Colorado Hatch Charts

Colorado Hatch Chart (Flies that Work)

Hatch charts are a secret weapon for selecting the flies that work best. It seems odd that a simple size change can make a difference, IT DOES!

Below is an index to JUMP to your favorite river in Colorado and fill your fly box with the bugs that catch more trout.

Ventures Fly Co 40 fly assortment - a perfect gift for dad
Here’s an Amazon shortcut link 👉 Ventures Fly Co Assortment

Ventures Fly Co. 40 Fly Assortment Has a Great Selection of Flies

This assortment has most of the flies needed lay the foundation for an effective fly box. the most common dries, nymphs and streamers. Check out the on water video review on YouTube – HERE

Animas River HATCH CHART

Fly NameSizeStart DateEnd Date
 Blue Winged Olive 18 March 1 October 31
 Caddis 14 June 15September 15
 Golden Stonefly8June 15August 15
 Pale Morning Dun18July 1September 15
 Terrestrial 10July 15September 30
 Midge12January 1December 31
 Yellow Stonefly 14 June 15August 1
 Salmonfly8May 15July 15
 Sculpin 4 January 1December 31
 Damsels8April 15August 31

Favorite Flies for the Animas

Favorite Flies for the Animas
Favorite Flies for the Animas River
  • Elk Hair Caddis, size 14- Elk Hair Caddis are the ideal dry fly to throw on those beautiful summer evenings. As the sun is setting and the hatches begin, Elk Hair Caddis should be one of the first patterns you throw. The fish will eat them from runoff season until late summer.
  • Blue Winged Olive, size 16- BWO dries and nymphs are going to work great. Pheasant Tails before the hatches and BWO dries seem to work great from spring all the way through the summer. Find the riffles and shallow pools and see what strikes. It won’t take long for you to find fish.
  • Sculpin, Size 4- The ideal streamer for the Animas is the Sculpin. These are all over the bottom of the river and the trout can’t get enough of them. You can throw them all day long and catch fish!

Guide Tip: Read more about the Animas River in this article – Where to Fly Fish on the Animas

FRYINGPAN RIVER HATCH CHART

Fly NameSizeStart DateEnd Date
 Blue Winged Olive 20 April 1-15 & August 15 October 31
 Caddis 14 July 1September 31
 PMD16July 1August 15
 Golden Stones 10July 1 August 15
 Green Drake 10 July 1 August 15
 Red Quill 12 August 1August 15
 Terrestrials 8 August 1September 31
 Trico22August 15September 31
 Midge18January 1December 31

Favorite Flies for the Fryingpan

Favorite Flies for the Fryingpan
Favorite Flies for the Fryingpan
  • Pheasant Tail Nymph- size 18, The Pheasant Tail is a must have on the Fryingpan. These flies are great to use in a nymph rig. Since the BWO’s hatch several times throughout the year, you’ll find that they aren’t only productive in the spring.
  • Mayers Mysis Shrimp- Size 16, You can’t fish the Fryingpan without using a Mysis shrimp pattern. The Fryingpan is rare in the sense that it has any of these! Many rivers in the country do not.
  • Elk Hair Caddis- Size 20, For a dry fly pattern, you’ll find that there are few more productive than the Elk Hair Caddis. When those hatches occur in the mornings and evenings, this is a great fly to start fishing with.

Guide Tip: Read more about the Fryingpan River in this article – Where to Fly Fish on the Fryingpan River

Colorado RIVER HATCH CHART

Fly NameSizeStart DateEnd Date
Midge18-22All Year 
Scud16-18All Year 
Baetis18April 15October 1
Caddis16April 1September 1
Stonefly12-14April 1September 1
Golden Stone8June 1August 1
Trico20July 1October 1
PMD16-18June 15August 1
Red Quill14June 1August 1
Terrestrials (Hopper and Beetle)6 – 12JulyAugust

Favorite Flies for the Colorado

Favorite Flies for the Colorado River
Favorite Flies for the Colorado River

Midges continue to be a key food source, but we begin to see baetis hatches, and occasional Stone and Caddis hatches. Surprisingly, although this upper river is a “freestone”, scuds are common and can be found in orange, olive and tan.

