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Winter Fly Fishing Part 3 - Rocky Ford Creek

Sean Visintainer - 02/07/14

Trout Fly Fishing at Rocky Ford Creek. Photo by Michael Visintainer

Rocky Ford Part 1 - Overview

Ahhhhhh Rocky Ford... love it or hate, it's one of the best winter fly fishing opportunities in the state. This blog post is geared towards the anglers that have never experienced Rocky Ford or any spring creek for that matter. While the scenery at Rocky Ford certainly leaves a lot to be desired, it's the simple fact that you can literally fish Rocky Ford 365 days out of the year. When I say 365 days I don't mean just the length of the season... I mean it literally never freezes or blows out (gets runoff) and you legitimately have a shot at a fish every day of the year. It's kinda like that early 90's movie will Bill Murray, Ground Hog Day, same thing different day!!

7 Points of interest for Rocky Ford Creek

  1. Spring fed. Never freezes, never gets too warm. Water temp stays stable in the low 50's year round.
  2. Stable water levels. Because it's spring fed and is not affected by runoff, Rocky Ford never gets too high or too low.
  3. Plenty of trout food. The water is rich in aquatic life from scuds, to midge pupa, mayfly nymphs (predominately baetis), to caddis, and a few other random aquatic insects.
  4. Easy access. There's no wading allowed, but that's okay, trails parallel the creek so you can fish the entire length of the public stretches easily. Also, there is a handicap fishing doc which is great for those in wheelchairs or can't walk the shorelines.
  5. Big fish, lot's of fish. Rocky Ford is a stocked fishery. A hatchery sits at the head of it and periodically throughout the season rainbows are released into the creek. Sometimes it's just average size fish... sometimes it's the big brood stock in the 20"+ class.
  6. Quick growth rate and Entomology degrees. Because of the amount of food available for the rainbows to feed on, trout in Rocky Ford grow rather large very quickly. This means they also get plenty of opportunity to inspect natural insects.
  7. Fly Fishing Only / Catch and Release. Yup... gotta use a fly rod and flies here. Single barbless hooks (2 flies are okay), NO SPLIT SHOT, release all fish.
Rocky Ford Creek Sunset. Photo by Michael Visintainer

Random thoughts on fishing Rocky Ford Creek

  1. Scuds. Not the missile... the freshwater shrimp. Think of it like a protein pellet for trout. There are tons of them in Rocky Ford, this is how they grow fat and happy quickly.
  2. This is a great place even for beginners because you can watch trout in their natural environment feeding. Watching how they react to flies both natural and man made will teach you a lot of fish behavior.
  3. This is also a great place for more advanced anglers because the fish have a degree in natural and man made flies so it can test the skills of any seasoned angler.
  4. Bring your own rock during the weekends. Most of the year it isn't too busy here, but there is a period during the winter and early spring when there just isn't much going on around the state or everything else is blown out so this is one of the only options. There is always a little room though.

Stay Tuned for the next blog post… Rocky Ford Cr - Techniques & Flies

Mark Poirier with a nice trout at Rocky Ford Creek.
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