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Fishing Conditions

Fishing report August 6, 2018

Dolores ~ Uncompahgre ~ San Miguel ~ Gunnison

San Miguel River:  (55-80 cfs near Placerville)  The San Miguel is fishing about as well as anyone can remember.  Water flows are low, but that just makes fish want to eat dry flies.  Last year was a high water year and that seems to have cleaned up pockets of silt in the San Miguel, improving conditions for aquatic insects.  Mudslides occurred again this year in early July near Sawpit, but drier weather has allowed the river to clear once again throughout the Norwood Canyon.  Hatches have tapered somewhat from July, but a terrific variety of aquatic insects still emerge daily, including caddis, yellow sallie stoneflies, midges, a few lingering PMDs and the first BWOs of the season.  Terrestrials, ants and beetles buzz the streambanks, offering a significant additional foodsource.  Our most effective dry flies include hoppers (and associated attractors, such as the Chubby Chernobyl), size #16-#18 parachute mayfly patterns and small caddis.  The size of your dropper should be adjusted to water clarity.  In the uber-clear stretches of the upper river, fish Mayhems, Two Bit Hookers, Micro Mayflies, Zebra Midges and other slim droppers.  In sections with marginal clarity, fish San Juan Worms and Rubber Legs patterns to offer the trout something they can see.  Fishing is outstanding throughout the San Miguel River at this time.

Dolores:  (20-30 cfs below Rico)  The Upper Dolores is very low, but thanks to fantastic hatches, fishing is still terrific.  Hatches favor mayflies over stoneflies on the Dolores.  In these low, clear conditions, fish by sight when possible.  Free rising trout may be found on every section of the river, including creeks.  Parachute PMD and Calibaetis patterns will fool almost any fish.  Keep some caddis handy, as well as smaller general imitators such as Stimulator and Trude variations.

Uncompahgre:  (212 cfs at Pa-Co):  This is a fantastic fishing flow and summer PMD season is now in full swing.  Honor the rising fish with a technical PMD pattern such as the Silhouette Dun, Extended Body PMD, Hackle Stacker or No Hackle.  Before and after the hatch, nymph with non-bead PMD patterns such as the Mayhem, RS-2, original Pheasant Tail and Split Case PMD.  At these flows, big fish may be tucked under any cutbank, so take your streamer box and look carefully for the right opportunities to present large flies in likely places.

Gunnison:  (624 cfs):   In the National Park, PMDs are now the most important hatch.  Further down river, caddis, Tricos, yellow sally stoneflies and hoppers play a balanced role in feeding fish.  Much of your flybox is now in play.  On hot days, of which we've had plenty, nymphs outperforms dry flies.  Our favorite patterns include the Pat's Rubber Legs, Tungsten Yellow Sally, The Mayhem, LaFontaine's Caddis Emerger and Triple Bead Caddis.  When fish are looking up, match the hatch with semi-technical patterns such as the Parachute Caddis, Extended Body PMD and Showshoe Sally.  Our favorite hopper is still the parachute hopper in the Black Canyon, but Morrish Foam Hoppers and other high-floaters are a great choice for dry-dropper rigs.  Watch for trico spinners throughout the Canyon.  These fantastic mayfly falls occur sporadically, but on several recent occasions, every fish in the river has levitated to within 12" of the surface to gently sip spinners from the current.   This spectacular event generally occurs around 10:30 am.  Don't go into the Black Canyon without tricos.


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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