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Gunnison Gorge Float Fishing – On the Fringe

Time and time again, I am amazed at the fishing quality in the Gunnison Gorge on the front and back end of summer and selfishly wonder to myself: “where is everyone?”  Although the traditional summer months (June, July and August) are a wonderful time to visit the Gunnison Gorge, it’s the fringe seasons of May/September/October where unique conditions collide into some of the best times of year to be in the canyon.  If you’re fixated on the traditional summer months, when everyone else wants to be there too, then you might be missing out on some of what this remarkable resource and fishery have to offer. Take a look at what you’ve been missing!

gunni gorge 2014 season

Top 5 Reasons to book May, September & October in the Gunnison Gorge

  1.        Good Hatches! Caddis, Trico & BWO.  There’s always a lot of hype surrounding the famed Salmon Fly Hatch, and if you’re lucky enough to catch it “spot on” it’s truly remarkable fishing. However, so many solid hatches like Caddis flies in May, or thick Trico and BWO hatches in September/October, bring great dry fly activity and often go overlooked.
  2.        You truly get the place to yourself.  I always tell our guests that a major part of their experience in the Gunnison Gorge is the magical moments of true solitude coupled with mesmerizing scenery that make fishing only a part of the experience. Pre/Post summer season offer an unmarred landscape, unpressured waters and the quiet hum of solitude should not be missed.
  3.        Consistent weather & ambient air temps.  The fringe seasons often avoids unpredictable seasonal weather events including: monsoon showers, flash floods, oppressive heat, fluctuation water releases and higher water temperatures that can wreak havoc.
  4.        Stable river flows. Consistency is a highly valued commodity in the world of river trip planning and the weight of fluctuation flows is uber important.  Historic flow averages and seasonal snowpacks are something to pay attention to, and the fringe seasons have a great track record of consistency and predictability.
  5.        Better availability on short notice bookings.  More and more, the growing popularity of RIGS Gunnison Gorge offerings (especially our Deluxe Format trip) put us in a fortunate position. Typically, we are taking reservations a year or more in advance!  However, this can be a difficult time frame to work within as the group organizer.  Better availability and shorter lead times, make the fringe seasons more accessible and allow for a better assessment of evolving seasonal conditions.

All in all, the Gunnison Gorge is a must do fly fishing trip for your bucket list; no matter what time of year. Plan ahead and book early for best availability on this “trip of a lifetime”.  And remember, don’t rule out the quality fringe season.

See you on the water!

Tim Patterson – Owner