Fishing Update: June 26, 2008

RBC — Though the calendar says summer officially has arrived, Colorado fishermen might be getting some mixed messages.
While warm-water fishing has come alive across the lowlands, high-country enthusiasts are finding snow banks, drifts, mountain creeks running bank-to-bank through the brush and in many cases, ice still covering Alpine lakes.
Somewhere in between, trout fishing in mid- to high-elevation lakes and reservoirs remains generally good, but virtually all free-flowing rivers still are high, discolored and at best, difficult to fish. Optimists say the runoff has peaked on rivers such as the Animas, Arkansas, Colorado and Gunnison. Others look to the high-mountain slopes and say plenty of snow melt still must come down.
Releases of water from quickly filling reservoirs add to the unknowns, but almost everyone agrees river flows will be good through the summer, and many believe the scouring effect of high water after several years of drought will benefit river fisheries in the long term.
Springtime hatches are pretty much finished on most rivers, and summer activity is just beginning. That includes summertime caddis and pale-morning-dun mayflies, with green drakes and Trico mayflies appearing later.
Still-water fly fishermen are seeing Chironomidae midges, Callibaetis mayflies and damselflies on the North Park and South Park impoundments.
Be bear aware
Fishermen and campers are reminded that many of their favorite waters are in bear country. Taking simple precautions such as not leaving food out where bears can find it and keeping a clean camping site can avoid potential problems for people and bears alike.
The Colorado Division of Wildlife offers brochures and other information for reducing the risk of bear encounters. They are available at DOW offices statewide.