The FORKS OF THE CIMARRON: EAST-MIDDLE-WEST: If you love chasing wild fish in small rivers, this is your place. At an elevation of 9,600 feet, each fork is located in their own high alpine valley. All three have an abundance of pocket water, small pools and riffles, all coupled with exceptional views. Great hatches can be expected throughout the summer and into fall. These rivers are a dry fly fisher's dream and are also great for Tenkara.
Happening Now: The forks are mostly done as winter creeps in but fishing the afternoon as the sun warms the water is still producing fish. Spend your time if you head up on the Big Cimarron for the best fishing.
Most Productive: Small nymphs under a light indicator is the way to go.
Water Clarity: Great viability
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 tailwater but it doesn't fish like one. When flows are below 60 cfs, shallow dry/dropper rigs are the rule. However, for the deeper pools or during higher flows, deep nymphing will produce the biggest fish. Casting can be tight, with lots of vegetation and limited trails along the river, so be prepared to "earn it" in order to access this section.
Happening Now:This section has been fishing ok with the colder weather. With all the deep pools its easy to find the fish stacked up. Weather has hit the high country so dress warm and try to fish the warmest parts of the day.
Most Productive: Indicator nymphing
Dry Flies (for dropper rigs): Para Adams 16-20#, Para BWO #18, Extended body BWO #18, Iwan-e-dun Pink #14-20
Nymphs: Quasimodo Pheasant Tail #16, BH Prince #14-16, Psycho Prince Purple #14 - 16, Two Bit Hooker Red #1, Hare's Ear #14 -16, Micro May #16-18, Tung Tube midge #18, Demon Midge #18-22
Cimarron River Map
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 tailwater, and a gorgeous place to visit.
Happening Now: The Road down East Portal is Closed for the winter. Checking in as spring rolls around, we will keep you updated as the road re opens.
Water Clarity: Gunny Green
GUNNISON GORGE: This is a magical and beautiful place to fish, especially float fishing! Most famous for the Salmon Fly hatch in May/June. This is a great section of river if you want to get away from the crowds of the East Portal or lower sections around Pleasure Park. The only access to the Gunnison Gorge Wilderness section is by hiking one of the four trails or a Three Day Float fishing Trip with RIGS.
Happening Now: Small may fly nymphs with an atractor above have been producing. Most of the hatches are done with the cold weather but BWO's will still come off during warmer days but fish will be slow to rise. Streamer fishing has been picking up as the Browns become more aggressive.
Water Clarity: Good Gunni Green
Recommended Gear: A 9' to 10' 6-wt. fast action fly rod, with a high sensitivity large arbor reel and solid drag system, will give you the stopping power to fight big rainbows and browns. Heavier tippet in the 2x to 4x range can always be fished in the "Gunny Green" waters and will be needed especially when float fishing the technical waters.
Most Productive: Indicator season is here as we start to see snow. fish are still aggressively feeding sub surface. The Browns are getting fired up to spawn and podding up in holes. Streamer fishing has been good with the aggressive behavior form the browns ambushing flies off shelves and in pools.
Happening Now: Nymphing the deep fast water with atractor Jig flies and a BWO or other small mayfly emerger trailing. Dont pass up the fast runs leading into the deeper water we are see most of our bigger fish feeding here. Throwing streamers will also produce some aggressive eats as the Browns get more fired up to spawn. Eggs have started to work here and there.
Recommended Gear: 5 and 6-wt. fly rods, 9' to 9' 6" with a matching fly line and a reel with a good drag system for fighting big fish.
Most Productive: Nymphing jig fly patterns, mayfly nymphs and midge nymphs. Focus on shelfs and deeper runs as well as the slower holes has been producing some good fish. Fishing the fast runs and shelf's has been the most productive. Streamers season is ramping up with aggressive fish eating large flies
Water Clarity: Gunny Green
Dry Flies:Parachute BWO #20, Para Adams #22 Extended body BWO #18-22, Yellow Sallie #12-14, Tails up Trico# 22, Elk Caddis #16, Goddard Caddis #16, Outrigger Caddis #14-16
Nymphs:Frenchie #12-16, Magic fly BWO #22, Micro Mayfly Olive #18, Juju Baetis #18 - 20, RS2 #18-22 Olive, Brown, Gray, Two Bit Hooker Red #16-18, Frenchie #14-16, Pats Rubber Legs #6-8, 20 Inchers #8-10, Killer May #22 Black, Haresear #14-18
Streamers:Montana Mouthwash Olive or White #6, Dirty Hippy Platte ( single or Double), She Deamon Brown #6 Baby Gonga Gray or Baby Rainbow
Gunnison River Map
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 downstream with some bigger and faster 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 can produce solid fish.
Happening Now: Light indicator fishing has been the most productive with most of the fishing coming on small flashy nymphs. Wading up the river bed is the best way to travel up the river. The water is low and cold so focus on the deeper holes not the riffles in between. Keep moving and cover as much water as you can to maximize the warmest part of the day.
Recommended Gear: This river is perfect for lighter weight rod fly rods in the 3 to 4-wt. range and also Tenkara rods. Tenkara rods are best from 12' to 13' in length and 6:4 (medium) flex. A floating Tenkara line will allow you to fish dry flies with ease.
Most Productive: Indicator Fishing with a heavy nymph on a long dropper will get you to the bottom and into the fish
Dry Flies:Para Adams #18-20, Extended body BWO #20 Mole Fly #18-22
Nymphs: Tung Dart #12 Red, Zebra Midge #18-20, Montana Prince #14, Two Bit Hooker #18-14 all colors, Lucent Pt Jig #14 Orange, PT #16, Tube midge #20 Black or Red, Egg fly #18
San Miguel River 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 fisherman's dream. It is one of the best tailwaters in the state and holds fish well over 10 pounds. Paco offers easy access for beginners or those with mobility issues, and is a year-round fishing destination with great hatches throughout the year. This is one of the best places to throw dry flies during summer. July through September can be on fire with Caddis, Green Drake and PMD hatches!
Happening Now: Fishing at Paco Chu Puk has been Tough but as bug activity picks up the fish are doing the same. There is a small afternoon hatch of BWO's coming off almost everyday but most fish are reluctant to rise. Look for fish suspended feeding on emergers in the slower water. Move slow and take your time the water is low so look hard in each hole to make sure your not spooking any fish that are sitting on the edges of the current.
Recommended Gear: 5 and 6-wt. fly rods, 9' to 9' 6" with a matching fly line and a reel with a good drag system for those big fish.
Most Productive: Tandem nymph rig with leeches (black, brown, or olive) and red midges or BWO emergers.
Water Clarity: Good
Nymphs: Foam Wing Emerger #20-24, Killer Mayfly Black/Olive/Brown #22-24, Matt's Neon Nightmare Midge (Orange/Pink) #18-22, Barr's Emerger BWO #22, Matt's Hell Razor Leech #12, Mayor's Mini Leech #16 Matt's Demon Midge #18-22, Matt's Mighty Midge Red or Blue #18-22, Barr's Emerger BWO #20-22,Epoxy BWO #22
Streamers:Montana Mouth Wash, Dirty Hippie, Fortune Cookie
Uncompahgre River Map
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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.