Cache la Poudre River Colorado
Fly fishing Cache la Poudre River Colorado
Copyright 2020 James Marsh
Fly Fishing On The Cache la Poudre
River In Colorado
The Cache la Poudre River is one more beautiful trout
stream. It is pocket water heaven with some very steep
gradients in some places. The river, which starts in  
Rocky Mountains National Park and flows along highway
#14 to Fort Collins, has great access.

The upper part of the Cache la Poudre River leaves the
road and heads into the backcountry. This section of the
river is called the Big South Fork although its actually
not a fork that forms the stream. Access requires hiking
along the trail that follows the river. This section
receives water from a number of smaller tributary
streams and a few reservoirs that drain water into the

The upper section of the river contains all four species
of trout listed to your left. Downstream from the point the
river reaches the road in its upper area, the trout
population is mostly brown trout.

The single biggest advantage of this stream is the vast
amount of public water. You can choose from miles of
water to fish. That is not the usual thing in the state of
Colorado or anywhere else for that matter.

The Poudre canyon continues to fish well on into the
Fall. It is the perfect stream for high sticking. During the
colder weather, the lower stretches are where the most
active feeding fish will be found.

Many anglers think the trout in the Poudre are not very
selective and in general, when the water is warm, they
aren't. When it gets on the cool side, the fish get out of
the current and in holes and pockets where the water
moves much slower. In these situations, the wild trout
get a good, close up look at your fly and fly selection
can become very important. You can get away with a lot
more when the water is warm and the trout are feeding
the fast water.

Matching the hatch isn't usually near as important as
matching what is about to hatch. Trout can see the
nymphs and larvae in the stream much better than a fly
on the surface of the water. Matching the most plentiful
and avialable nymphs and larvae that the trout have to
eat with more realistic imitations will greatly improve you
odds of success.  

If you enjoy small stream fly fishing, you will certainly
enjoy fishing the Cache la Poudre River. Granite canyon
walls as high as 500 feet provide the setting. It provides
one of Colorado's better fly fishing experiences. Another
plus is you can enjoy fishing the river, year-round.
Type of Stream

Brown Trout
Rainbow Trout
Cutthroat Trout
Brook Trout

Medium width, 54 miles long

North Central Colorado

Nearest Towns
Fort Collins



Non-Resident License
State of Colorado

National Weather Service Link

Hatch Chart
Perfect Fly Hatch Chart

Fly Fishing Gear and Trout Flies

Stream Flow Data:
Real Time USGS Data (Bl Halligan
Real Time USGS Data (Livermore)
Cache la
Poudre River
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The season is year-round and you can
catch fish most any time of the year
except during the Spring runoff.
The river fishes good from about
March up until the runoff starts in June.
The water starts rising in May.
After the June runoff, the stream
provides its best fishing for the year
and continues for the rest of the
summer. The July flows are still rather
high but it subsides in August to a low
Fly Fishing Guide to the Cache la
Poudre River
If you can fish fast moving pocket water,
you should do very well fishing the Cache
la Poudre. There are two designated "Wild
Trout Waters" or Trophy Trout areas
where you must use a fly or lure only.  
The Wild Trout area on the lower end of
the stream starts at Pingree Park Bridge.
Thats about twenty miles upstream from
the head of the canyon. It ends near the
town of Rustic. In this area, the river
heads away from the road The area is
called Indian Meadows.

The uppermost Wild Trout section starts
at the Black Hollow Creek confluence and
runs upstream to the Big Bend
Campground. Theres a state fish hatchery
in this area.  These two Wild Trout
sections are among the easiest places to
get around in because they have less

I'm not certain that fishing in the special
regulation areas offers any advantage.
They are probably fished heavier than the
many miles of other available water. The
other water is faster moving pocket water.
Guide, continued:
The trout don't seem to be as picky in the
non-regulated sections. I'm not certain
the special regulated areas have larger
trout although they may well have.

You want to fish the pocket water of the
stream in an upstream direction. Usually,
several short cast are better than a few
long ones because the fly line stand less
change of being caught in conflicting
currents. It is best to hold as much fly line
out of the water as possible. This will help
you get a drag free drift. Short leaders of
about seven and a half feet work good.

Fish the current seams between the fast
and slow water and at the ends of the
long runs and riffles. A good tip is to put
your fly where you see the bubbles. That
is most likely where the insects are also
drifting. You will find that the "high-stickin"
method of nymph fishing also works good
in this stream.
Cache la Poudre River Hatches
and Trout Flies:
Our information on aquatic insects is
based on our stream samples of larvae
and nymphs, not guess work. We base fly
suggestions on imitating the most plentiful
and most available insects and other
foods at the particular time you are
fishing. Unlike the generic fly shop trout
flies, we have specific imitations of all the
insects in the Cache la Poudre River and
in all stages of life that are applicable to
fishing. If you want to fish better, more
realistic trout flies, have a much higher
degree of success, give us a call.  We not
only will help you with selections, you will
learn why, after trying Perfect Flies, 92%
of the thousands of our customers will use
nothing else.

