Skip to content
3 Flies for the Week: April 15

3 Flies for the Week: April 15

Pre-runoff conditions are still rocking and the fishing is incredible. Pick a location and odds are you’ll see incredible BWO hatches and happy fish. Keep in mind, rainbow trout are still spawning so be aware of redds and leave these fish alone! Colorado rivers are predominantly supported from wild stock, so a successful spawning season is imperative to ensure our fisheries stay as amazing as they are. That said, there are plenty of fish not spawning and ready to eat. Fish are being found in every section of the river, starting in the slower runs and pools in the morning and moving to the riffles midday. Stoneflies, worms, and eggs have been producing as lead flies on nymph rigs, followed by a BWO and a midge. Some days two BWO’s are working better, other days two midges work better. Finding the sweet spot on the particular day and location is key. Also, river flows are rising everyday so the runoff gloomy doom is coming soon unfortunately. I would get out there before the freestones blow out. I digress, let’s get to the flies!

#1: Chocolate Thunder - sz20

The all time classic has made it back onto the flies for the week and for a good reason. This fly is arguably the most popular, versatile, and effective fly for Colorado waters, regardless of where you’re fishing. Although this fly is meant to imitate a mayfly emerger, this fly doubles well as a midge emerger. The thin body does a great job of replicating a BWO and the wire wrapping does a great job of providing natural segmentation. Typically we fish this fly as a third fly in order to ride higher in the water column, but it can still be fished as a second fly just fine. We typically will tie this fly on about 11am once the BWO’s start their hatching, but being that it can double as a midge, it can be fished first thing in the morning when you get to the river. If you don’t have this fly in your box already, it’s time to get a few in there!

#2: BH San Juan Worm - Wine sz10

Worms are an absolute staple for spring time fishing. Elevate river flows, plus initial runoff and rain lead to both aquatic and terrestrial worms being knocked around and flowing throughout the rivers. The “worm hatch” can be so spectacular that fish will engorge themselves to the point that they’re puking out worms. When this happens, fish will often overlook the incredible hatches and just be feeding on worms. This doesn’t happen everyday, but every April we see this. The bite can be so hot that sometimes all you’ll need on your rig is two San Juans and call it good. When this event is occurring, it acts as a great lead fly. Fish will either opportunistically eat the worm, or at the very least draw their eyes to your rig. We like the wine coloration for the spring time because it does a good job of imitating both terrestrial and aquatic worms. Ideally, having a tan worm for terrestrial worms and red for the aquatic worms does best. But we just want to recommend one color to do it all!

#3: Jig Duracell - Rainbow sz14 3.3mm

With the rising river flows, bigger food items other than worms are getting knocked around as well. This doesn’t mean you necessarily need to fish “large” flies, but fishing those medium sized flies has been working well. The majority of freestones have a slight stain to them, so having a little extra flash on the fly will help catch those fish’s eyes. Additionally, the duracell, like the majority of other jig flies, doesn’t particularly match any type of insect. Instead of being an imitative fly, this fly is a suggestive one. Suggestive flies work well when fish aren’t keying in on anything particular during a given day, or they’re being rather stingy about what they choose to eat. The concept with suggestive flies is instead of trying to perfectly match one type of bug, it can look like anything. This disallows the fish from over-analyzing the fly. A lot of the time during a particular hatch, fish will look to eat certain flies that have all the right attributes that perfectly imitate the insect. Oftentimes this can lead to frustrating days when you know you’re fishing the right type of fly that imitates the hatch, but fish won’t take your fly because one or two features of your fly is not perfect. So, throw something that looks like nothing, yet everything and see the results! I’m not saying this fly is going to be a killer in the middle of a BWO hatch by any means. But, when they won’t take anything natural this fly works well. 

Best of luck on the water this week and we hope these flies catch a fish or two for ya. All three flies are available on our website and in the shop. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to Xavier on email at, or call the shop at 303-330-1292. Thank you!

Previous article 3 Flies for the Week: April 22
Next article 3 Flies for the Week: April 1

Leave a comment

* Required fields

Liquid error (layout/theme line 610): Could not find asset snippets/smile-initializer.liquid