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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I have asked this question to about three dozen people and am still wanting to know more:

If you were to be fishing the Blue & Colorado Rivers (spring, summer or fall) which 12 patterns (sizes & colors would be helpful info, too) would be a must in your box?

I realize that I some of you are thinking "where on the rivers are you fishing," however I'm trying to put together a "best of the best" box for the rivers in general and am looking for the flies that are agreed upon; plus a few that are just good patterns to have in your box.

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The list could be endless, but I have listed the patterns I personally feel will work the best for fishing the Colorado and Blue.

1. Adams sizes 14,16,18 and 20 just because it's a great all around pattern
2. Elk Hair Caddis sizes 14, 16 and 18 with various colors like tan or brown
3. Hoppers, Ants and Beetles various sizes from 10 to 16
4. Pheasant Tails both regualr and flashback from sizes 14, 16, 18, 20 and 22
5. RS2 I personally prefer olive, but I believe gray will work as well in sizes 16, 18, 20 and 22
6. Hare's Ear Nymph to me one of the best all around patterns in sizes 14, 16, and 18
7. Prince Nymph great searching nymph in sizes 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18
8. Copper John's in red, green and copper.  Sizes 14, 16, 18, and 20
9. Black Beauty and thread midges in sizes 18, 20, 22, and 24.
10. Caddis Larva in sizes 14, and 16.
11. Wooly Buggers in sizes 6, 8, 10 and 12.  Black, brown and purple always work great.  Sometimes a vanilla or white bugger work great as well
12. Muddler Minnow in sizes 8, 10 and 12.  I like using a tungsten cone on my muddlers because it offsets the bouyancy of the deer hair

I hope this helps some  :D

There is a lot of room for your personal preference, but I'm more of  a sub-surface person myself.  It's also probably not a bad idea to throw in some PMD's to the mix as well.

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Well they are two differant rivers...

I'll separate them for you


1. Mysis Shrimp (use the ones made with egg yarn (14-18) (year round)
2. Barr's emerger (18-20) april and may, august through november
3. Beadhead breadcrust (great caddis emerger on the blue 14-18)
4. mercury caddis (16-18) both three and four: may-september
5. Pheasant tail (20-22) july-september
6. MIDGES--black beauties, jujabee midges, lazer larva 20-24 (year round)

1. Parachute adams 22-26 (when midges or BWO's are hatching)
2. Griffith Gnat 22-26 (midges)
3. Cannon's BWO bunny dun (22-24) april and may, aug-nov.
4. Elk hair caddis 16-18 may-sep.
5. Parachute hopper 6-8
6. Black CDC Ant 16-20  5&6--aug-oct. or on windy days


1. 20 incher stone 4-12 hatch primarily in june but are always in the water (the stones are HUGE in the colorado)
2. ***** creek (6-10)
3. Buksin caddis (16-20)
4. RS2: match most prevalent hatch (midge: grey or black body white wing,  20-24, BWO olive body grey or black wings 18-22)
5. Pheasant tails (18-20)
6. Midges--(discos, jujubees, black beauties, cdc midge pupa 20-24)

1. Griffith Gnat 20-24 (midge hatches year round)
2. Parachute Adams 22-24 (during midge hatches or BWO hatches--same as blue)
3. Orange Stimi's 8-12 (during stone hatches primarily in june)
4. Trico spinners 20-24 (june-august)
5. Foam ants 16-18
6. And oh yes, the CLUB SANDWICH HOPPER baby!!! 10-14

The colorado is a little less technical then the blue and you can use slightly large patterns and heavier tippet.  Note: mysis should only be fished no more then 1 mile after the dillon dam.  If you fish above dillon, fish aren't as large but are a lot easier.  At the breckenridge access area there is a spot known as "the steps" which fishes really well and easy.  


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14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the help. There are quite a few patterns mentioned here that have been agreed upon by others and which I like, too. Just trying to find any patterns I have not thought of and confirm my suspisions about the others.

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I remember talking to a very skillful flyfisherman one day last year. He said he can always catch fish with stones or stonefly nymphs year round. he also said during high water a good thing to do is have a purple wooly bugger like a 2 and just hold it below big rocks. He says fish are right near the bank during runoff (he is right) and respond to this well. I know he wasn't full of it either because he caught a 5# bow in like 20 min while I was watching him.

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Taking from all sources, here is the list I have compiled sor far.  It isn't complete (still need to add terrestrials and streamers) but it represents the most recommended flies for the Colorado & Blue Rivers.


Bead-Head-Copper-John-Copper; Sz. 14,16
Bead-Head-Copper-John-Green; Sz. 14,16
Bead-Head-Copper-John-Red; Sz. 14,16
Bead-Head-Copper-John-Copper-Rubber-Legs; Sz. 12,14
Bead-Head-Flash-Back-Hare's-Ear-Dark; Sz.12,14,16
Bead-Head-Flash-Back-Hare's-Ear-Light; Sz. 12,16,16
Bead-Head-Flash-Back-Pheasant-Tail; Sz. 12,14,16
Bead-Head-Kaufman-Stone-Golden; Sz. 8,10,12
Bead-Head-Pheasant-Tail-Soft-Hackle; Sz. 14,16
Bead-Head-Prince-Nymph; Sz.14,16,18
Baetis-Nymph; Sz. 18
Callibaetis-Nymph; Sz.  14,16
Flash-Back-Pheasant-Tail; Sz. 12,14,16
Hares-Ear-Dark; Sz.12,14,16
Hares-Ear-Light; Sz.12,14,16
Mices-Shrimp; Sz. 16
RS-2-Olive; Sz. 16,18,20
WD-40; Sz. 16,18
Zebra Midge; Sz. 18,20


Adams; Sz. 14,16,18,20
Black Beetle; Sz. 12,14
Blue-Wing-Olive; Sz. 18
Callibaetis-Dry; Sz.14
Elk-Hair-Caddis-Grey; Sz. 16,18
Elk-Hair-Caddis-Tan; Sz. 16,18
Griffins-Gnat-Black; Sz. 18,20,22,24
Humpy-Yellow; Sz.12,14
Light-Cahill; Sz. 14
Parachute-Blue-Wing-Olive; Sz. 18,20
Parachute-Callibaetis; Sz. 14,16
Red-Quill; Sz. 14,16
Rio-Grand-King; Sz. 10,12
Stimulator-Orange; Sz. 12,14,16
Stimulator-Red; Sz. 12,14,16
Trico-Spinner; Sz. 18,20
Emerger Pale Morning Dun; Sz. 14,18

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For the Blue you only need two! Ever!

1. Size 18 red copper john
2. Size 22 black beauty

Sometime I throw on a mysis but I have never caught anything on them at the blue.

For dries I like royal wulf's size 12-14. I know they work every where but I think they work especially well here. Any hopper is gonna work but if you want to toss terrestrials try the chernobyl ant. Messed around with it alot last summer and fell in love. I like to drop a black beauty off it.

I have only fished the colorado once. It was during winter in the gold metal section and it was when I first started fly fishing. You know when you buy bigger flies because you want bigger fish (gosh I was dumb) But we were tossing like size 10 copper johns, pheasents, and princes. It worked the fish were all over it. But I don't know if it was luck or skill. No idea on dries. But I hear rumors that if runoff is just right there is an amazing salmonfly hatch.
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