Gunnison Gorge Float Fishing – On the Fringe

For a long time, the off-season was synonymous with everything closing down. However, that is not the case with the Gunnison Gorge. As I look back on this original blog from 2014,  I am still 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?”

The traditional summer months (June, July, and August) are a wonderful time to visit the Gunnison Gorge. However, it is the fringe seasons of May/September/Early October when unique conditions collide into some of the best times of year to be in the canyon.  Being focused on the traditional summer months, when everyone else wants to be there too is understandable. There are the better knows dry fly hatches – the salmon flies, hoppers and golden stones but you may also be missing out on some of what this remarkable resource and fishery have to offer. Take a look at what you’ve been missing!

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 Caddisflies 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 offers 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 avoid unpredictable seasonal weather events including monsoon showers, flash floods, oppressive heat, fluctuating 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 the RIGS Gunnison Gorge Deluxe Format trip has 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 the 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