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: This time of year, the higher forks are either inaccessible due to snow, or are raging due to run off. Your best bet is the Big Cimarron near the town of Cimarron. See below for more information.
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:Fish near the town of Cimarron this time of year.
Most Productive: Nymphs
Water Clarity: Off Color
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: N/A
Nymphs: Pat's rubber legs #8 -12, JuJu Baetis #18 - 20, Killer Mayfly nymph olive #18, CDC RS2 grey #18, Furimsky's Feeding caddis #14-16, , B.H. Epoxy Rubberleg Hare's Ear #18-16
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: The dam is releasing 500 CFS per day, and should continue until flows peak at 5000-5500 CFS. Once flows reach that peak level BOR will hold flows for approximately 10 days followed by a ramping down period in which flows will decrease by approximately 500 CFS per day. When that decrease in flows begins, fishing is expected to improve dramatically. With this cooler, cloudy weather the Baetis hatch is throughout the Black Canyon with fish often sitting in slow tail-outs. As flows decrease and warmer weather returns, fish should move up into the riffles and begin to key in on dries as the hatch moves up the canyon.
Most Productive: Nymphing
Water Clarity: Green
Happening Now: The gorge is fishing alright during these high flows, but the water temps have to warm up a couple more degree's for fishing to really turn on. Fishing Worms and Pat's Rubber Legs are the ticket in the slowest water you can find. As the water temps start to climb after the flow ramp down, look for fish to move into the faster riffles eating Caddis and Stone Nymphs. Good Luck!
Water Clarity: Green
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: Above the North Fork the water is Gunni Green. Fishing has been great with worms and Pat's Rubber Legs. The North Fork is still dirtying up the water below the confluence.
Recommended Gear: Sage ONE 690-4, Hatch 5 Plus, RIO Gold WF6
Most Productive: N/A
DRY FLIES: Para Adams #22, Ext. Body BWO's #18-20, Fast Water Caddis, Yeager's Neversink Caddis #16, Peacock Caddis #18-16
NYMPHS: Cased Caddis #14, Nitro Caddis Pupa Green #16, Pat's Rubber Legs Brown, 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: Run off has started to effect the river, take a look at the flows before you make the trip.
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 tenkra line will allow you to fish dries and hoppers with ease.
Most Productive: Nymphing
Drys: Elk Hair Caddis Tan# 16-14, Chubby Chernobyl Tan #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, Mayhem Black #20, Girdle Bug Blk/Tan #8, Befus Wired Stone Golden #10
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: Paco is fishing great with the higher summer flows. The water Clarity is great and the fish are happy to eat. We have been seeing a great Baetis hatch coming off around 11. The Baetis that are hatching are very small #24's so keep the nymphs small nothing bigger than a 24. When the fish at Paco are eating these small nymphs they will not move more than an inch or so to eat them. So adjusting your weight is critical. Midges are also working very well again keep these flies very small if you want to have a great day. Midges in the 22 through 26 range are working very well.
Recommended Gear: Sage ONE 590-4, Hatch Fanatic 4 Plus, RIO Gold WF5
Most Productive: Nymphing
Nymphs: Killer Mayflies Black and Brown #24, Black Rs-2 #24, Foam Wing Rs-2 #24 JuJu Emerger Brown #22, Midge Larva Black, Red and Purple #22-#24, Red Floss Worms #16
Streamers: Hot Head Paco Mini Leech #10, Brown Paco Mini Leech #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.