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May 16th Fishing Report

Straightline Guides - Thursday, May 16, 2019

Springtime fishing is the best time to fish the lakes in the area. Stagecoach Reservoir has been open for awhile now and is still fishing very well. However, the best place to fish right now is Steamboat Lake. The ice just came off about 10 days ago and the fish are starting to move to shallower water where there is lots of feed.


We have been very successful fishing streamer patterns imitating minnows, crayfish and leeches, especially in the shallower water. What you want to look for when you head out to Steamboat Lake are the spots where a feeder stream is coming into the bay.


The fish are staging to spawn up feeder creeks, but they must wait until the water gets high enough in the creek to swim up there. Several of the creeks are high enough right now, but most of them are still low. As the high snow starts to melt, the water will rise, and the fish will start to spawn up these creeks.


In the meantime, the fish are staged up in the lake, in the bay. We suggest wading out as far as you are comfortable going and then fish for 10-15 minutes. If you aren’t catching anything, move about 20 yards up the bay and continue to do this until you find fish. Once you do find the fish stay in that sport for a while before moving on.


Flies to Try at Steamboat Lake: Beadhead Mini Leech, Thin Mint, Diamond Lake Special, Zonkers. Olive, black and brown colors are working best right now.


Thin Mint Fly

Thin Mint Fly - A Springtime Favorite


Fly Fishing Tip: Why not offer two flies? We recommend fishing double flies with the bigger fly first and a smaller fly trailing behind. This is a fast way to find out what the fish are eating!


Delaney Buttes is also fishing well right now. There are three lakes up there, the North Lake, East Lake and South Lake. They are all right next to each other but are very different! It is a fun day of fishing up there because you are matching bug hatches vs. just throwing streamers. You’ll get the opportunity to fish midges and tiny flies and catch some huge fish.


Delaney Buttes Fishing

Fishing at Delaney Buttes


River Fishing

The Yampa is high right now, but fishable. You’ll find the fish along the banks because the current is still too strong in the middle. The inside of any bends in the river where the water is moving slower are also fishing well right now.


Try fishing Treehouse Bend, which is only about a mile upstream from Straightline. To get there, park at Fetcher Pond and go up the river along the bike path for about 200 yards to the big bend in the river, this is Treehouse Bend. The fishing has been great here this week.

Flies to Try on the Yampa: Pats Rubber Leg trailed by a San Juan Worm or Even Egg Patterns, Coffee’s Conehead, Thin Mint, Zonkers.

The tailwaters at Stagecoach are on fire right now, but it gets really crowded to get there early.


Flies to Try at Stagecoach Tailwaters: Adam’s Parachutes, Blue Winged Olives.


What’s Next

The lakes in the Flat Tops should be opening up soon and will be fishing really well. Yamcolo, Bear Lake and Stillwater Reservoir will be great options soon. Fishing on the Yampa will probably get worse in the next few weeks as the runoff hit and will not be very fishable.

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