The source of these scuds is the alpine lakes, high above this valley. There are rumors that brook trout exceeding 5 pounds can be found gorging on scuds in these high alpine lakes, but it takes a fly fishing expedition to reach them.

Guide Tip: Read more about the Colorado River in this article – Best Places to Best Places to Fly Fish on the Colorado River

South Platte RIVER HATCH CHART

Fly NameSizeStart DateEnd Date
 Midge Patterns 18 January 1 December 31
Golden Stonefly 8May 15July 31
BWO16March 15May 15
Trico20July 15October 15
 PMD 16June 15August 30
Caddis14May 10Sept. 30
Terrestrial8July 15September 15
Egg Patterns10September 1October 31

Favorite Flies for the South Platte

Parachute Adams- Size 20

Parachute Adams Fly Pattern
Parachute Adams

The Parachute Adams is the perfect dry fly for the South Platte River. It’s a small fly that can represent any of the smaller midge hatches that occur on these waters.

San Juan Worm – Size 16

San Juan Worm size 16
San Juan Worm size 16

The San Juan Worm is a great fly to pair with any nymph rig you’re fishing. Let it drag along with your nymphs and you’ll likely get a taker.

Guide Tip: Read more about the South Platte in this article – Best Places to Best Places to Fly Fish on the South Platte River

North Delaney Butte Lake Hatch Chart

Fly NameSizeStart DateEnd Date
Scud 14 April 1November 1
Midge20April 1November 15
Streamers 6April 15November 30
BWO18August 1October 1
Callibaetis 14 June 1 August 31
Trico20July 15October 15
PMD16June 15August 30
Caddis14June 1August 15
Terrestrial8July 15September 15

Favorite Flies for North Delaney Butte Lake

Pale Morning Dun Fly Pattern
Pale Morning Dun
Elk Hair Caddis Fly Pattern
Elk Hair Caddis Fly Pattern
Blue Wing Olive Fly Pattern
Blue Wing Olive Fly Pattern

Guide Tip: Read more about exactly when to plan a trip to Colorado in this article – When to Fish in Colorado

Gunnison River HAtch Chart

Fly NameSizeStart DateEnd Date
Salmon Fly 6 June 15June 30
Golden Stone8April 15June 30
BWO16April 15May 30
Callibaetis 14 June 1 August 31
Midge16April 15November 15
Trico20July 15October 15
PMD16June 15August 30
Caddis14June 1August 30
Terrestrial8July 15September 15

Favorite Flies for the Gunnison

Salmon Fly Pattern
Salmon Fly Pattern
Elk Hair Caddis Fly Pattern
Elk Hair Caddis Fly Pattern
Griffiths Gnat Fly Pattern for Midge
Griffiths Gnat Fly Pattern for Midge

Guide Tip: Have you ever wanted to toss a fly in Rocky Mountain National Park? Let me help with this article – Where to Fly Fish in Rocky Mountain National Park

Blue River Hatch Chart

FlySizeStart DateEnd Date
Midge18 All YearAll Year
Mayflies16March 1November 15
Stonefly8April 1June 15
BWO16April 1May 15
Yellow Sally 16 July 1 August 15
Trico20July 15October 15
PMD16July 15August 30
Caddis14April 15September 30
Terrestrial8July 1September 15

Favorite Flies for the Blue River

Zebra Midge Fly Pattern
Zebra Midge Fly Pattern
Adams Fly Mayfly Pattern
Adams Fly Mayfly Pattern
Chubby Chernobyl Terrestrial Fly Pattern
Chubby Chernobyl Terrestrial Fly Pattern

Guide Tip: Looking for some great water in the Colorado Springs area? Here’s a complete guide -> Where to Fly Fish Near Colorado Springs

