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 done as winter locks up the high country. As spring thaws us out we will keep you informed>
Most Productive:Fish else wear
Water Clarity: ICE
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 the arrival of winter this section below the lake is un-accessible until the roads clear up. Look to head to the tail water on the Unc or the lower Gunnison River.
Most Productive: Winter
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: Water is back down to a lower flow and fishing great. the water is still cold so small presentations are still the go to. With spring creeping in the BWO hatch is in its early stages. We are seeing adults through the warmest hours of the day and found some small pods of fish feeding on the surface.
Water Clarity: Crystal!
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 small midges and BWO nymphs trailed of a larger point fly like a Stonefly size 10-12 will be the most productive. Focus your time on the deeper holding water with current and make sure you work it well. Water is still cold so getting the right drift is very important. Cover the water to make sure you didn't miss a fish.
Happening Now: Fishing the Best in the area and there is plenty of room to spread out. Nymphing with small (18-20) Midges and BOW's has been very effective at producing fish. Adult Midges are coming off mid day with some BWO's mixed in and we are seeing fish willing to rise to dries. They are still spooky so long leaders and casts will help.
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:Nmyphing with midge pupa and a small mayfly have been the most productive but you can mix in larger nymphs as weight or as an attractor. As the Fish start rising throw small midge adults and clusters they are also willing to eat a BWO adult as well.
Water Clarity: Crystal!
Dry Flies:Parachute BWO #20, Para Adams #22 Extended body BWO #18-22, Mole fly #18-20, Mole midge #20-22, Grifffth's gnat #18
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, Demon midge18-22#, Pure midge Black# , 20 Inchers #8-10, Killer May #22 Black, Hares ear #14-18 Cronoflash midge Pupa #20-22, Mighty midge Red or Blue #20-22. Massacre Midge (all colors) #18-24
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. 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 small flies trailed off an attracter like a worm and light tippet. Midge hatching are coming off sporadically through the day but fish are willing to eat midge larva.
Dry Flies: You wont see much surface action until the spring.
Nymphs: Tung Dart #12 Red, Zebra Midge #18-20, Montana Prince #14, Two Bit Hooker #18-14 all colors, Jig beatis #20 Olive, PT #16, Tube midge #20 Black or Red, Egg fly #18, Massacre midge #18-22 olive, Micro matcher #20-22 all colors
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 good, Fish are getting more active but accurate drifts will get eats, the fish won't move to pick up your flies. Fish are feeding mostly on midges and will still eat leaches. 5x, 6x, or even 7x will help you get more eats just be careful fighting them.
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 a variety midges or BWO emergers such as an RS2 as long as they're small.
Water Clarity: Good
Happening Now: With the annual opening of the gunnison tunnel flows are up and water is running off color. Adding more weight to your rig will help get your flies down to the fish. With the water off color i would give it a few days before hitting it.
Recommended Gear:4, 5, and 6-wt.fly rods, 9' rods in either 4wt or 5wt through the fall and winter months. switch to a 6wt rod as the gunnison tunnel opens back up in the spring <./p>
Most Productive:Fish are looking to feed so throwing size 14 flies in general patterns have been working great with small BWO or midge emerges behind. A bright atractor style nymph fallowed by a BWO nymph is the best combo.
Water Clarity: Clear
Nymphs: Massacre midge #18-24, Foam Wing Emerger #20-26, 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, Pure midge black #20-22, Jigged Mini leech #14 (all colors including new Radiant bead variation)
Streamers:Montana Mouth Wash, Dirty Hippie, Fortune Cookie