The snow melts and drains from peaks that top 14,000 feet in the San Juan Mountain Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. These majestic mountains are the source for our pristine rivers and year-round fly fishing opportunities here in the Uncompahgre River Valley.
The Uncompahgre River Watershed drains over 1,000 square miles of the Gunnison Basin in southwestern Colorado, including parts of Delta, Montrose, Ouray, Gunnison, Hinsdale, San Juan, and San Miguel Counties. The Uncompahgre River originates in Lake Como at 12,215 feet in the Uncompahgre National Forest. It flows approximately 75 miles northwest past the City of Ouray, Town of Ridgway, City of Montrose, and Town of Olathe, and joins the Gunnison River at Confluence Park in the City of Delta.
Forest Service, BLM, and state lands provide for a lot of public access to our fisheries, which include the Uncompahgre River (the Unc), Gunnison River (Gunnison Gorge/Black Canyon), San Miguel River, and the Cimarron River. This area offers a wide variety of water to fish, and it can be enjoyed by anglers of all skill levels – from first-timers to the most experienced fly fishers. We fish for brown trout, rainbows, and native cutthroat throughout the season.
The Ridgway area offers year-round angling opportunities, including excellent tailwater fishing through the winter months. In addition to great fishing during the early and late season, the famous stonefly hatch in the Gunnison Gorge and peak dry fly fishing throughout the valley during summer provide for some truly spectacular days on the river.
I would advise planning your trip around run-off and the weather. Both are not easily predicted, and each year is different. Many of my friends and clients call or email me for updates prior to firming up travel plans. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to know how the season is progressing. You can only plan for so much, and things do change pretty quick here, so be prepared for a variety of conditions.