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: With Fall in the air the Forks are about done for the season so think fishing the Big Cimarron.
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 been steady around 125 cfs and the tailwater is in great shape. Think attractor dry with a tungsten bead dropper in the runs and pockets. In the deeper pools go with a heavier Stone nymph and smaller nymph or larva trailer. Pretty short window for this water so get it while it's good!
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, Amy's Ant Olive #14, Chernobyl Ant Pink, Red #14, Royal Wulff #14
Nymphs: Tungsten Caddis Larva #14 - 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, Pennington's Improved Golden #12, Restless Stone coffee/black #08
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: . Great time to be down in the Portal. Still seeing some PMDs about earlier in the day and Caddis in the afternoons. Even with the adults in the air and on the water, typically an emerger or pupa pattern works best. If throwing a dry, trail something like that a couple feet behind. Also, as often the case down there, if things aren't working go smaller. Midges and small Baetis always a good bet in the Portal.
Most Productive: Nymphing
Water Clarity: Green
Happening Now: Still seeing some Yellow Sallies about although the fish don't seem to be keyed on them. The Hopper bite has also slowed down so think other end of the spectrum...Tricos. A little early yet but should be coming on strong shortly. Caddis should be a good chunk of the fish menu as well. You can catch smaller fish all day on top, but go deep to catch the big fish.
Water Clarity: Clear
Recommended Gear: . A 9 to 10 ft 6wt fast action fly rods, like: Sage X 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: Fish are looking up along the banks so fishing from a raft or drift boat is ideal, while walk wading requires some crafty casting. Caddis have been coming off, but hoppers are heating up as well. There has been a massive caddis hatch in the evenings, so fishing a size 14 Goddard Caddis is killer. Besides that, the streamer bite is raging right now! It's a fantastic time to fish the lower Gunni. Good Luck!
Recommended Gear: Sage ONE 690-4, Hatch 5 Plus, RIO Gold WF6
Most Productive: N/A
DRY FLIES: Slick water Caddis Olive, Brown #14 - 16, Goddard Caddis Rusty #14 - 16, Puterbaugh Caddis Tan #16 - 18, Chubby Chernobyl Red #8, Chubby Chernobyl Tan #8, Sweetgrass Hopper #8, Parachute Trico #20, Magic Fly Trico #22
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: River was fishing incredibly well this weekend with the flows at about 110 cfs. Flows bumped up a bit from rains yesterday and certainly muddied it up some. Expect variable conditions with rains on and off this week. Even with clear water nymphing was working better than dries. Caddis larva and prince variations were working great. Even Girdle Bugs in medium sizes caught several fish. With the water off color certainly think about worms too, San Juan and Squirmy in visible colors.
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
Drys: Elk Hair Caddis Tan# 16-14, Slickwater Caddis Olive #16, Chubby Chernobyl Tan #16, Puterbaugh's Caddis tan & green #14 - 16, Stimulators all shapes and colors, Swisher's PMX Peacock #14
Nymphs: Cased Caddis #14-12, Psycho Prince Blue/Purple #16, BH King Prince #16 - 18, Guides Choice Hare's Ear #16, Tungsten Caddis Larva #16 - 18, Tungsten Soft Hackle PT #18-14, Restless Stone Coffee/Black #8 and Brown/Yellow #10, Squirmy Worm Red #10, San Juan Worm Red, Pink #12
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: Some Green Drakes can still be seen in the mornings. Been spotting some larger sized Caddis in the mix as well. Cahills still in great abundance in the afternoons. Think smaller size Cahills and emerger patterns. Even small brown RS2s can work well as an emerging Cahill.
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, Foam Wing RS-2 Brown #22, 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.