Roaring Fork River Hatch Chart

Fly NameSizeStart DateEnd Date
Ants and Beetles18June 15September 30
Golden Stoneflies10May 1August 15
Green Drake12June 1August 15
BWO16April 15May 30
Streamers4-10 All Year All Year
Midge16April 15November 15
PMD16June 15August 30
Caddis14March 15August 30
Terrestrial and Stimulators6-10July 15September 15

Favorite Flies for the Roaring Fork

Ant Fly Pattern
Ant Fly Pattern
Streamer Fly Pattern (Muddler)
Streamer Fly Pattern (Muddler)
Stimulator Fly Pattern
Stimulator Fly Pattern

Guide Tip: Get the convenience of a big city, but the solitude of a mountain stream. Where to Fly Fish Near Denver

Arkansas River Colorado Hatch Chart

Fly NameSizeStart DateEnd Date
Grannon Caddis Nymph16 April 1May 30
Golden Stone8May 1July 15
BWO16April 1May 30
Yellow Sally Stonefly14 June 15 August 15
Midge20March 1November 1
Light Cahill18July 15September 1
PMD16July 1August 30
Caddis16June 1August 30
Terrestrial8July 15September 15

Favorite Flies for the Arkansas

Grannon Caddis Nymph Fly Pattern
Grannon Caddis Nymph Fly Pattern
Foam Yellow Sally Fly Pattern
Foam Yellow Sally Stonefly Pattern
Griffiths Gnat Fly Pattern for Midge
Griffiths Gnat Fly Pattern for Midge

Guide Tip: The Fort Collins area is my “little secret” I’m going to share where to go in this article -> The Best Places to Fly Fish Near Fort Collins

Gore Creek Hatch Chart

Fly NameSizeStart DateEnd Date
Midge20September 1April 1
Golden Stone10June 15July 1
BWO20October 1April 1
Yellow Sally Stonefly 16 June 1 August 31
Beetles16May 1September 15
Flying Ants18August 15September 15
PMD16June 1August 30
Caddis14May 1September 15
Terrestrial/Stimulators10June 15September 15

Favorite Flies for the Gore Creek

Flying Ant Fly Pattern
Flying Ant Fly Pattern
Beetle Fly Pattern
Beetle Fly Pattern
Elk Hair Caddis Fly Pattern
Elk Hair Caddis Fly Pattern

Guide Tip: Looking for more places to fly fish in Colorado? Check out my comprehensive Colorado guide. Where to Fly Fish in Colorado

Fly Fishing Gear for Colorado

Small streams in any of the high mountains are about the same as small streams anywhere. A 3 or 4 weight rod and simple box of dry flies is about all you need on these streams. Perhaps add a few bead head nymphs to fish dry/dropper and you are set.

On most of the larger gold medal streams, the wind blows often enough that a stout 5 weight or 6 weight rod is best. The trick is balancing something that can cast through the wind with a rod that can gently lay down a size 24 midge emerger. Many of these larger rivers feature rather technical fishing at times. Thus, long leaders that end in 6x tippet are often required.

Orvis Clearwater 5 wt 9 foot Combo
Orvis Clearwater 5 wt-9 foot Combo

The Perfect Fly Rod Combo for Colorado

Orvis originated in the fly fishing business. The Orvis Clearwater Combo is perfectly balanced and comes with everything except flies. It’s so easy to cobble together an outfit that just doesn’t cast right. No worries with that using the Clearwater Fly Rod Combo.

Looking to Buy Flies for Fishing Colorado?

I tie and buy hundreds of flies every year. If you need to get a pretty darn good assortment to catch fish in Colorado, I recommend the Ventures Fly Co Assortment <- link to Amazon. Check out the video review below.

More Colorado Hot Spots to Toss a Fly

Hi David Humphries Owner of Guide Recommended. I love everything to do with fly fishing. Casting, Tying, YouTube, writing about it and even teaching. I’ve got a FREE video workshop teaching how to dry fly fish at this link How 2 Fly Fish

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