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: Water levels too low on the forks so hit 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 steadily dropping, but continued warm weather has meant an extend fishing season in the high country. Nymphing should be most productive at this time, with general pheasant tail and BH prince patterns slaying. Dry dropper rigs may also be productive. Focus on deep holes and runs.
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: Para extended body BWO #20, May Day BWO #19, Brooks Sprout Baetis #20, Amy's Ant Olive #14, Royal Wulff #14
Nymphs: Juju Baetis #18 - 20, Flashback Biot Nymph BWO #22, CDC Emerger Baetis #22, Furimsky's Feeding caddis #14-16, Pennington's Improved Golden #12, Restless Stone coffee/black #08, Tungsten Jr Mint #10
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: Still a great time to be down in the Portal. Fishing has slowed down some but the recent warm weather will definitely extend the fishing right up until the portal closes for the season. Baetis and small midge patterns are the ticket, but with the browns gearing up to spawn, egg patterns should be hot.
Most Productive: Nymphing
Water Clarity: Green
Happening Now: With warm weather and the browns getting on the spawn, the Gorge is still fishing great. Try some egg patterns, San Juan Worms and jigged nymphs to really cut down to the fish. Red Quills are around this time of year and can be matched well with a Quill Gordon. Bugs will be in the air but nymph patterns for these flies will catch more fish. Also, being Fall the Streamer fishing can be awesome. Think big, gaudy patterns like the Geezus Lizard.
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: Lower Gunni fairly similar to the Gorge report. Off color water from the North Fork should continue throughout the fall and winter, but that can mean great fishing with worm patterns. As the weather gets cooler, any hatches will be focused in the mid to late afternoon. Switch gears and try egg patterns and streamers.
Recommended Gear: Sage ONE 690-4, Hatch 5 Plus, RIO Gold WF6
Most Productive: N/A
DRY FLIES: Parachute Extended Body BWO #20, May Day BWO #19, Quill Gordon #12, Goddard Caddis Rusty #14 - 16, Puterbaugh Caddis Tan #16 - 18, Parachute Trico #20, Magic Fly Trico #22
NYMPHS: Chocolate Foam Back Emerger #24, Copper Ribbed RS2 #22 - 24, JuJu Baetis #18 - 20, CDC Emerger Baetis #22, UV Scud Orange #14 - 16, Pat's Rubber Legs Brown Black, Purple #6, Halfbacks #6, Twenty Inchers #6 - 8, Worms Red, Orange, Purple #12
STREAMERS: Furimsky's Gunni Special #6, Silverman's Geezus Lizard #1/0, 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: Dry weather has brought flows on the Miguel down and it is fishing great. So much good water below Caddis Flats. Also seeing more browns to net this year. Dry/dropper in the riffles and runs and nymph the deeper holes. The river is loaded with aquatic insects. Nymphing stone patterns like 20 Inchers and golden stones has been stellar. Tan caddis patterns like the CZ Caddis in cream have also been cleaning up as well as BH Pheasant Tails.
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 Olive# 16-14, Slickwater Caddis Olive #16, Chubby Chernobyl Tan #16, Puterbaugh's Caddis tan & green #14 - 16, Stimulator Olive, Yellow # 14 - 16
Nymphs: Cased Caddis #14-12, BH King Prince #16 - 18, Guides Choice Hare's Ear #16, Tungsten Caddis Larva #16 - 18, Two Bit Hooker light olive # 16, Tungsten Soft Hackle PT #18-14, Restless Stone Coffee/Black #8 and Brown/Yellow #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: size 24 midges small baetis, flossy worms . Bigger fish will tend to be in deeper water and places where they have cover. Nymphing small baeits and midge patterns will nail the bigger fish (and we say small we mean SMALL - size 24 and smaller). Try a Barr's Wet Emerger and Black Beauties. Nymph in the morning with a brown leech pattern somewhere in the mix. This warm weather has kept the fishing hot!
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, Juju Emerger brown, black #22, Killer Mayfly brown, black #20 - 22, Captive Dun Pink #18, Foam Wing RS-2 Brown #22, Tailwater Tiny Red & Black #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 Brown #16, Brown BH 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.