Conditions and Weather

What's happening in the river? We ain't the pros, but we'll let you know what we see. Is the Yampa river ideal, off color, blown out or , snowed in? To the right a few links to help you find out.

12/23/08 - Check the blog for the story, but suffice to say today was a great one. I pulled off a Steamboat biathalon. I snowboarded on 16 inches of Champaign powder in the morning - and landed a 16 inch brown trout in the afternoon. Now that's a fish story!

10/1/08 Fished the Kayak course this evening. Boy is it starting to get dark early. Trout were sipping just under the surface, and hitting on top occasionaly. I had success with a size 14 or so Pablos cripple behind a parachute adams. Actoin was on the Pablo's. The aspens, river birch, and all other shrubs etc are in fully glory of Autumn colors! But I hear of snow in the forecast up hi. Better get it while you can...

9/15/08 Fall fishing is suddenly upon us. The water is crystal clear, the days are beautiful, and the mornings quite crisp. Don't forget a bit of Blaze Orange if you are out in the wilderness! I fished the Bear River between the town of Yampa and YamColo Res. today. It was an awesome day for pocketwater stalking. I caught browns, brookies, and one nice rainbow - all on size 10-12 foam body stimulators. I used shake-n-float to really get them to sit up in the water. There was 1 fish in each pocket it seemed. If you didn't get them in the first 2 casts, then you spooked them, and should head to the next pool - at least that's how it worked for me. -Cutthroat

9/13/08 Went to Ouray for a wedding (congrats Jerminy and Natalie!). I'd forgotten what a spectacular place it is (and I live in Steamboat !). I fished the Uncompahgre River about 3 miles below the Ridgeway state park tailwaters (in a SWA area off of hiway 550). two nice locals (San Juan Hotshots on a day off) told me it was pretty off-color due to heavy rains 2 days previous on Cow Creek. Even when it's not 'off' it is a strange colored river due to minerals coming in way up stream. It's rumored to fish very well, but I only managed a single Brown via nymphing. Here's more on fishing that area

8/23/08 Fished the Blue River upstream of Green Mtn Resivoir today along he public stretch off hiway 9. It gets 'pressure' to use the Cutthroat Anglers term, but only one person was in site where I stopped. I almost caught a slam in 45 minutes. One Brown, two Rainbows, and a Cutthroat. I couldn's stay to hunt a brookie (sigh), but I'd say that fishes pretty well. All caught on the magic nymph. I fished around mid-day, and didn't see any rises.

8/17/08. Sarvis Creek Try #2. So today I waited until mid-day for the trout to wake up in the Yampa near Sarvis Creek. I then walked the whold public stretch over 2 hours - and got skunked again (0 for 2 there). I just didn't seem right. I saw one fish splash, and otherwise all was quiet - too quiet. It depressed me, so I jumped up the road to the Stagecoach tailwaters. This was against my better judgement, because I don't like the crowds on weekends there. Sure enough the parking lot was jammed at 4pm. However, I found a quiet corner, and caught a nice rainbow and had a L.D.R. on a big, angry Brown. That soothed my rankled soul after the Sarvis creek shut-out. All nymphing of course.

8/16/08 - Hey John Geirach is speaking and signing books tonight at Eiplogue Bookstore in downtown. See you there! Also Yampa Valley Fly Fishers is getting active again, and looking for new members etc. We'll even have meetings this winter. Send an email to and get on the email list!

8/14/08 - spent a bit of time fishing along the Kayak course upstream of the Rabbit ears Motel. That's a nice stretch of water - if you can side arm cast under the wires.The tube hatch is dying down for the year, so check it out any time of day. We are having our first -hint- of fall, which I meet with mixed feelings. Summer is so short, but autumn is so incredible to be outside here...

8/10/08 - There are a few public access spots downstream of the tube hatch take-out in Steamboat Springs. One is the 'Hard Rock Open Space' below the 9 hole golf course. It's just off of US 40, but hard to notice, which is good. Nice water, should be holding a few big fish. I got skunked here this morning when I stopped for about an hour on my way to work (life is tough). No dry fly action seen, no hoppers as it was early in the day. So I nymphed some deep runs, and seams of back eddies. Nothing doing though. I know their are fish *everywhere*, so I must have been the faulty end of the rig.

8/8/08 Scott and I and my son Max were planning to head out the Flattop this morning for 2 days of backpacking and flyishing a secret creek. But the weather report was the worst I've see all year. So we called off the trip (which later turned out to be the BEST decision made in years. Instead we spent the day fishing in the rain along a creek in Big Red Park near Columbine. Even in the rain we landed 30+ brook trout among us in 3 hours - a very slow day there. All caught on size 10-12 foam body stimulators. Max had the bingo and bango (first fish, most fish), and Scott took the Bongo (big fish) with an 10 inch 'bull' brooktrout.

