EAGLE COUNTY — Seven days after my column about the dearth of water flowing into the overburdened upper Colorado River, those with the power to open the spigots upstream have done so, effectively doubling the river’s flow below its confluence with the Blue River near Kremmling. Bolstered flows out of Green Mountain and Williams Fork reservoirs, combined with a week’s worth of monsoonal moisture dousing the region, pushed water temperatures back down to fish-friendly levels in the mid-50s. Insect hatches are bursting along the river in synchronicity with the blink of sun and clouds.
Flows on the Colorado have been hovering around a healthy 1,200 cubic feet per second for the past week, up from 600 cfs. The rain has reduced water clarity, particularly below the Radium boat ramp, to about 18 inches of visibility, but reports coming out of the Pumphouse Recreation Area say the river remains eminently fishable. Farther downstream, it gets a bit trickier.
A similar phenomenon is underway over in the Roaring Fork Valley, where afternoon rains running down the Crystal River can make for murky conditions below the confluence in Carbondale. The annual late-summer boost of nearly 100 additional cfs in the Fryingpan River has turned on that tributary as well and has helped maintain boatable flows on the Roaring Fork downstream from Basalt.
Word is that the green drakes have moved on, but prolific mayfly hatches, golden stones/yellow sallies, some lingering caddis and a resurgence of blue-winged olives have the dry-fly action holding strong. There has also been a steady streamer bite in the morning shadows.
The late July rains in Colorado’s central mountains have done wonders for river conditions, pushing stream flows to just about their seasonal norms for the end of July. Precipitation measures on Vail Mountain, for example, are half an inch higher than in July a year ago and four more inches for the year than in 2012. That comes after the Snotel snow and rain measurement site on Vail Mountain recorded only 0.1 inch of rain for the month of June. ( Fire restrictions in the region also have been lifted as a result of the rain.)
Trout Unlimited moves. Trout Unlimited announced this week that Tim McDermott, formerly the chief marketing officer for the Philadelphia Eagles football franchise, has moved into the big leagues of fishery conservation as the new chief marketing officer for TU. Meanwhile, Conifer resident Kirk Deeter, who serves as editor of Trout Magazine, moves into the role of director of strategy and outreach for the nonprofit organization.
Deeter, who has edited Trout since 2012, will serve as TU’s direct contact with the fishing and outdoor industries and will work with McDermott and TU’s national communications team to coordinate marketing, media and promotions efforts through those industries.
“We need industry support to make fishing better and get more people into the sport,” Deeter said.
Scott Willoughby: 303-954-1993, [email protected] or twitter.com/willoughbydp
Originally posted 2013-07-31 17:53:31.