I had the unique opportunity this week to spend some time with some amazing anglers who came from all over Colorado, Utah, Montana, and Oregon to witness a truly amazing biological bug factory, the Rio Grand River. I was joined by a number of other fly shop owners, guides and factory representatives from Simms and Idylwilde flies to enjoy what can only be described as ... well, an awesome dry fly hatch.
Located just three and a half hours from South Metro Denver, the month of June and July hosts one of the most remarkable dry fly hatches that exists in our state. In fact, I have witnessed very few hatches of this magnitude on almost any river, with exception to perhaps the Missouri in October. In the three short days I was given to explore the river, I saw virtually every bug I've ever known to exist in Colorado, Salmon Flies, Stone Flies, Caddis of multiple varieties, PMD's, BWO's, Green Drakes, Grey Drakes, you name it.
We spent our days floating different sections of the river primarily from Deep Creek in Creede all the way down stream to Del Norte with nothing to do but tie on our favorite size 10-12 dry flies feeding literally hundreds of fish anxiously awaiting the next juicy morsel to come floating overhead. As the provider of all things feather and furr, the challenge for Patrick Kilby, director of operations for Idylwilde flies, was formidable. He succeeded though beyond my wildest expectations. When it comes to preparation for this trip, the only pieces of advice I can offer are:
- Bring the kitchen sink
- Make sure your flies are huge
Should you go, I can't recommend Mike McCormick of Wolf Creek Fly Shop or John Flick of Duranglers more highly as two outfitters that are exceptionally familiar with the river and the surrounding activities that make Creede such a great place to get away for a weekend. While there are an abundance of fly patterns that will work on this river, there are three you really shouldn't go without, size 12 Grey Parachute Adams, size 14 Kingrey's Black Foam Caddis, and size 10 Quigley's Film Critic. Tie some on and get busy!