8/5/08 Took an outlander friend (from Denver), his bro-in-law, and 3 13 year olds fishing at the Stagecoach tailwaters this morning. Fished from 9amto 11 am. None of the boys had any fly fishing experience, yet they hooked I think 7 fish between them and landed 4-5. All fish hooked via nymphing with a *secret* fly (think stonefly in drag). That's dang good by any standards there. Guy in th parking lot said they were killing 'em yesterday on 'Patriots'. I said 'thanks for the tip' though I have never heard of a patriot before. Here's what I goggled up for it:

We casted dries to some rising trout up near the dam, but didn't get em. 'Tailwater Tuesdays' you gotta love it. -Cutthroat

8/4/08 - I sometimes have an hour to kill around Chuck Lewis. Just now I spent about an hour at the 'top' of Chuck Lewis trying to wake up a fish during the siesta hours. The water was really off color which surprised me. I dont' know if it was due to some heavy rain yesterday, or if perhaps there is some working on in the river just upstream. In any event I wasn't able to roust any trout with streamers for that hour.

/1/08 Scott checked in from some creek up around Big Red Park north of Columbine with a report that the fishing was 'silly'. That's a code word, you'll have to figure it out.

7/31/08 - Tested my new flyrod (see GEAR) last evening on the Kayak Course section just upstream from the Rabbit Ears motel. Two guys floating by on pontoon boats said it had been slow fishing most of the afternoon. By 8:15pm though the sun was dipping below the ski hill at Howelson, and fish were strating to rise, or at least sip below the surface. You could see dorsel fins gently slicing the surface. I caught one rainbow on a soft hackle emerger dropped behind an adams. Not much to write home about, but at least I didn't get skunked on my first rod waving. Thanks, Max, for snapping pics


7/28/08 - Scott called in from the South Fork of the white river to say he's not coming back. Whenever he reports the fishing as 'silly' I know it's time to pack my rod and head out... Let's see if this slideshow links in right. CLICK HERE

7/26/08 - Hanging out with friends part 2. Got a real treat and fished the middle section of the Gay Ranch (Triple thanks Jimmy!). Awesome day. Not much of a hatch at all. We all caught 10+ fish over 14 inches with various nymph rigs ('small, dark, and deep' - the standard Yampa river nymph rig). I hooked a few sporatic feeders on a size 12 Elk Hair Caddis, and a few late ones on a soft-hackled emerger. What a day, what a day.

7/25/08 - Fished the Lake Catamont tailwaters with a friend (Thanks Jimmy!). A few caddis were around causing an occasional surface strike, but otherwise it was 'dredging for derrigibles' - Nymphing for the big fat tailwater happy rainbows.

7/21/08 - I snuck down to the BLM section for a late evening session. Fished from 7:30pm to 9pm. Fish started rising about 8:30 or later. There were a billion midges hatching, and a nice caddis hatch going on. Had some action on size 12 Elk Hair Caddis. Had to use big flies as it was getting DARK... -cutthroat

7/19/08 - I hear that the green drake hatch is finally happening, but very late in the evening about 9pm or so. Ihaven't been able to check it out myself yet. Take a flashlight! When I drove home last night there were large numbers of caddis fleeing from my windshield....

7/17/08 - another short visit to 5th st hole. The 15,000 cuthtroats stocked 2 weeks ago are certainly around. I picked up 4 of them (all under 6 inches) in 45 minutes nymphing - along with a 11 inch brown. This was mid afternoon during a light tube hatch. - Cutthroat

7/16/08 - short visit to the hole below 5th St. Max had a big strike - with an egg pattern in an eddie that he used 'just because'. Tony caught one of the newly placed 6 inch cutthroats on a caddis emerger. All this in about 10 minutes of fishing between tubers and dogs.

7/15/08 - small dries like yellow sallies on the Yampa at the Kayak course at night - scott

7/14/08 - Dumont Lake in the evening - fish rising as soon as sun dropped behind the hills. Couldn't entice them on a Warden's Worry, or small Royal Wulff or parachute adams or ... Didn't fish long, got skunked, but it was wonderful out on the lake in a canoe with my bride of 18 years for our anniversary. -Cutthroat

7/13/08 - Kayak Course 7 am to 11 am. 4 fish, One on nymph, 3 on dries before the tube hatch started. - JOhn K

7/12/08 - BLM section below Sarvis Creek. Water still running pretty high. sporatic fish feeding. Landed one small rainbow on a big (size 10) royal wuff that was being used as a strike indicator for a dropper. Couple other strikes on stimulators.

7/11/08 - Kayak Course. 7pm till dark. 4 fish amoung our group. One on the imfamous deplete uranium, Two on size 12 caddis dry flies. - Scott, Cutthroat, Max, John, & Brittney.

7/11/08 - Sarvis Creek 7 am - 9 am. Wow even the white fish were asleep. No fish, no activity at all. But I'll be back. - Cutthroat


"There will be days when the fishing is better than one's most optimistic forecast, others when it is far worse.  Either is a gain over just staying home."

~by Roderick Haig-Brown, Fisherman's Spring, 1951~

Yampa River Streamflow (realtime) at 5th St.

Weather conditions in Steamboat Springs