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: We have bigger flows than normal for this time of the year making the river full. Adding splitshot to your rig or fishing a heavy first fly on your rigs in crucial in this bigger water. Small may fly nymphs with a midge 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. Watch the weather as the roads and trails can be really muddy when wet.
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 feeding sub surface. The Browns are mostly done with spawn and drifting back to deeper holes. Streamer fishing has been good, but slower retrieval or even swinging will be the most productive.
Happening Now: Nymphing the deep fast water with atractor Jig flies and a BWO or other small mayfly or midge 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 eats. Even with the spawn over eggs are still catching fish and work great as an attractor for your smaller nymphs.
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
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
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: 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, 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, Fish are moving slow and accurate drifts will get eats but the fish wont move to pick up your flies. Fish are feeding mostly on midges and will still get eggs and leaches. 5x or 6x 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 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
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.