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Fishing Conditions

August 16, 2022

Dolores ~ Uncompahgre ~ San Miguel ~ Gunnison


San Miguel  (175-225cfs at Placerville)

Surging with rain, clearing when dry, the San Miguel is in classic "monsoon season" gyrations that make fish brave and keep anglers guessing.  Some of the biggest fish of the year have been caught this week, including large browns that we would have sworn didn't live in this river.  Stay light on your feet and don't miss the opportunity to fish the falling edge of high water.  Creeks, including the South Fork, have been outstanding lately, offering handsome fish of several species to the athletic angler.  Hatches include PMDs, yellow sallie stones and caddis of many sizes.  When the water clears below Placerville, acres of grasshoppers await.  For now, fish above P-Ville, but watch the water color carefully and be ready to dive downstream.  In semi-dirty water, nymph with SJ worms, rubber legs patterns, Prince variations, large soft hackles and other chunky, visible patterns.  Chubby Chernobyls, Bugmeisters, Hippie Stompers and large X patterns will draw slashing strikes.  As the water clears, have your caddis and PMD patterns ready for single dry fly action.



The rain savior visits the Dolores.  No river in Colorado leans on the monsoon like "The D," and the last month of rain has positioned the river for terrific late summer fishing.  We're playing the clear-water-dirty-water game just like on the San Miguel, but that's a fun game to play and so much better than the low water alternative.  Hatches explode on the Dolores, featuring several species of mayfly in the upper watershed and a terrestrial moth that doubles the dry fly opportunity in July and August.  Hoppers, caddis and yellow sallies are the main menu items below the West Fork confluence.  In the high country, PMDs, caddis and sallies feed wild trout that rise all day.  This is the cornucopia on one of Colorado's most special freestone rivers.  


Flows from Crystal Dam have been raised to 546cfs, a much better flow for August hopper fishing than the 330cfs we had in June and July.  The main hatches for August in both the Black Canyon and Lower Gunnison will be hoppers and tricos, the latter of which may reduce the most accomplished dry fly angler to a weeping pile of mush.  Hopper fishing will be outstanding with these higher flows as shady banks provide cover for heavy fish sitting opportunitically under tall grass.  Caddis, PMDs, yellow sallies and midges all play a roll this month, so fish with your eyes and let match-the-hatch be your guide.  Fish early and late to beat the heat and take advantage of large fish that feed in the shallows during low light conditions.



Flows at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk are 216cfs, a level that provides equal nymphing and dry fly opportunity.  The summer PMD hatch is on, featuring Colorado's mayfly that most closely resembles the classic eastern "Cahill" with a subtle green tint to an otherwise flax colored body.  Technical dry fly opportunities occur almost every day with heavy fish nosing into seamlines for their mid day meal.  Whether nymphing or working the dry, fish long, light leaders and finely crafted patterns.  Beads and flash are generally not the ticket.  No hackles, tilt wing parachutes, the Silhouette Dun and CDC duns will fool leary Uncompahgre lunkers.  Beneath the surface, split case nymphs, RS-2s and the venerable Mayhem are on theme.  Enjoy the best fishing of the year on the Uncompahgre.


Miramonte Reservoir:  Fish seek deep water in August and early September, so most local anglers will fish elsewhere until the fall when Miramonte's impressive trout will once again cruise the flats.  Stay tuned.


Dolores River private leases:  All Dolores private leases offer excellent fishing under clear water conditions.  With rain, we adopt a "Plan A, Plan B" approach so that our customers may book private water without the risk of paying trespass fees for potentially poor fishing.  Please inquire for guide service availability and specific lease recommendations for your party.

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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