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Fishing Conditions

Fishing report October 14, 2018

Dolores ~ Uncompahgre ~ San Miguel ~ Gunnison

San Miguel River:  (55-70 cfs near Placerville)  We've seen a snowy start to fall season, but no extreme air temperatures that might cause early icing or unusually low water temperatures.  The San Miguel is fishing well in the middle of the day, during warmest daylight hours.  This is the typical fall fishing pattern.  Early morning water temps are frigid, but fish start moving around 11:00 am or noon.  The blue winged olive hatch is modest, but trout love those BWOs, so fish may be caught both on dry flies and nymphs.  The best dries are BWO patterns fished one size larger than the actual insects (size #18 is generally the most effective).  Small attractor flies, such as a #16 Stimulator, will raise their share.  For nymphs, go with your tried and true mayfly patterns:  the Mayhem, Micro May, Pheasant Tail, Splitback emerger and small Copper Johns.

Dolores:  (20-30 cfs below Rico)  Precipitation in early October has prevented the bottom from dropping completely out of the Upper Dolores.  Overall, this little river held up better than expected in an extreme low water year, but sustained skinny conditions have created an environmment in which all fish are spooky and larger trout hard to find.  Fish may be caught by the stealthy angler, but overall, the San Miguel offers a more rewarding fishing experience at this time.  Most of the public water on the Upper Dolores is upstream of the West Fork Confluence.  Private land below the confluence is fishing better than the public water above for the simple reason that there is more river in this part of the river.  

Uncompahgre:  (45 cfs at Pa-Co):  As a result of harsh flow cutbacks, the Uncompahgre is now in winter nymphing mode.  On one level, the fishing is excellent, but it's strange to fish such low flows in mid-October.  There are still a few scattered PMDs hatching, but those will dry up in the next week or two, reducing hatch activity to minor midge hatches.  At Pa Co Chu Puk, sight fishing is possible in every pool, whether fish are rising or nymphing.  It generally takes a technical pattern fished on light tippet with a perfect presentation to fool these fish right now.  Non-bead midge pupae and emergers are the most consistent performers.

Gunnison:  (315 cfs):   The Bureau of Reclamation dropped flows to 315 cfs this week, offering unmatched access to the inner Black Canyon.  Fall fishing is unpredictable and at times vexing in the BC, but blue winged olive hatches will offer moments of brilliance on an otherwise quiet river.  Determined nymphing anglers may catch fish on a variety of patterns, ranging from stoneflies and caddis to midges and mayflies, throughout the day, but trout activity peaks distinctly from approximately 11:30 am - 3:00 pm when BWOs may be present.  When fish rise, go straight to your favorite size #20 BWO dries, including the Silhouette Dun, Comparadun and Extended Body BWO.  Beneath the surface, non-bead mayfly nymphs are most effective, including the unmatchable Mayhem. 


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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