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Fishing Conditions

Fishing report October 3, 2019

Dolores ~ Uncompahgre ~ San Miguel ~ Gunnison


San Miguel (81 cfs):  As good as it gets, the San Miguel now demonstrates that high water years ultimately yield the very best fishing.  At around 80 cfs, the San Miguel is unequivocally low and easy wading.  Pick a nice stretch, wade right up the center and pick the pockets on either side.  Fish single dry flies unless the fish request a dropper.  Caddis, baetis mayflies and remnant grasshoppers are the primary menu items, but a host of popular attractors and general imitators will prove successful: any caddis pattern, parachute adams and parachute BWO, Morrish's Foam Hopper, Parachute Hopper Pattern, Pool Toy and other hoppers, Bugmeister, X patterns and Chubby Chernobyls.  Nymph with caddis and mayfly patterns in the size #16-#20 range: soft hackles, Mayhem, Split Case emergers, LaFontaines, etc.  As air and water temperatures drop in October, the best fishing will become oriented around the middle of the day.  This week, the fishing has been turning on around 10:00 am, remaining strong through early evening.  

Dolores:  (20 cfs at Rico, 91 cfs at Dolores)   Low, clear and a little tricky, the Upper Dolores is fishing very well nonetheless.  Hatches include baetis and midges, but terrestrial hoppers, beetles and ants always play a significant role in the fall.  Cast single dry flies on long-ish leaders.  Wade upstream and walk quietly.  Fish will continue feeding through October, but they will become increasingly spooky with each passing week.  We're catching more fish on midge droppers than any other pattern.  An alternative strategy is to pull streamers, searching for heavy lake fish following the kokanee salmon that slide up the Dolores in October.  

Uncompahgre (141 cfs):  This is a marvelous fishing flow below the Ridgway Reservoir.  Wading is easy, but there is still plenty of water to fill the banks, offering the opportunity to fish a variety of techniques.  Technical nymphing will produce most consistently.  Fish very small mayfly nymph patterns, dressed for success without beads or other flashy materials.  Sparse ties rigged on long, light leaders will deliver the most convincing presentation.  Leave time for prospecting with streamers.  Light Bright Minnows and other baitfish patterns should be tucked into the cut banks and fished slowly through deep water to lure the heaviest Uncompahgre fish from their secret lies.  Fish streamers on heavy fluorocarbon.  

Gunnison (810 cfs):  Flows are bouncing around, forecast to raise in the coming months as the Bureau of Reclamation adjusts the height of Blue Mesa Reservoir.  Right now, flows through the Black Canyon are truly ideal for both wading and floating anglers.  The Black Canyon fishes streaky in the fall.  Hatches of BWOs and October Caddis are generally sparse, but provide a few hours of compelling action between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm most days.  Smaller fish may be caught on dry flies, but the big boys are generally taken on nymphs and streamers.  Below the Smith Fork confluence, the Gunnison is a different fishery.  Caddis are still hatching in tremendous numbers.  Tricos show on certain days, mixed with BWOs and midges.  Late season hoppers keep the fish open to creative selections from your fly box.  Go to the Lower Gunnison expecting to fish dry flies.  


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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