The FORKS OF THE CIMARRON: EAST-MIDDLE-WEST: If chasing wild fish in small rivers is your thing, this is your place. At an elevation of 9600 feet, each of these rivers are located in their own high alpine valley. All three forks have an abundance of pocket water, small pools and riffles, all coupled with exceptional views. Great hatches can be expected throughout the summer into September. These rivers are a dry fly fisherman's dream & great for Tenkara.
Happening Now: The forks are still in great shape! Focus on the Middle and East forks. Per usual up there, dry/dropper is the way to go. Attractor dries with caddis or nymph droppers. If they are taking the dries just cut off the dropper and enjoy the top water!
Recommended Gear: During the summer, 9ft to 12 ft Tenkara or shorter ultralight fly rods in the 2 or 3 weight category work best. Ideal set up: Sage Circa 3 Weight, Sage Click, or Tenkara USA Iwana Series.
Big Cimarron: This section of the Cimarron is below Silver Jack Reservoir and offers several miles of uninterrupted and remote fly fishing opportunities. Technically this is a tail-water, but it doesn't fish like one. When flows are below 60 CFS, shallow Dry/Dropper rigs are the rule. However, within the deeper pools or higher flows, deep nymphing will produce the biggest fish. Casting can be tight, with lots of vegetation and limited trails along the river, be prepared to "earn it" in order to access this section.
Happening Now: Flows have come down and fishing is decent but this time of year take advantage of the short season on the forks.
Most Productive: Nymphs
Water Clarity: Murky
Recommended Gear: During warmer weather and when fishing dries, longer 3 to 4 weight fly rods with soft dry fly action Plus 13 ft Tenkara rigs with a stiffer 6.4 action or better are the ticket.
Dry Flies: Stimulators Orange, Yellow #12 - 16, Crystal Stimulator #12 - 16, Swisher's PMX Peacock #14 - 16, Quigley's Crime Scene Caddis #16, Puterbaugh's Foam Caddis Tan, Green #14 - 16
Nymphs: Hot Belly Pheasant Tail Pink #16, Anderson's Bird of Prey Olive #16, Tungsten Soft Hackle PT #16 - 18, Psycho Prince Red, Purple #14 - 16, Furimsky's Feeding caddis #14-16, , B.H. Epoxy Rubberleg Hare's Ear #16 - 18
EAST PORTAL: The East Portal is located at the upper end of the Black Canyon inside the Black Canyon National Park. This is the only access point into the Black Canyon in which you can drive directly to the river, and is subject to seasonal closures. Once you are down on the Gunnison River you are surrounded by towering granite walls some as high as 2,000 feet. The East Portal is a classic western tail water, and a gorgeous place to visit.
Happening Now: Flows down around 900 cfs which makes for ideal fishing. Water clarity is great and caddis should also be hatching so think pupa patterns and even adult dries may be working. As often the case in the Portal, fish still keying on midges. Small emerger patterns seem to be catching the most fish.
Most Productive: Nymphing
Water Clarity: Green
Happening Now: Flows have been dropping and water clarity has been great which means sweet fishing conditions. Caddis have been coming off, but hoppers haven't heated up yet. Although caddis dries have been great, spending some time focusing on caddis nymphs is a great idea. Good Luck!
Water Clarity: Off Colored
Recommended Gear: . A 9 to 10 ft 6wt fast action fly rods, like: Sage ONE 690-4, and a high sensitivity reel with a solid drag system and large arbors like: Lamson Water Works Litespeed, Hatch 5 Plus will give you the stopping power to fight these monster rainbows and browns. Heavier Tippets, in the 2x and 4x range can always be fished in the "Gunny Green" waters and will be needed especially when float fishing the technical waters.
Most Productive: Streamers/Nymphing
Happening Now: Flows have been dropping and water quality improving. Even if the color is slightly off, this section of river fishes great. Hopper, Hoppers, Hoppers are the ticket. Fish have also been eating Yellow Sallies aswell.
