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 into September. These rivers are a dry fly fisherman's dream and are also great for Tenkara.
Happening Now: It's still winter up high, so during this time of year head to a tailwater.
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: With recent cold weather and snow in the high country, expect slow fishing on the Big Cimarron. Nymphing the deep holes and runs with general Pheasant Tail and BH Prince patterns should be the most productive at this time.
Most Productive: Nymphs
Water Clarity: Murky
Recommended Gear: During warmer weather and when fishing dry flies, use longer 3 to 4-wt. fly rods with a soft/slow dry fly action. Also, 13' Tenkara rods with a stiffer 6.4 action or better will work well.
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 tailwater, and a gorgeous place to visit.
Happening Now: Look for midges, BWOs, and caddis to hatch during the afternoons.
Most Productive: Nymphing
Water Clarity: Green
Happening Now: If you want to go for a good hike head on down into the Gorge, but fishing will be hit or miss for the next month or two. We would recommend that you fish up from Pleasure Park.
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 these monster 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: Streamers/Nymphing
Happening Now: Fishing has been very good as you head up from Pleasure Park. Fishing below the confluence will be hit or miss with the water clarity. The BWO hatch is on now. Nymphing with bigger stoneflies and worms has been great, and drifting case caddis in the riffles can be very productive. But you can't go wrong with an egg or worm with a smaller Baetis or midge trailing behind. The North Fork at Pleasure Park is in runoff, so you will want to fish above the confluence 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
DRY FLIES: Parachute Extended Body BWO #20, May Day BWO #19, 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, Eggs #16 Chartreuse, Worms Red, Orange, Purple #12, Girdle Bugs #6 - 8
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 downstream 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 can produce solid fish.
Happening Now: Fishing on the Miguel has been good when flows have been below about 400 cfs, especially around Caddis Flats. Fish a dry/dropper rig and focus your efforts on water that is at least knee deep and moving at a walking pace. Keep an eye flows this time of year. The river can rise with snowmelt after warm days and nights, and can get murky.
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: Dry/Dropper
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. 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, Drake and PMD hatches!
Happening Now: Fishing has been amazing on the warmer days and with the recent bump in flows. There has been a great midge hatch coming off around 1PM and lasting through 4 PM. Eric's Midge #22 has been the go-to fly for top water action. The early little black stoneflies are also starting to make an appearance. We have been doing really well recently with Morrish's Pickpocket and the Morrish Anato-May #16 to imitate these small stones. Small Baetis, cream colored midges, and leeches have also been getting fish.
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: Nymphing
Nymphs: Juju Emerger Brown, Black #22, Killer Mayfly Brown, Black #20-24, Foam Wing RS-2 Brown #24, JuJu Bee Migde Red #22, Tailwater Tiny Red & Black #20, Midge Larva Black, Red and Purple #22-24, Bling Midge Grey #24, Barr Emerger BWO #22-24, Sidewinder Midge Pupa #26, Morrish's Pickpocket Golden Brown #16, Morrish's Anato-May Hare's Ear #18
Streamers: Hot Head Paco Mini Leech #12, Mayer's Mini Leech Brown #16
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.