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Trout eating a Sparkle Worm

3 Flies for the Week: June 11

Written by: Xavier Puls



Time to read 3 min

Runoff, shmunoff. Who cares. The fish are happily eating around the state in both freestones and tailwaters alike. I will say though, this year has been a bit of a logistical nightmare for those of us who like solitude on a river. Sure we can always resort to stillwater or warmwater fishing to find solitude during runoff, but many of us prefer to target our lovely wild trout in our river systems. Unfortunately, this year has almost every single river system, including tailwaters, flush full of water, and the few fishable waters are packed with anglers right now. But, don’t let that deter you from getting out, many of the fishable waters right now have plenty of river miles to spread out.

Our local drink of water, the South Platte below Cheesman, has been getting tons of water for weeks now and both the fish and river are loving it. I’m sure everyone knows, but Cheesman had some big landslides last summer that resulted in heavy sediment deposits throughout the river. This heavy flow recently has helped mitigate that issue. Additionally, a ton of bigger food sources that aren’t always readily available to our trout have been on the menu lately, leading to full and happy fish.

Outside of the Platte, our other local waters such as Clear Creek, Boulder Creek, and the Blue River are almost all but unfishable right now. Any freestone in its lower, more popular stretches are not safe to fish right now. Although, the upper stretches of the Arkansas, Eagle, and Roaring Fork have been getting some good reports as of late. Right now it seems like everything is heavily affected by the runoff, except for Bear Creek somehow. Bear Creek has been seeing dropping/stable flows for about three weeks now even though its basin has some of the highest peaks in the area. We don’t know why Bear is unaffected by runoff this year, but it has led to some amazing local opportunities with great fishing. To sum things up before we get to our flies for this week, if you’re trying to get out and are worried about the flows, we completely understand. High flows can be intimidating, but if you find yourself at Bear Creek, Deckers, Cheesman, 11 Mile, Dream Stream, the upper stretches of the smaller freestones (Arkansas, Eagle, etc.), or the Yampa tailwater you’ll be in good luck. Now let’s get to some flies.

#1: Straggle Leech - Black/Hot Orange Bead sz10

Leeches are well known as a fan favorite for trout fisherman in rivers, lakes, high alpine, tech tailwaters, and everything in between. Leeches flat out work wherever you are and not having some in your box is like not having a drink when going on a long road trip. You just need it. Now whether fish are actually eating leech flies as a leech or not, we’ll never know. But they are incredibly enticing to fish due to their natural profile that can resemble an endless amount of food sources. With runoff and heavy flows throughout the state, using any advantage we can to get fish to see our flies we need to utilize. Bright, colorful beads that create a hot spot that’s seen on this fly is a perfect way to go without throwing a glowing, neon fly. The hot spot on this fly can grab the fish’s attention, while the natural body coloration provides excellent contrast in dirty water, as well as a natural presentation in clear water. It’s the best of both worlds.

#2: CDC Thrasher - Olive sz16 3.3mm

If you can’t tell by now, we’re big fans of jigged flies. The added weight with this fly helps the sink rate on our rigs, whether it be indicator or euro nymphing. Plus the jig hook allows the hook point to ride upwards which reduces snags and results in more positive hookups on fish. The CDC Thrasher has definitely made the list in the past and for good reason. This fly has a perfect blend of being loud and bold, yet incredibly buggy and realistic. The overemphasized UV body and wing fibers draws in sunlight and helps catch the fish’s eye in both clear and dirty water conditions. I am favoring the olive coloration right now in order to offer a slightly more realistic presentation with the Caddis and the few remaining BWO’s hatching.

#3: Sparkle Worm - Pink sz10 (In-Store Only)

Sorry but I had to do it, our guide Sean has been having amazing success on his trips lately with the fly. This fly really doesn’t need much introduction or explanation. I would really only be throwing this in the dirtier waters on the freestones. Best of luck on the water this week and we hope these flies catch a fish or two for ya. Two out of the three flies are available on our website and all are in the shop.

Pink Sparkle Worm Fly
Xavier Puls holding a large Cut Bow Trout

Xavier Puls

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!

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