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I usually only have the earlier morning hours to fish around 6-9am. Seems like the action typically picks up right when I need to leave. Are there any waters that typically fish well earlier in the morning? I'm in Littleton and would like to keep the drive within about a hour or so each way. I'm a novice fly fisher and have been to Deckers a few times, Clear Creek, Blue in Silverthorne and the North Fork of the S. Platte. Thanks!
 

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Prosper,

All streams/rivers are different; however, most will be better in the morning and later in the afternoon. The reason is, under lower light conditions of the morning and later afternoon (and at night), the little critters the fish eat feel more secure so they move about more and become fish food.

Are you fishing on the surface or subsurface? Trout feed about 80 percent (or more) of the time below the surface because there is more food available at any time of the year. You generally catch trout on the surface when there is a hatch or when you find places where you can present an attractor pattern in a non-hatch situation which trout may take. There isn't always a hatch happening. This doesn't mean you can't catch fish below or on the surface in the middle of the day.

Some anglers, who are dry fly purists and would never be caught dead with a nymph anywhere near them, must wait for a hatch to begin or use an attractor pattern. I fish mostly below the surface then if I'm in the right place at the right time and a hatch begins, I will change to a surface pattern.

Are you catching fish in the short time you have?
 

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Bucksnort, thanks for the info and advice. I try to read the most current fishing reports on where ever I'm going to fish and try to match the recommended flies from those reports. I typically use Orvis, the CO Fly Fishing Report and Pat Dorsey. I mostly nymph unless the dry fly fishing is reported to be productive. In the ~3 hours I usually have to fish I've caught anywhere from zero (North Fork of S. Platte and 1 time at Deckers) to 3 fish (Blue). The fly that has caught the most fish by far for me is a size 18 black RS2 which has worked on different streams at different times of the day. It has caught 6 to 16 inch trout. I've never caught anything using dries or hoppers. I just made a relatively sizeable expansion of my fly box and have just about all the "top 10" flies for CO. I usually run a dual nymph or a dry/hopper-dropper rig. I'm sure my technique needs a fair amount of work and my presentation will improve as I spend more time on the water. I'm starting to think I should probably add more weight when nymphing and not catching since I don't seem to tick bottom very often. Although watching fly fishing videos is really fun, it does seem to give a false sense a reality. I'd love to have a day like I see on the YouTube videos.
 

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If you're set on trying to fish "the hatch"; try taking a seine sample. That's always the 2nd thing I do on the river.

However in lower light conditions you might catch a few of the big boys out feeding. IMO a good time to throw big-ugly stuff like streamers and the like until a hatch picks up.
 

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Streamers and worms before sun comes out. Big fish to be had on big baits, even in highly pressured waters.
 

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b.reelz,

Dead on brother.

Browns are noted night time eaters and may have the best vision of all the trout. In the 80s, I read an article about trout vision. They have about the same color range as humans and can see well enough to readily take brine shrimp in the conditions of a full moon.

b.reelz has it right. You could take a seine sample or, turn over rocks, to see which critters live in the water. You could also use a stomach pump to extract critters they have eaten. In 40 years of fishing, I've never done either of these.
 
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