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: Owl Creek Pass is open and all the forks are fishable! Water level still a bit high with the East and West Forks fairly off colored but still fishable for those willing to give it a go. The West Fork is still high but the water quality is the best out of the three forks. As often is the case up there, attractor dries with droppers are a good strategy. Stimulator patterns with a caddis larva or pupa dropper tend to work very well. In deeper or faster water try a double nymph rig with some added weight. Give fishing the inlet to Silver Jack res a try, as the rainbows are spawning! Getting the flies deep is key, so weighted streamers or caddis larva with lots of split shot will work great. It is so beautiful up there this time of year. Add in some good fishing and you'd be crazy not to get up there!
Water Clarity:Off Colored
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 still look pretty high coming out of the dam so the forks are the way to go.
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, Super Wulff Lime, Blue #14, Royal Wulff #12 -14
Nymphs: Pennington's Improved Golden #12, 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. The Cimarron River is affecting the water quality at the East Portal. Although the color is off, there are still fish to be had! Warm weather is bringing on the big Stonefly hatch lower on the Gunni. Although adults not flying around in the Portal, fish will still be looking for a big golden stone nymph meal. 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 down at 935 for several days now which means sweet fishing conditions. Worms and Pat's Rubber Legs still fishing well and throwing big Stonefly dries not a bad idea either. Think dry dropper or get deep with big stonefly nymphs and caddis patterns. 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: Salmon fly hatch is on, but moving up the gorge fast. Adults are flying around but probably more success had with nymph patterns. Think big Pats Rubberlegs and Restless Stones. Caddis also hatching in force. Caddis dries may get some attention on the surface or try pupa patterns as a dropper. The Grillos Impala Salmon fly dry is also a sweet pattern to toss with a dropper. With these ideal flows for the hatch you gotta get out there!
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, Grillos Impala Salmonfly #6, Morrish Fluttering Stone #6, Flush floater Stone #6
NYMPHS: 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, Chocolate Foam Back Emerger #24, Copper Ribbed RS2 #22 - 24
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: Water is still raging on the Miguel due to runoff. Probably another couple weeks before worth fishing.
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: Flows have been around 720 cfs for a while now. The fish are used to it and eager to eat. More and bigger bug activity on the water as well consisting mostly of caddis so far. Nymphing with plenty of weight to get down to the fish has been the go to strategy but also getting reports of fish being caught on dries. Even small hopper patterns.
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 Tailwater Tiny Red #20, Midge Larva Black, Red and Purple #22-#24, Radiation Baetis Red/Copper #18, Joca's Caddis Pupa #16, Red Worms #16,
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.