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Fishing Conditions

Fishing report July 21, 2021

Dolores ~ Uncompahgre ~ San Miguel ~ Gunnison

San Miguel (130-175cfs)  In general, the San Miguel and all tributaries are in prime condition and fishing really well.  Monsoonal rains have begun, sustaining river levels and cooling water temperatures.  Insects hatch in sheets:  caddis, PMDs, midges, yellow sally stoneflies and a host of terrestrials.  Following rain, fish respond aggressively to large flies:  Chubby Chernobyls, X patterns, Bugmeisters, hopper patterns, the Hippie Stomper and the other absurd patterns that never work on technical fisheries but seem to outfish more realistic flies around here.  In semi-clear water, fish meaty droppers such as the Pat's Rubber Legs, San Juan Worm and other one-bite meals.  More modest size flies are also working just fine, but the angler may treat fly selection liberally and expect excellent results.

Dolores (35-60 cfs below Rico, 119 cfs at Dolores)  Rain sustains.  The lovely Dolores is keeping its head up despite a dry and hot spring, thanks to the monsoon.  Water temperature has cooled by 5-8 degrees this week, alleviating concerns about fishing in the afternoon.  High country hatches are bountiful, mirroring those of the San Miguel.  Hopper season is in full swing, but like normal, the willingness of fish to eat dry flies has everything to do with cloudcover.  Overall, the best fishing is early and late in the day, but at higher elevation we're enjoying long windows of excellent fishing.

Uncompahgre (257 cfs):  The summer long PMD hatch is underway.  Enjoy match-the-hatch dry fly action through the middle part of the day with long leaders and technical fly patterns, including the Lawson's No-Hackle, Silhouette Dun, Hackle Stacker Dun and a variety of cripple patterns.  Nymph with the Military Mayfly, Mayhem and other sneaky mayfly nymphs and emergers.  Midges play a roll early and late, but it's all about the PMD hatch.

Gunnison (660 cfs):  Hopper season now reigns in the Black Canyon.  Caddis are also important, particularly near Chukar and again below the Smith Fork.  Tricos hatch daily, particularly below the Smith Fork.  To fish this vexxing hatch, consider pairing a technical trico dry fly with a larger fly in a double-dry rig, which helps solve the visibility problem on the tiny trico.  

Miramonte Reservoir:  The summer callibaetis hatch comes off every morning.  On calm days, this is a great opportunity to test your long leader dry fly skills with heavy trout that seem to become increasingly selective each year.  Windy days loosen up the fly box.  Chubby Chernobyls, cicada patterns, Bugmeisters and most ant patterns are taken eagerly when there is some chop on the water.  It's harder to see fish under these conditions, but cast aggressively to risers.  They often respond to a modest splashdown.  When fish are not willing to feed on the surface, troll your favorite crawfish streamers or soft hackle nymphs.


Dolores River private leases:  Guide service clients will find our Dolores leases to be in prime condition.  Call soon to book private water.  Ideal conditions are being sustained by regular afternoon rainfall.  Availability for August and September is waning, so call soon to reserve your trip!


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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