The FORKS OF THE CIMARRON-EAST-MIDDLE-WEST: If chasing wild fish in small rivers is your thing, this is your place. With an elevation of 9600 feet each of these rivers have there own high alpine breathtaking valley. All three forks have an abundance of pocket water, small pools and riffles. Great hatches can be expected throughout the summer into September. A dry fly fisherman's dream & great for Tenkara.
Happening Now: The three forks of the Cimarron River and the tailwater below Silver Jack Reservoir are now in post-runoff mode! The forks are running clear, and fish are holding in the pools and pockets, and on the edges. As the high country monsoon season tapers off going into September, the days will be sunny and drier. Enjoy cool, crisp mornings and warm afternoons. Effective dry flies for edges and pockets on the forks include #16 Parachute Adams, #16 Tan Caddis, and #16 Parachute PMD. Drop a #16 Soft Hackle Hare’s Ear about 8” behind the dries for even more opportunities. Swing #10 weighted streamers like the Hale Bop Leech (black is best) through the deeper pools. Hot tenkara fly patterns include #16 Killer Bugs (mist, oyster, or nymph) and Killer Kebaris in the pools and pockets. Use Sakasa Kebari or Ishigaki Kebari on the edges. Throw adult caddis, hoppers, or stimulators on the tailwater with a #16 Montana Prince or Psycho Prince dropper, focusing on seams. Fish at the inlet to Silver Jack Reservoir are munching #16 bead head nymphs dropped below big attractors. Most fish are taking the bottom fly.
Recommended Gear: 11 or 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 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:Nymphing or Dry/Dropper rigs will work very well, fish are very happy to eat. Small Caddis, Golden Stones, small Hoppers and Drakes are the mainstay top water bugs of choice throughout the summer, with Pink Cahills and terrestrials (beetle & ants) dominating the later summer into fall hatch cycle. With lower water flows this year, the Big Cimarron is going to fish really well and be a bit friendlier to access. *Bring a rain jacket for those predictable late afternoon showers!
Most Productive: Nymphing deep holes and dry fly fishing
Water Clarity: Good to average
Recommended Gear: 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.
Nymphs: Red & Copper Copper Johns #14-18, Green Drake Nymphs #12 & #14, Befused Wired Stone Golden #12-14, Twenty Incher #8-14, Hare's Ear #18-14, Montana Prince Black #16-14, Montana Prince Tan #16-14, B.H. Epoxy Rubberleg Hare's Ear #18-16, Barr's emergers PMD #14
EAST PORTAL: The East Portal is at the top end of the Black Canyon, it is also inside the Black Canyon National Park. This is the only access point into the Black Canyon in which you can drive down to the river. Once you are down on the Gunnison River you are surrounded by towering granite walls some as high as 2,000 ft. high. The East Portal is a classic western tail water.
Happening Now: The Portal has been fishing great, we have been seeing great hatches of Midge's and small Beatis. Deep nymphing along the seam lines has been working very well through out the morning and early afternoon, with midge larva patterns 22-18's. Hoppers and Caddis dries have been working on the top in shallow faster riffles.
Most Productive: Nymphing,Drys
Water Clarity: Good
Happening Now: The SALMON FLIES ARE HERE!!! The fishing in the Gorge has been great. Nymphing is the ticket for putting a lot of fish in the net, but hoppers and other attacker patterns will catch fish. Fish small Beatis nymphs and emergers deep for the most consistent action.
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, GURU or Konic reels 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: Dry Flies/Nymphing
Water Clarity: Good
Happening Now: Fishing is great, Hoppers
Recommended Gear: Sage ONE 690-4, Lamson Litespeed #2, RIO Gold WF6
Most Productive: Nymphing/Dry Flies
SAN MIGUEL: This beautiful freestone river has so much to offer the fly angler. The valley floor just down river from Telluride offers a stretch of water that cuts it's way through the beautiful trees and meadows. 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: The San Miguel is now in post-runoff mode, and is low and clear. Summer thunderstorms in the San Miguel Canyon will begin to taper off as we move into September. Fish will hold in pools, pockets, and edges all summer, as well as mid-river runs. Targeting those river features will pay off big time.
Recommended Gear: 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.
Most Productive: Nymphing
Adams Superfly #16, Para PMD #16, Para Adams #16, Fluttering Caddis #16 Nymphs:Cased Caddis #14-12, Psycho Prince Blue/Purple #16, Partridge and Orange #16, Tungsten Soft Hackle PT #18-14, Montana Prince Black. #14-16, Tung. Teaser #14-16, 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: The section of water that lies inside Ridgway State Park "Pa-Co-Chu-Puk" or just Paco, is a fly anglers dream. This tailwater has something for everyone: easy access for beginners or mobility issues, a well maintained/stocked fishery including natural reproduction on Brown Trout and Cuttbows and year-round fishing opportunities with consistent tailwater release. 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 Pink Cahill hatches! You can access and fish Paco year round, winter months bring little fishing pressure and excellent opportunities as well.
Happening Now: Fishing on this great tailwater is on fire! Pink Cahill and Drake hatches are coming off daily. Late summer flows on the Uncompahgre are consistent, and will have fish holding in seam lines and eddies, as well as the deep pools below structures. Nymphing deep will produce fish for you all day long. The key is to get your flies on the bottom. Remember that the closer you put your weight to your point fly the deeper your flies will sink. You can also dead drift streamers below an indicator, and you will be amazed at the very powerful takes. Dry fly fishing has been good in the evenings. Fish hoppers tight to the edges for eager takes.
Recommended Gear: Sage ONE 490-4, Sage 4600 reel, RIO Gold WF4
Most Productive: Streamers/Dries/Nymphing
Water Clarity: Excellent
Nymphs: Rubber Leg Hares Ear #14, Redhead Step Child #18, Red Midge Larvae #22-16, Olive RS2 #22, Chicken Hawk Beatis Olive #22, Slow Guy Beatis #18, Top Secret Midge #22, JuJu Bee Midge Zebra and Brown #20, Black Beauty #22, Olive Larve #16, Military May #18, Red RoJo Midge #18, JuJu Beatis Purple #22, Magic Fly Bwo #20, Foam Back Emerger #22, K Flasher Brown #18. Streamers: Montana Mouthwash #6, Blk Leech #4, Godzilla Sculpin tan/orang #6, Slap-N-Tickle Olive #6 Hoppers: Yellow Foam Hopper #10, Yeager's Tan Hopper #10, Para Kicking Hopper #10.
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.