The FORKS OF THE CIMARRON: EAST-MIDDLE-WEST: If you love chasing wild fish in small rivers, this is your place. At an elevation of 9,600 feet, each fork is located in their own high alpine valley. All three have an abundance of pocket water, small pools and riffles, all coupled with exceptional views. Great hatches can be expected throughout the summer and into fall. These rivers are a dry fly fisher's dream and are also great for Tenkara.
Happening Now: We are able to make it up from the Hwy 50 all the way to the Res. Owl Creek pass is still closed but is set to open on 6/30 unless more weather comes in. The lake is full and off color do to the big runoff we are having. The big cimaron is running off color due to the lake being that way as well. the three forks are looking the closest to being fishable but are still high.
Most Productive:Light indicator nymphing.
Water Clarity: Run Off
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 tailwater but it doesn't fish like one. When flows are below 60 cfs, shallow dry/dropper rigs are the rule. However, for the deeper pools or during higher flows, deep nymphing will produce the biggest fish. Casting can be tight, with lots of vegetation and limited trails along the river, so be prepared to "earn it" in order to access this section.
Happening Now:Due to the big runoff this section is running high and off color making it unfishable at the moment. Give this section of water till the last week in July before you head up and it should be fishing great
Most Productive: Light indicator. nymphing
Water Clarity: Clear
Dry Flies (for dropper rigs): Small Caddis if any adults can be seen
Nymphs: Quasimodo Pheasant Tail #16, BH Prince #14-16, Psycho Prince Purple #14 - 16, Two Bit Hooker Red #16, San Juan Worm Red #16, Hare's Ear #14 -16, Micro May #16-18 Juju Emerger Grey-Olive #16-18
Cimarron River Map
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 tailwater, and a gorgeous place to visit.
Happening Now: The Road Is Open! Unless weather causes any new slides the road should stay open all summer. The flows have leveled off at the Peak for this year. Water is still high and off color and if you do any fishing look close to the bank for feeding fish. Spring is now! Be thinking Stoneflies and worm.
Most Productive:Stonefly patterns as well as scuds and worms as the water rises. The runs will be your best shot at hooking fish but always be on the lookout for rising fish.
Water Clarity: Gunny Green
GUNNISON GORGE: This is a magical and beautiful place to fish, especially float fishing! Most famous for the Salmon Fly hatch in May/June. This is a great section of river if you want to get away from the crowds of the East Portal or lower sections around Pleasure Park. The only access to the Gunnison Gorge Wilderness section is by hiking one of the four trails or a Three Day Float fishing Trip with RIGS.
Happening Now: Spring Flow bump is over and the Salmon Fly Is On!! The river will still be fishable just look closer to the bank with larger flies. The main Bug this time of year is Stonefly nymphs and dries, don't be afraid to throw some larger flies. The hatch is around Ute park in full swing but there are still adults at pleasure park.
Water Clarity: Off color due to runoff
Recommended Gear: A 9' to 10' 6-wt. fast action fly rod, with a high sensitivity large arbor reel and solid drag system, will give you the stopping power to fight big rainbows and browns. Heavier tippet in the 2x to 4x range can always be fished in the "Gunny Green" waters and will be needed especially when float fishing the technical waters.
Most Productive: Stoneflies!. Larger salmonfly adults as a indicator with a trailing pat's rubberleg or bright colored nymph.
Happening Now: Flow has dropped on the main stem of the Gunnison River. We are seeing A LOT of =Salmon Fly activities at pleasure park area. Not so much on the surface yet but fish are happy eating subsurface bugs. Try a dry dropper rig with Salmon Fly adults up top and dropping the nymph underneath it. Water is still off colored caused by the Smith Fork but the fishing is on!
Recommended Gear: 5 and 6-wt. fly rods, 9' to 9' 6" with a matching fly line and a reel with a good drag system for fighting big fish.
Most Productive: Dry dropper with Salmon Fly adult and their nymph as dropper. Nymphing with Stonefly patterns, mayfly nymphs and brighter flashy nymphs. Worms and bug stones would be the best combo.
Water Clarity: Gunny Green
Dry Flies:Flash Floater Stone Salmon Fly #6, Fluttering Stone Salmon Fly #6, Morning Wood Special Salmon Fly #6, Parachute BWO #20, Para Adams #22 Extended body BWO #18-22, Mole Fly #20-22
Nymphs:Frenchie #12-16, Tung Teaser Olive #12-16, San Juans, Depth charge worm Red #14, Jiggy Pats Coffee/Black #6, Micro Mayfly Olive #18, Juju Baetis #18 - 20, Copper John Red #14 - 16, Two Bit Hooker Red #16-18, Frenchie #14-16, Pats Rubber Legs #6-8, 20 Inchers #8-10,
Streamers:Montana Mouthwash Olive or White #6, Dirty Hippy Platte ( single or Double), She Deamon Brown #6
Gunnison River Map
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 downstream with some bigger and faster 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 can produce solid fish.
Happening Now: Its Springtime on the San Miguel and the water is high . Water level is at a dangerous level i would not go on the water here until its come down below 1,000 cfs. Be aware that the gauge NEAR PLACERVILLE, CO isn't showing the correct cfs.
Recommended Gear: This river is perfect for lighter weight fly rods in the 3 to 4-wt. range and also Tenkara rods. Tenkara rods are best from 12' to 13' in length and 6:4 (medium) flex. A floating Tenkara line will allow you to fish dry flies with ease.
Most Productive: Wait for water level to come down
Water Clarity: Muddy and High
San Miguel River 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 fisherman's dream. It is one of the best tailwaters in the state and holds fish well over 10 pounds. Paco offers easy access for beginners or those with mobility issues, and is a year-round fishing destination with great hatches throughout the year. This is one of the best places to throw dry flies during summer. July through September can be on fire with Caddis, Green Drake and PMD hatches!
Happening Now: Fishing at Paco Chu Puk has been steady with the water clarity being excellent. Flows are up but don't be afraid, the fish are on the feed. Dead drifting leeches or Mayfly nymps and a midge, primarily red, combo has been working the best. Move slow and take your time in each hole to make sure your not spooking any fish.
Recommended Gear: 5 and 6-wt. fly rods, 9' to 9' 6" with a matching fly line and a reel with a good drag system for those big fish.
Most Productive: Heavy tandem nymph rig with leeches and midges or BWO emergers.
Water Clarity: Clear
Nymphs: Foam Wing Emerger #20-24, Sidewinder Midge #26, Killer Mayfly Black/Olive #22-24, Matt's Neon Nightmare Midge (Orange/Pink) #18-22, Johnny Flash Gray/Chocolate #22 - 24, Barr's Emerger BWO #22, Matt's Hell Razor Leech #12, Mayor's Mini Leech #16 Matt's Demon Midge #18-22, Matt's Mighty Midge Red or Blue #18-22, Barr's Emerger BWO #20-22
Streamers:Montana Mouth Wash, Dirty Hippie, Fortune Cookie
Uncompahgre River Map
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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.