Nice rainbow on the Gunnison River. See more photos on the blog.
May 23, 2018
The rivers in the Gunnison Valley have been rising with some run-off and dropping with the colder temps, and have been up and down during the past couple of weeks. As the rivers drop and clear, this provides some very good fishing opportunities. Normal run-off can last up to 6 weeks, and is typically from late April/early May through mid June. But due to the less-than-average snowpack this year, the rivers are settling down much sooner. The following report is for the fishable waters in our area:
There are midges and BWOs hatching now, along with some caddis. Fish are moving into the riffles to feed on emerging mayflies, and they are also keying in on big stonefly nymphs. If fish are sipping small bugs on the surface, try a size 18-22 Mole Fly (gray, olive or brown), or a size 18-20 BWO emerger/cripple or adult pattern. For nymph fishing, try a tandem nymph rig using a combination of small mayfly nymphs and midges, or a fish big stonefly nymph up front with a Baetis nymph trailing behind. San Juan Worms and egg patterns can also work well as a lead fly. Good mayfly nymphs include Barr’s BWO Emergers, Two-Bit Hookers, Copper Johns, Juju Baetis, Micro Mayflies, and small Pheasant Tails. For midges, fish small (size 20-24) black, zebra, olive, brown, cream, or red midge larva and emerger patterns. For stonefly nymphs, try Pat’s Rubber Legged Stonefly Nymphs or 20-Incher patterns, size 6-8. If the river is stained but fishable, streamer fishing can be very productive. Sculpin and general baitfish patterns in size 4-8, in black, olive, natural, and white can get fish moving.