The Cache la Poudre Rivers first mayfly
hatches are the Blue-winged Olives. They
hatch starting in April and last through the
month of May. These are bi-brooded
insects that hatch again in September and

The other major mayflies consist mostly of
Green Drakes and Red Quills. Both of
these mayflies start hatching around the
first or second week of June and last on
into the middle of the month of August.
Some of both hatches are practically
eliminated because of the spring runoff.
There are also a few PMDs, or Pale
Morning Duns. These mayflies are found
in the moderate sections of the river. They
start hatching in July and last on into the
first of August.

Stoneflies are a major part of the aquatic
insects that live in the river. Golden
Stoneflies hatch starting about the middle
of June and last through August,
depending on the area of the river you
are fishing. Yellow Sallies, or Little Yellow
Stonefies, start hatching in late May and
can last on into August.

There are several species of caddisflies.
One of the most abundant are species of
Branchycentrus genus.
Hatches, continued:
These Grannom caddisflies start hatching
from late April to the first week of May. It
usually last about a month. This hatch
starts in the lower elevations and works

During June, July, August and September,
you will find a few different species of
Spotted Sedges and a few of their Little
Sister Caddis. The Little Sisters hatch
during the month of July.
There are some Little Short-horned Sedges
that hatch in late May and June. There are
also a few species of Green Caddisflies, or
Green Sedges, as they are often called.
The larvae of these caddisflies are called
Green Rock Worms. Imitations of them are
very effective during the Spring and
Summer. There are a few other species of
caddisflies present in the river, but they
don't hatch in large quantities.

Terrestrial insects become important during
the months of June, July, August and
September. Imitations of grasshopper, ants
and beetles are effective during these

Don't forget to have a good selection of
streamers. There are a lot of sculpins in the
river and some species of minnows and
baitfish. The streamers are very effective
when the brown trout start to spawn in the
fall. They also work anytime the river is a
little off color from rain as well as early in
the morning and late in the afternoons.

If you haven't tried our "Perfect Fly" trout
flies, you have missed out on fishing the
most effective trout flies you can purchase.
We have specific imitations of everything
that hatches on the Cache La Poudre
River. We hope you give them a chance to
work for you.
The brown trout spawn in the fall and
streamers can be especially effective at
that time. Fishing can be very good during
the Fall season.
Fly fishing the Cache la Poudre River can
be good all winter. Midges are the main
insects that you will need to imitate.
Cache la Pourdre River
Cache la Poudre River canyon
Cache la Poudre River
fly fishing Cache la Poudre River Colorado
Thumbnails: Click to enlarge
Thumbnails: Click to enlarge
Cache la Poudre River Fishing Report - 02/01/2020
Stream levels are in good shape. There are some good hatches of BWO's and Midges. We
are getting some good reports from customers.

Stream Conditions:

7 Day Weather Forecast:
There is a chance of rain/snow from Monday through Friday,
otherwise clear for the coming week.
Highs will range from 16 to 70 and lows from -1 to 33

Recommended Trout Flies:
Rate: 18 cfs
Level: 2.07 ft
Afternoon Water Temperature: 43
Clarity: clear
USGS Real-Time Stream Flow Data Below Halligan Reservoir
Brown and White Belly Sculpin, Articulated/Non-Articulated Streamers 4/6
Black Matuka and Olive Matuka Sculpin, size 4/6/8
Blue-winged Olives, size 16/18, nymphs, emergers, duns and spinners
Aquatic Worms, size 12, pink, red, and others.
Winter Stoneflies, size 16/18, nymphs and adults.
Black Flies, size 18,20, larva, pupa and adults.
Midges: Blood (Red), sizes 20/22, larva, pupa and adults
Midges: Cream, size 20/22, larva, pupa and adults
Midges: Light Green, size 20/22, larva, pupa and adults
Strategies, Techniques and Tips:
Brown Sculpin and White Belly Sculpin are great flies to use for the next several weeks.
Black and Olive Matuka sculpin streamers are working good as well.
Blue-winged olives are hatching.
Black flies are hatching.
Winter stoneflies are hatching.
Aquatic worms are working.
We still think a good strategy is to fish a tandem Midge rig under a small strike indicator
with the midge lava as the bottom fly and the midge pupa as the top fly. Fish the adult
midge only when you observe trout feeding on the surface.
Fly Fishing Report for Cache la
Poudre River Updated
ebruary 01, 2020
(Bottom Of Page)
Rate:  4.22 cfs
Level: 6.82 ft
Afternoon Water Temperature: 43
Clarity: clear
USGS Real-Time Stream Flow Data at Livermore CO
We have website
pages on each of
these fine trout
streams. Click the
links for fly fishing
information on the
streams, access
locations, species of
fish, a  fly fishing
guide, a fly fishing
report, hatches and
recommended trout
flies, fly fishing gear
and equipment, local
weather, USGS
stream information
and much, much more
1. Email us (
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

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