The whole Yampa is officially open! Chuck Lewis down to the west end of town is all open. Having said that, there is a lot of angling pressure on the river right now. It is critical to downsize your rigs. Fish are eating a lot of food, but they are eating small food.
Size 18-20 midge patterns are very productive right now. While it is not a bad idea to have a leech or stonefly dead-drifted to help anchor those smaller bugs down deep.
Look for water that you have first track at during the day as angling pressure has gotten to some of these fish. Although you can certainly have a good day on a rested hole.
Don’t be afraid to throw streamers as these fish are willing to eat bigger stuff. They are getting hungry as they begin to metabolize food.
The best window in the day to fish is between 10am and 2pm, the warmest part of the day, and it tends to taper off later in the day as the snow melts off and water temperatures drop.
Our trip today was great! Everyone caught fish and it’s great to get outside with the mountain closure. Fly fishing is a great way to spend your time in Steamboat and every fish that we are catching is full of food!
-Written by Patrick Gamble