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White River Fishing Information
North Fork Section - near Buford, CO
The White river is a fun and distant freestone river that has pristine access to the flattops wilderness. You can catch rainbow, brown, cutthroat, cutbows and whitefish through most of the river. Though the river holds mostly 12-16” fish, those willing to explore can find some large fish. They seem to be migratory and some years are present and other years not as much. You can find fish pushing 20” if you put your time in, though most of the action will be healthy, hard fighting fish in the 12-18. Nymphing and dry flies work best throughout the season up here and the water is fishable from spring to fall. This river is very delicate and requires special care when fishing to preserve it’s waters. As it is getting more crowded these days it holds less appeal than it did 10 years ago.
That said, there are many access points that are available to the angler including the town of Meeker, Sleepy cat and the South Fork Campground and Trappers lake up on the North Fork.
North Fork Access
Most of the north fork is private, but there are a few sections that are public and heavily wooded. There are likely some large fish up here but it is hard to access successfully. If you’re up for an adventure, give this place a shot and bring some protection. It’s more likely than not to see bears and moose in this area and it’s easy to sneak up on them in the heavily willow and wooded sections of the North Fork. Come prepared and ready to explore Colorado wilderness and you can find some truly wonderful fishing.
- Fish: Some Medium-Sized Fish
- Popularity: Low
- Difficulty: Medium
- Accessibility: Hard
- Best Techniques: Dries & Nymphs
- Best Seasons: Spring - Fall
- River Type: Small Freestone
- Fish Types: Rainbow Trout, Cutbow Trout, Brown Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Brook Trout, Whitefish
- Dog Friendly: Yes
Located in the Yampa/White River Basin near Buford, CO
Fishable Seasons & Current Weather
The best seasons to fish this river are Spring - Fall. See the current weather reports for the next 5-6 days listed below for the nearest city.
wind: 17mph S
H 102 • L 102
Weather from OpenWeatherMap
Knowing what flies to use is only have the battle. You have to know when the insects are active on the water and when it's likely the trout are feeding on them. Refer to our hatch charts below to understand when the insect categories and some of the possible hatches on the river.
Midges hatch year round, but their importance is from September through winter into April. During the warmer months, the trout often focus on larger insects as they are more active on the water like mayflies, caddis and stoneflies.
- Colors: Black, White, Gray, Cream, Olive, Red, Brown, Blue, and Purple
- Sizes: #16 - #24
Aside from Blue wing olives, mayflies are active most commonly from May to August in Colorado. There are many different mayfly hatches found on most rivers and the most common are listed below.
- Blue Wing Olive: September throut winter to April
- Colors: Green/Olive
- Sizes: #16-24
- Pale Morning Dun: June to Mid September
- Colors: White, Yellow
- Sizes: #14 - #20
Caddis hatch starting early in May and continue to the end of October.
- Colors: Olive, Green, Yellow, Tan, Orange, Brown and Black.
- Sizes: #10 - #20
We have some great stonefly hatches in Colorado and while not all rivers carry all species of salmonflies, you can often fish stonefly adult patterns with confidence from May to September. Start off in bigger sizes and get smaller till September hits (size 8 - 16)
- Golden Stone: June to August
- Colors: Yellow, Tan
- Sizes: #8 - #14
- Yellow Sally Stonefly: Mid June to August
- Colors: Yellow, Tan
- Sizes: #12 - #18
Terrestrials don't hatch since they are out of the water, but they can have importance starting in Mid April and ending in September.
- Ant Patterns: Mid April - September
- Colors: Black, Tan, Red, Brown
- Sizes: #14 - #18
- Beetles: May to September
- Colors: Black, Blue, Purple
- Sizes: #14 - #18
- Hoppers: June to September
- Colors: Tan, Yellow, Olive, Red, Pink, Purple
- Sizes: #8 -#16
- Flying Ants: Mid August to Mid September
- Colors: Red, Black
- Sizes: #14 - #18
Do You Know Your Bugs?
White River Flies
These are the the top flies we sell for this river. Use the hatch chart above to know what flies you will want to have in your fly box during your adventure on the river and then select the flies here 30 days before your trip to get them at a great price. All of our flies are hand tied to each order to ensure quality and to keep our prices low for you.
Click on a fly below to select a size and color for purchase.
See All Flies
If you need an easier solution than selecting each fly and size, try out our top fly assortments for this river that will put all the flies you need in a single order for this river. We've already selected the flies we use in our fly box for this river including the sizes and colors and put them in these assortments so you can fish with the confidence that you have the right flies in your box.
Click on any of the pictures to see what flies, colors and sizes we recommend in each assortment.
View All Assortments
White River Access Map
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White River Tips & Resources
Use these epic resources to get ready for your adventure. Whether you're planning your trip, learning your insects, improving your fishing with expert tips or getting detailed resources from the USGS streamflows or DoW, we got you covered to help you find the river and find the success you want.