Recommended Gear: Sage ONE 690-4, Hatch 5 Plus, RIO Gold WF6
Most Productive: N/A
Water Clarity:Off Colored
DRY FLIES: Fast Water Caddis #16, Yeager's Neversink Caddis #16, Peacock Caddis #18-16, Puterbaugh Caddis Tan #16 - 18, Yeager's Neversink Yellow Sallie #16, Stacked Sallie #16, Chubby Chernobyl Red #8, Chubby Chernobyl Tan #8, Sweetgrass Hopper #8
NYMPHS: Chocolate Foam Back Emerger #24, Copper Ribbed RS2 #22 - 24 ,Cased Caddis #14, Nitro Caddis Pupa Green #16, Deep Sparkle Pupa #16, Pat's Rubber Legs Brown #6, Black, Purple #6, Halfbacks #6, Twenty Inchers #6-#8, Worms Red, Orange, Purple #12
STREAMERS: Autumn Splendor #6, Slump Buster #6, Tung Mint Double Copper #8, Lead eye bighorn bugger #6, Dirty Hippy Brown #6
SAN MIGUEL: The stretch of the San Miguel just downstream of Telluride meanders through meadows and trees, and provides a prime example of a Colorado freestone river. The River changes a few miles down stream to a quicker flow with bigger water. Pocket water is abundant with a few long runs and deep pools. In the summer fishing both tight to the banks as well as around cover seems to produce solid fish.
Happening Now: Heavy rain created several big mudslides last week and blew out the river from around Silver Pick down. Above Silver Pick looks fine so if you are going to fish it just focus on that upper end. Dry dropper is the way to go. Attractor dries on top with a caddis pupa or mayfly nymph dropper should do the trick.
Recommended Gear: After run off this river is perfect for your lighter weight rods; 3 or 4 weights are ideal. Sage CIRCA 3 Weight is solid for tight casting with dry flies and paired with a Sage Click Reel you will be all set. Tenkara rods are best from 12-13' in length and 6:4 (medium) flex. A floating tenkara line will allow you to fish dries and hoppers with ease.
Most Productive: Nymphing
Water Clarity:Off colored
Drys: Elk Hair Caddis Tan# 16-14, Chubby Chernobyl Tan #16, Puterbaugh's Caddis tan & green #14 - 16, Stimulators all shapes and colors, Grillos Hippie Stomper Royal #16
Nymphs: Cased Caddis #14-12, Psycho Prince Blue/Purple #16, Flashback PT #16, Partridge and Orange #16, Tungsten Soft Hackle PT #18-14, Montana Prince Black #14-16, Kyle's Beerhead Baetis #18, Micro May Olive #18-20
San Miguel Map
UNCOMPAHGRE RIVER AT PA-CO-CHU-PUK: "Pa-Co-Chu-Puk" or just Paco, is the section of the Uncompahgre River that lies inside Ridgway State Park, and is a fly angler's dream. This tailwater has something for everyone: easy access for beginners or those with mobility issues, as well as being one of the best tailwaters in the state for chasing fish well over 10lbs. Paco is a year-round fishing destination with great hatches every month of the year. This is one of the best places to throw dry flies throughout the summer, in particular July - September can be on fire with Caddis, Drake and PMD hatches!
Happening Now: Pink Cahills are starting to hatch and fish should be keying on them. Also tons of small hoppers around. With the fish looking up hopper/dropper is a good and fun way to fish. Fish the edges and seams.
Recommended Gear: Sage ONE 590-4, Hatch Fanatic 4 Plus, RIO Gold WF5
Most Productive: Nymphing
Nymphs: Military Mayfly PMD #18, Mercer's Trigger Nymph PMD #16, Barr's BH Emerger PMD #16, Captive Dun Pink #18, Tailwater Tiny Red #20, Midge Larva Black, Red and Purple #22-#24,
Streamers: Hot Head Paco Mini Leech #10, Jake's CDC Leech Black, Rust #10, Mayer's Mini Leech Black #16, Blk Wooly Bugger #8, Slump Buster Brown #6, Pig Pen Leech #8 Tan,
Let our fish report get you out on the right water with the right gear, or stop by the shop for the most current regional flies and offerings from Simms, SAGE, Patagonia, Abel and more.
The best in Southwest Colorado Fly Fishing, plan your trip with RIGS
If you are planning on fishing in Colorado this year, RIGS “Reel Time” fishing report includes up to date information on conditions, flows, flies, a hatch guide, weather, maps and more. RIGS Colorado fishing report is regularly updated and provides all the information you need for fly fishing on the Gunnison River (Black Canyon National Park & Gunnison Gorge), San Miguel River, Uncompahgre River & Cimarron River. Fishing in Colorado has never been better, especially in the Southwestern part of the State. For more information on the regions top fly fishing destinations along with the best Colorado fishing report, come by in person or visit RIGS Fly Shop online. We are located in the heart of the San Juan Mountains in historic downtown Ridgway within one hour of Ouray, Telluride, Montrose and Silverton Colorado. If you are fishing in Colorado, RIGS fish report will keep you up to date on all of the happenings in the region.