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 low, and the fishing has slowed down. We do have snow in the high country so make sure your prepared to stay warm. Holding waters are more scattered because of the low water so be ready to hike around. Try fishing dry dropper style with smaller hopper as Dry/indicator and trail that with smaller bead head nymph in #14 - 18. Egg patters are a good attracter this time of year with smaller mayfly or midge nymphs trailing. But again, finding the holding water is most important. Moving down stream below Silver Jack Reservoir to the Big Cimarron is always an option for more holding water.
Most Productive:Light indicator nymphing.
Water Clarity: Gin Clear
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:Big Cimarron below Silver Jack is back to its normal clarity. Nymphing the deeper holes and runs will produce fish but with some snow up high be sure your prepared for colder weather .
Most Productive: Light indicator nymphing
Water Clarity: Clear
Dry Flies (for dropper rigs): Small Caddis if any adults can be seen
Nymphs: Quasimodo Pheasant Tail #16, BH Prince #14-16, Psycho Prince Purple #14 - 16, Two Bit Hooker Red #16, San Juan Worm Red #16, Hare's Ear #14 -16, Micro May #16-18 Juju Emerger Grey-Olive #16-18
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 Closed for the Winter!!
Most Productive: Look for more info in the spring about when the road will be open and the patterns you should be loaded up on.
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: The Gorge is fishing well but with colder weather and snow you will need to watch the roads. The main Bug this time of year is midges but, don't be afraid to throw some larger flies as your lead. Nymphing is your best bet if you do hike down into the Gorge.
Water Clarity: Clear
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: Nymphing with smaller attracter nymphs or Larger Caddis larva trailing BWO's and midge larva can be highly productive. Dry fly fishing with BWO's may entice rising fish. Look to make longer cast to rising fish as they can be spooky this time of year.
Happening Now: Fishing is very good above Pleasure Park. The stretch of river below Pleasure Park is also fishing well. Fish are looking to feed and seem not to be to focused on what the pattern is. Its more about getting the fly into the fishes feeding lane. Use a heaver nymph to help get down and trail it with other small flies like midges and BWO nymph patterns.
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 with Egg patterns mayfly nymphs and midges trailing behind. Also with all this rain Worm Patterns have been producing if the water is off color. Dry fly fishing BWO adults behind a larger fly that maybe easyer to see throughout the day.
Water Clarity: Clear
Dry Flies:Parachute BWO #20, Poly Wing Spinner #22, Para Adams #22 Extended body BWO #18-22
Nymphs:Trout Beads, Trico Emerger Nymph #22, Epoxy Back Baetis #22, Darth Baetis #22, Magic Fly BWO #20, Micro Mayfly Olive #18, Juju Baetis #18 - 20, Copper John Red #14 - 16, Two Bit Hooker Red #16-18, Frenchie #14-16, Pats Rubber Legs #6-8, 20 Inchers #8-10,
Streamers:Slow Presentation on streamers may produce a fish in the colder months but nymphing will be more productive.
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: Its winter time on the San Miguel cold weather and cold water slows the fish down but as long as there is open water fish will be feeding in the larger deeper holes. Water level is quite low, meaning there isn't a need for a full on nymph rig. Yarn indicator rigs should cover most of the holding water. Fish are holding in deeper pools and wont want to move far for a fly so accurate casts are key.
Recommended Gear: This river is perfect for lighter weight 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: Hopper Dropper rig through the deeper cut banks, slow riffles.
Water Clarity: Clear/Low Watch for rain the day before witch will cause the water to muddy up. But we see it clear up really quickly sometimes even later that day.
Dry Flies: Chubby Chernobyl Purple/Royal #10, Amy's Ant #10 - 12, Stimulator #10 - 14, Jake's Trigger Belly Tan #12
Nymphs:Iron Lotus Olive #14, Guides' Choice Hare's Ear Natural #14 -16, Frenchie #14 - 16, Zebra Midge #18-22, Neon nightmare(Orange or Pink) #18-20, Psycho Prince Purple #14 - 16, Span Juan Worm Red/Hot Pink #16, Gummy Worm Purple #12, Clown Egg #14
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 steady. Flow's are at winter levels so anglers must practice stealthy approach. Dead drifting leeches or Eggs and a midge combo has been working the best. Bigger fish will NOT move for your flies therefore sight fishing must be practiced. Move slow and take your time in each hole to make sure your not spooking any fish. Best Time to get on the water is between 9:30am-3:00pm once the sun is behind the ridge the temp drops fast.
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: Light tandem nymph rig with leeches and midges.
Water Clarity: Clear
Nymphs: Sidewinder Midge #26, Killer Mayfly Black/Olive #22-24, Matt's Neon Nightmare Midge (Orange/Pink) #18-22, Johnny Flash Gray/Chocolate #22 - 24, Barr's Emerger BWO #22, Matt's Hell Razor Leech #12, Mayor's Mini Leech #16
Streamers:Fish are cold and don't want to chase anything you could try dead drifting some smaller streamers
Uncompahgre River Map
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.