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1/3/24 Fishing Report for the Yampa River and its tributaries

Small patterns producing big fish

By John Camponeschi for Straightline Sports

Scott Norris, a Straightline employee, holds a beautiful trout he recently caught on the tailwater section of the Yampa River

Scott Norris/Courtesy Photo

Happy New Year from Straightline Sports!

Small patterns, such as subsurface midge patterns in a size #20 or #22, are producing big fish in the open waters of the Yampa River from Hayden upstream to the tailwaters. Mayfly nymphs, particularly those that are olive in a size #20-22, are also moving fish. The Tailwater Assassin in black and red (#20 and #22) is doing well. Bling midges in brown, tan, and gray are also a good option to have in addition to the miracle nymph, size #20-22, in ivory. Scud imitations should also be carried as well to complement the above.  

Here are some of the current “guide’s choice” flies for the Yampa River as of 1/3/24.

There is open water in the public town stretch, though the amount of fishable water is dependent on the ambient air temperature and the weather trends in a given week. The tailwaters are open and accessible via hiking from the parking area adjacent to the park entrance or by skiing or fat tire bike. 

A winter double! Cold-weather big fish on (really) small flies on the Yampa River!

Scott Norris/Courtesy Photo

There is little open water downstream from Steamboat Springs. 

Be cautious whenever you are moving on or near ice. Be aware of the consequences of falling through, particularly if you do not know the depth of the water under the ice.  

This fishing report will be updated as conditions/patterns change.

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