Blue River Fly Fishing


Located approximately 60 miles west of Denver, Colorado, the Blue River is a quality freestone and tail-water fishery consisting of enormous rainbow trout below Dillon Reservoir. The Blue also has a good population of brown and some brook trout. Mysis shrimp and prolific hatches provide a superb food source for the trout in this “Gold Medal” fishery. Be sure to check the special regulations before heading out.

Dillon Reservoir

Above Dillon Reservoir the river is a freestone fishery while below it is a tail-water. The Blue averages from 80-100 feet across, flowing through the Gore Mountains on its course to where it meets the Colorado River near Kremmling. The rivers entire length is paralleled by Route 9, which provides ample access to this fine fishery.


Flowing north as a small stream, the Blue River passes Breckenridge and the famous ski slopes associated with this town, on its way to Dillon Reservoir. This is high terrain at over 8,000 feet above sea level. With this in mind you can imagine the scenery found along certain stretches of the river. In this upper stretch, which is approximately 10 miles in length, the river boosts an excellent population of trout averaging 12-14 inches with some in the 16-20 inch range. Deep runs, pools, and classic riffles characterize this section along with consitant, quality hatches.


Below Dillon Reservoir the river flows through urban Silverthorne on its way to Green Mountain Reservoir which is located approximately 20 miles downstream. Just below the dam Interstate 70 crosses the river. This section of the Blue is where you will find some of the largest trout in the state, competing with the trout of the Fryingpan and South Platte Rivers, which also reach immense size. Rainbows here average 16-17 inches with fish 4-6 pounds not uncommon. In fact, rainbows to 10 plus pounds exist below Dillon Reservoir. The large trout of the Blue River are mainly concentrated in the first couple of miles below Dillon Dam, where special regulations have made this area catch-and-release. These trout gorge themselves on the thousands upon thousands of mysis shrimp that spill into the river from the reservoir.
Downstream from the catch-and-release area the size of the trout diminishes although there are still hefty trout to be found to 18 inches and sometimes larger. The hatches below the catch-and-release area increase in intensity. Green Drakes hatch with enthusiasm during the summer months of July and August while pale morning duns, red quills, terrestrials, stoneflies and caddis all fill their share of the action. During the spring and fall, baetis (blue-wing olives) and midges bring trout to the surface. Access is abundant along Route 9 all the way to Green Mountain Reservoir.
Deep runs, classic riffles, and beautiful pools all characterize the river from Dillon Reservoir to Green Mountain Reservoir. Boulders, bends and depressions in the river bottom account for the variety of seams and excellent holding habitat for the trout. Quality angling can be found all the way to where the Blue meets the Colorado River below Green Mountain Reservoir.
Overall, the Blue River is a fine fishery. Large trout, quality hatches and beautiful water are all here. If you’re planning a trip or going to be in the Denver vicinity, consider fishing the Blue River.