Lee’s Ferry is often considered the crown jewel of Arizona fly fishing. Along with the San Juan River in New Mexico and the Green River in Utah it makes up the South West’s big three tail waters. The Colorado River at Lee’s Ferry is most definitely a world class flyfishing travel destination.
Fly fishing at Lee’s Ferry may occasionally be a challenge but fly selection is not. The wild trout at Lee’s Ferry thrive primarily on a midges, scuds, and aquatic worms with the occasional large fish keying in on small bait fish. As such, fishing zebra midges, scud patterns and San Juan worms under an indicator is a highly effective way to hook up Rainbow trout. However, don’t be afraid to swing streamers big and small in order to flush out larger piscivorous quarry. Dry fly fishing is sporadic but when things come together it can be unreal (Think big Cicadas in July and August). The dries that work will often be smaller midges during a hatch or larger foam and rubber offerings that trigger that greedy fish into a reaction bite.
Lee’s Ferry 2/11/23
Angler: Ashton, AZ Fly Shop
Overview: Lees Ferry is a great spot and the scenery can not be beaten.
Starting location: Walk-in area
Weather Conditions: High clouds and cool temps with mild winds.
Hatch on the water: Ocassonal hatching, fish are primarily eating BWO’s
Angler’s advice: Come prepared with clothing, windbreakers, heavier socks, etc. Pack an assortment of midges and scuds as well as longer-handled nets.
- Medium/Slow Action 5 weights for throwing small nymphs, dries, midges, etc.
- Medium/Slow action 6 weights for streamers and large nymph rigs.
Waders are ideal, typically thicker/heavier waders due to the cold water temps.
- Airlock indicators work great for visibility and floatability.
- 3x-5x leaders and tippets is ideal, especially this time of year when all fishing techniques can be used.
- Any packs can be used, but I prefer backpacks for extra storage and room for long day trips.
- Mid-length nets are handy to have the extra reach when fishing solo.
- Worm Imitations
- Scuds of all colors
- Small baitfish patterns
- Girdle bugs (Pats Rubber Legs)
This area has received quite a bit of water lately and has developed into an awesome spot to catch a tug!!