The Stagecoach Tailwater is just below the Stagecoach Reservoir, or the upper section of the Yampa River. It is a picturesque section of waters that winds down through areas of mature lodgepole and ponderosa pines. The tailwaters open up to snow covered riverbanks, brooches of snow covered rocks in the river, and sections of rocky outcroppings. Head down the trail to the available accessible sections of river crossings and the fishy banks.
Fishing has been excellent with a steady cfs flow at 42. The higher section of the canyon remains shaded until early afternoon while the open riverbanks receive sunshine late morning. Temperatures last Wednesday, Christmas Eve was 18 degrees in the morning with a high in the low 30s, light winds. Light crowds during the week, but an increase with the mild winter sunshine holidays.
Nymphing is the most effective technique with a plethora of effective fly patterns: Black Beauty #18-22, RS2’s #18-22 black and gray, Hogan’s S&M #18-22 brown, black, olive, WD40 all colors #16-20. Dry fly opportunities are minimal of BWO’s #20-22. With low winter water flows and light river bottom sediment with a soft tint to water clarity, 5x tippet can still effectively present a clean presentation leading to takers. Stagecoach has a diversity of Rainbow, Brown, Cutbow, and Brook trout. Lots of 6" little Rainbow and Brook trout as well as in great multitude, bountiful and stout Rainbow, Brown, Cutbow trout 18"-22".
Dress warmly and be prepared for cold weather conditions. A daily park pass is $8 until the vehicle access gate closes. The vehicle access gate to Stagecoach will be closing January 1st 2020 and remains closed until April 1st 2020. Access to the Stagecoach Tailwaters after January 1st would require parking your vehicle by the ranger shack, and a light hike or snowshoe down about 2 miles one way. Going into the heart of winter means no crowds and plenty of continued fantastic fly fishing! See you on the river!