Re: What if there's no hatch?
There are ALWAYS bugs in the water.
I fished the poudre all through college and all year round.
prince nymphs, hare's ears and pheasant tails are all productive patterns. Just because there is no hatch, or you don't see a lot of bugs under rocks doesn't mean it's dead.
Considering the time of year, I would try san juans (run off season...) and maybe even start with an egg pattern. Even though the spawn is over for the bows, they still remember what eggs are and will still take them.
Another thing is to pick a productive stretch of water. Fish won't hold up in every piece of water available. They will want to be away from predators and anything that scares them. (kayakers, swimmers, fisherman...)
If you're driving 4 hours to fish the poudre, you're going to the wrong piece of water...where are you located? I'm sure there's a place that's closer or even the same distance that will be much more productive than the poudre. Not that it's a bad piece of water...but it isn't the best fishery in the state. The big Thompson in my opinion is 10x better and it's just another 30 min drive up the canyon.