Telluride Fishing Report

Fishing Conditions

Report May 19, 2023

San Miguel
(800-1,000 cfs below Placerville)  The San Miguel is on its way to a high and long runoff period.  Hovering around 800cfs below Placerville, flows will go much higher as soon as warmer weather arrives.  The South Fork and Town Fork have been marginally fishable following cloudy days, but expect these to blow out soon and remain unfishable until late June, at earliest.  During this period, fish Trout Lake, Priest Lake, Miramonte, Ridgway Reservoir and other stillwaters in our region.  Tributary creeks each have unique runoff schedules based upon elevation and aspect, so check your favorites periodically for water clarity and be ready to break out your 3-weight.

Uncompahgre River at Pa Co Chu Puk
(409cfs at Pa Co)  Flows will increase soon, but for right now, the Unc is fishing terrific with deep nymph rigs.  400cfs is pushy, but the river still corresponds to most of the structure in the streambed.  Deep seamlines and heavy eddies are good places to find the Uncompahgre's sizeable trout.  Nymph deep with small stuff.  Every version of a midge or mayfly nymph is in play.  San Juan Worms, egg patterns and small streamers on the dead drift are also high percentage.  Wade carefully and bring your net!

(3,000-6,000cfs in the Black Canyon)   Oscillating frequently to accommodate downstream water requirements without flooding the town of Delta, the Black Canyon will drop into fishable shape around June 1 and likely remain in the 800cfs-1,000cfs range for the entire summer.  These are truly optimal fishing flows.  We expect excellent conditions for the stonefly hatch in mid-June and spectacular hopper fishing in the lower canyon and below the North Fork confluence through July and potentially into early August.

(3,000cfs-5,000cfs at Dolores)  The highest water in a decade will set the stage for excellent late summer fishing, but the main branch Upper Dolores and West Fork Dolores will be unfishable until late June.  Tributaries will fall into shape first, especially the short, high gradient creeks above the town of Rico.  For now, nothing is fishable on the Dolores side, but like always, this is the first local river that will become 100% fishable in this region, perhaps by the last week of June.

Miramonte Reservoir: Ice free, full of water and warming slowly, this is the beginning of "go season" on Miramonte.  Water levels are much higher than normal, the shallows interspersed with patches of grass and willows.  This is an exciting setting for sight fishing.  Expect callibaetis mayflies to start hatching over the next two weeks.  Trout will cruise the shallows, picking mayflies off the surface and grubbing damselfly nymphs off submerged willows.  It's starting soon, but in the meantime, fish streamers slow, deep and with patience.  You're not likely to catch 10 fish, but if you land one or two, they might your biggest of the season.

Dolores River private leases: unfishable until late June


Please call Telluride Outside with your fishing questions. We will be happy to steer you toward our best local fly fishing opportunities. (970) 728-3895