Did you know there are healthy populations of Grayling on Colorado? Today I made the trek up to Joe Wright Reservoir and was surprised at what I saw….LOTS of Grayling! When we first pulled up to the reservoir, there were Grayling rising everywhere! I was surprised to see so many fish there were and also the size of them. I have heard about the Grayling in Joe Wright Reservoir for years now, and have always been told they were really small (3-6″). I guess that is all relative, because we hooked into several in the 9-12 inch range!
Joe Wright Reservoir seems to be a very fertile reservoir. Throughout the day we saw flying ants, callibaetis, caddis drakes, midge and some other random bugs. The fish very very aggressive in the morning on the surface, feeding on both midges and the flying ants that fell onto the top of the water. Later in the day, a very nice callibaetis hatch developed and that is what we caught the larger fish on. A Poxyback Callibaetis, CDC Callibaetis and a Hares Ear all did the trick. We were able to rise several fish on Parachute Adams, Ants, Beetles and Midges. Grayling have small mouths and the hook up ratio on dry flies was not very good. We had the most luck landing fish slow stripping nymphs, they seemed to get a hold of the fly a bit better that way. Today we fished Joe Wright from shore, but a belly boat or water craft is definitely the best way to fish the lake. The water level is low, so fishing from shore was possible. If the lake where much higher, a belly boat would be a must. Something different and a lot fun! Pretty much had the whole lake to ourselves too!
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