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Fishing Conditions

Fishing report March 16, 2018

Dolores ~ Uncompahgre ~ San Miguel ~ Gunnison

Uncompahgre:  (42.5 cfs at Pa-Co):  Fishing has been steady but not extraordinary at Pa Co this week.  We're catching our share with the normal selection of itty bitty midge and mayfly nymphs, steered carefully into the mouths of the Uncompahgre's wary trout.  Watch for flows to increase modestly in the next 2-3 weeks.  When that happens, the trout activity level will increase considerably as fish spread into their expanding domain and flows carry both more oxygen and more aquatic insects.  Make sure to spend part of your fishing day walking the banks, attentively observing for the presence of a really big fish.  As we all know, Pa Co harbors some monsters, but only patient and clever anglers catch them.

Gunnison:  (678 cfs):   Like the Lower Colorado River, the Lower Gunnison is showing its real potential this spring.  Fishing both above and below the Pleasure Park receives very high marks.  We're catching fish on a super wide range of nymphs, from Rubber Legs patterns to techy BWO emergers.  This is a good time to experiment with new patterns, possibly fished in combination with an old favorite to keep your confidence high.  In addition to representative midges, there has been a solid BWO hatch that can occur on any section of the Lower Gunnison around lunch time.  Dry fly opportunities are common, especially on cloudy and calm afternoons.  Adapt your tactics to your observations and have fun down there. 

San Miguel River:  Now more or less snow free, the San Miguel is like a sprinter crouched in the blocks.  Water temperatures are savagely cold, so the fish are still pretty darn sleepy.  There isn't much low elevation snow this year, so we don't expect the water flow pulses that seem to awaken the San Miguel from its winter slumber each March.  Dramatically warmer weather or heavy precipitation could cause those flow bumps.  For now, hole hop below Placerville and see if you can find the winter holdover pools.

Dolores:  Several sections of the Dolores are already fishable.  With each week of warm weather, more will become snow free.  Nymphing the Upper Dolores in March and April is a great way to catch some impressive wild holdover fish.  Use fairly large flies to make it worthwhile for a cold fish to swim for its food.  Rubberlegs, Prince patterns, Copper John variations and all manners of "junk" flies can be exected to move fish in the Upper Dolores between now and spring runoff.  With very little snow on the ground, we may enjoy a long pre-runoff window.  Don't waste it.


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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