We’re seeing midges, small caddis, and BWOs hatching on the Taylor River now. Some of the big fish are sipping small bugs in the slack water. I caught this nice rainbow on a #18 black ant after trying small midge and mayfly patterns with no luck.
I caught this nice cutbow on the Gunnison River the other day. The rivers have been up and down with the temperature swings we’ve had. We have had temps in the mid 60s and then snow. Rivers are up again now with runoff, but there is another cold front coming and we may get some snow in the high country. Winds have been brutal, with gusts to 50 mph. I’ve seen a lot of trees down. I’ll be glad when this settles down.
It’s been really warm lately (in the mid 60s) with good fishing, but now we’re seeing the early stages of runoff. The East River is getting swollen and dirty, and this is bringing runoff into the Gunnison River. We’ll probably see the flows go up and down for a bit, but once we’re in full runoff with the high country snow melting, it will most likely last several weeks.
First day of the season on the East River. Nice midge hatch in the afternoon with a lot of fish taking size 22 and 24 dry flies, and then decent streamer action to finish up. These two nice browns took the streamer.
Still early in Taylor Canyon, with more than 2 feet of snow on the bank. Some midges were hatching late in the day, but otherwise it was pretty quiet.
This SNOTEL graph shows the recent snowpack and Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) details for the Gunnison River Basin. (Click on image to enlarge.) We are currently above average, and hopefully the rivers will be in good shape this season.
We certainly had a white Christmas this year! We’re still in the midst of a major winter storm system that has been hitting us daily since last week. It has brought several feet of snow to the mountains, with Crested Butte getting about six feet of snow in the last 8 days or so. And there is more coming between now and New Year’s Day. It’s what we desperately need after several years of severe drought conditions. The photos below were taken up at the Taylor River C&R stretch today. It was a rare opportunity to get some shots with no anglers on the river. (Click on the image to see the full size.)
Winter comes early when you’re at 8,600 feet in the Colorado Rockies. And it lasts for 6 to 7 months. So this will wrap up the fishing season now and I’ll provide updates on snowpack and fishing conditions next March or so. Let’s hope for plenty of snow this season so we can avoid another drought.
Had a fun week of camping and fishing over on the Arkansas during late August. Fishing was pretty tough but we managed to get a few nice fish. These pretty wild brown trout here came from the Lake Fork of the Arkansas up near Leadville. (Click on the images to view larger photos.)
Finally got a decent PMD hatch on the Taylor River tailwater and the fish were looking up. Caught a lot of fish from 1 PM to 4 PM during the most bug activity, including this nice 22-inch rainbow here.