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Fishing Conditions

Fishing report June 2, 2018

Dolores ~ Uncompahgre ~ San Miguel ~ Gunnison

San Miguel River:  (200-300 cfs near Placerville) Runoff continues on the San Miguel, such as it is this year.  The river should be unconditionally fishable by mid-June, so expect a long season on Telluride's back yard trout stream.  Caddis are hatching in clouds throughout the canyon, so as soon as the water clears, come out throwing down-wing dry flies such as the Stimulator with classic caddis pupa and emerger droppers.  We only get to fish this hatch in extreme low water years.  Don't miss it!  Best dropper patterns will include any variation of a LaFontaine's Emerger, the Guide's Choice Hare's Ear and your whole stonefly nymph box.

Dolores:  (50-70 cfs below Rico)  Runoff has been over for awhile on the Dolores.  Right now, fishing is outstanding from Lizard Head Pass all the way to Dolores, including tributaries and the West Fork.  We have mid-July conditions in early June, which is great for now, but we will need significant rain to sustain strong fishing through July and August.  The excellent caddis, mayfly and stonefly hatches of June will support dry fly fishing throughout the month.  The prevalence of specific aquatic insects varies on each section of the river, so turn over some rocks and make your own observations about what the trout may be eating on your specific beat.  

Uncompahgre:  (234 cfs at Pa-Co):  It will be interesting to see how the Bureau of Reclamation plays water flows from Ridgway Reservoir this season.  In extreme drought years there isn't much to go around, but downstream farmers will most certainly place their water calls.  Generally, the Uncompahgre runs between 200 and 400 cfs through the summer months.  There may not be enough water in the reservoir to sustain this, however.

234 cfs is an excellent fishing flow.  The fishing is superb at Pa Co Chu Puk, as well as farther downstream at the various public access points between the reservoir and Montrose, and through Montrose itself.  The Uncompahgre at Pa Co enjoys one of the best mid-summer tailwater hatches in Colorado, a fantastic emergence of pale morning dun mayflies.  We expect them to start hatching before mid-June and continue all the way into September, regardless of water flows.  Uncompahgre fish are tough to catch on dry flies for most of the year, but just the opposite in June, July and August, when the PMD hatch has them looking up for floating food.  Lower water flows may result in tricky, technical fishing.  Take your 6X fluorocarbon and be prepared to fish long leaders with carefully chosen dry flies and nymphs erring on the side of realism.  

Gunnison:  (606 cfs):   The Gunnison's famous salmonfly hatch has begun in lower sections of the Black Canyon and will advance upstream into the national park over the next 1-2 weeks.  In low water years, it is generally better to fish this hatch on the early end, so consider playing hookey from work and get down there while it lasts.  Our favorite salmonfly patterns include the Flush Floater Stone, Rogue Foam Stone and the inveterate Sofa Pillow.  Fish these adults in sizes #4-6 on 2X and 3X leaders.  Do not mess around with light tippets during this hatch.  Even these heavy leaders are frequently broken by hard-charging fish.  Your nymph box should include plenty of Pat's Rubber Legs Stones and comparable patterns in sizes #6-8.  The salmonfly hatch is followed closely by giant golden stones, caddis and yellow sallie stoneflies, all of which should be in your fly box during this sensational fishing period on the Gunnison.


Please call Telluride Angler with your fishing questions.  We will be happy to steer you toward our best local fly fishing opportunities.  1-800-831-6230

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Telluride Outside

Box 685, 121 W. Colorado Ave.
Telluride, CO 81435
800.831.6230 ~ 970.728.3895
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