Local Drainages Have Finally Peaked
July 12th, 2011
It looks as if most of our local drainages have finally peaked and are starting their long drop towards more fish-able levels. That is not to say run-off is over by any stretch of the imagination, but over the next couple weeks things should dramatically improve for all or our stream lovers out there. In the past few days we have seen minor to major flow reductions from just about all of Central Colorado.
The Colorado River below Kremmling has fallen from a Saturday morning peak of 9450 CFS down to 7240 CFS Tuesday afternoon, over 20%! Yes, this is still a very high flow, higher than peak flows most years even, but it is on the way down and looks to be doing so at a decent rate.
As the flows begin to drop, keep an eye on the clarity. Most rivers will actually have great clarity relative to their volume at this time of year, because they are on the decline. As snow-melt starts in the spring and flows go up, clarity really falls off because the increase in volume raises the water into normally dry parts of the channel, that over time accumulate debris and sediment that is then mixed into the river.
Once higher stream flows peak and start to recede, the debris is either flushed down river or settles into the now exposed river bank again and clarity improves. With even a modest improvement in visibility, high water fishing can offer great results. The key will be to focus your attention on the quieter lies in the river where trout can get a break from swifter currents still present as run-off subsides.