fishing. The deeper the water the less light is available. In stained or murky water and when fishing at greater depths consider using glow in the dark lures, jigs, or pop gear. Small glow sticks 1/8 of an inch in diameter and 1 1/2 inches in length may also be helpful. Be sure they are non-toxic. Before terminal tackle is attached, glow sticks may be secured to your line by running the line through a small piece of surgical tubing, and inserting the glow stick in the tube next to the line. Often a small plastic tube is included with glow sticks. They are available at many sporting goods outlets and bait shops in yellow or green, and will glow for approximately 6 hours.
Colorado River (Glenwood to Rifle) — The Colorado River is flowing at 2,160 cfs in Glenwood Springs. Fishing has been as good as it ever gets along the river especially as the weather begins to cool down. The float fishing is nothing short of spectacular and the walk/wade is equally as good as the water flows continue to drop. Deeper water that has some current and structure to it are holding the majority of the fish. Cat Poops, Sunken Spinners and small Baetis patterns are the hot flies. The Streamer fishing is on, especially during periods of overcast or when shade is present. It won’t matter what streamer you are fishing as long as it’s a Sacrilege, though Splendors and Stingin’ Sculpins are great as well. September also offers the best Hopper fishing opportunities along the Colorado.
Colorado River (near Granby) — Flows on Sunday afternoon were 137 cfs from Windy Gap Reservoir and 264 cfs below Parshall. Good fish activity is staying consistent; cooler temperatures help. Copper Johns, RS-2s, Prince nymphs and other emerger patterns are doing well. Caddis, Hare’s Ear and other dry flies are working if a hatch is spotted. Hoppers are also effective.
Lure fishing is good.
In the immediate Granby area and downstream to the bridge at the lower end of Byers Canyon, bait fishing is permitted and two fish may be kept. From the east side of the bridge abutments (the west end of Byers Canyon) down to Troublesome Creek, including the Williams Fork River from the reservoir, catch-and-release rules apply and fishing is by artificial flies and lures only. Inquire in Granby for the latest conditions.
Crystal River — The Crystal River has been flowing at 47 cfs in Carbondale. Fishing has slowed on the Crystal River this past week due to low flows and lack of daily hatches though dry/dropper rigs fished in the pockets are ideal. Top flies include: Stimi‘s, Pearl & Elk Caddis, Para. PMD’s, Royal Wulffs, Tung. Princes, Tung, PT’s, STD’s, and Blings. The cutthroat and brookie fishing is exceptional above the town of Marble, while rainbows, browns and whitefish inhabit the river below Redstone. Fishing pressure is virtually nonexistent as an added bonus!
Dillon Reservoir — The reservoir is at full pool and the water is clear. On the south side of the reservoir, fishing has been productive for rainbows using salmon eggs & worms. For those anglers who are looking for bait fish for Lake Trout during ice fishing season, suckers are also being caught with salmon eggs & worms. Shore fishing starts to pick up around mid-morning. The boat ramps open at 7am Thursday thru Sunday on the Frisco side of the reservoir. Fishing the inlets has been successful using nymph flies in the early morning and evening.
Elkhead Reservoir — Elkhead is open to fishing and boating every day 6am to 8pm. We have seen the Crappie and Small Mouth activity drop off somewhat with the much warmer temp. Good reports over the last few days indicate things should be picking up. There are still a lot of pike being caught, so don’t hesitate to take a few home and try some of those recipes you read about. Good luck, and watch for those nasty afternoon storms. Please do your part to help this lake build a sustainable Crappie population, turn a few back for another day.
Frying Pan River — Fishing so good, you’ll think you were there yesterday! It’s ON FIRE! Current river flows have dropped to an easily wadeable and fishable flow of 230 cfs. Multiple hatches are taking place and include Green Drakes, Flav’s, PMD’s and BWO’s. The dry fly fishing has been top notch from noon to 4pm. Light tippets of 6x and 7x are needed for the ultra clear water. Nymphing is equally good prior and there after the hatches and you’ll want to be sure to have some PT’s, RS2’s, Barr Emergers, Jujubaetis and Halfback BWO’s. Mysis Shrimp are still of importance along the top 1/4 mile below the dam. Several “toads” have been landed this past week including several fish in the 4-6lb. range. Quit your job, call in sick, it’s just that good out there right now.
Granby Reservoir — Worms, Power Bait, eggs, lures and frozen baits are being used. Fly-fishing, trolling and jigging are working. Sunset Point and Stillwater boat ramps are open. Boating inspections are conducted at Sunset Point from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. Ramps are open for nighttime use. Browns and rainbows have been plentiful. Lake trout are being caught, but are not as aggressive during this time of the year. Fall is one of the best times to fish this reservoir. Arapaho Creek and the Stillwater areas are prime places to find fish. Only 2 1/2 weeks remain to fish from Twin Creeks up to Shadow Mountain Dam. Kokanee will be staging soon.
Grand Lake — Catching should pick up as we get closer to the spawning season and the water cools down.
Fishing tip of the week: