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.
More big rainbows on tiny dry flies on the Taylor River.
Sight fishing small bugs to large trout on the Taylor River has been fun. It’s super technical, with size 20 and 22 flies and 6X tippet.
We’re experiencing a major drought here in the Gunnison Valley this summer. River levels continue to drop with hot and dry weather and lack of any significant rain (though the afternoon thunderstorms have helped). Water temperatures are rising in the afternoons and we need to take care of the fish. The guidelines below provided by Colorado TU should be strictly followed during these extreme drought conditions. Anglers can also focus more on tailwaters, like the Taylor River, where there is cold water throughout the summer.
A nice 22-inch rainbow from the Taylor River. Got her on my 4-weight with a size 22 mayfly emerger on 6X. Very fun!
Had a nice few days of camping and fishing up near the headwaters of the Arkansas River. Caught lots of pretty wild brown trout. It was a really great trip.
Summer is upon us now and the bugs are hatching and the trout are looking up. Let’s hope for some rain!
When the big rivers are in runoff, the small creeks can fish well since they will typically drop and clear sooner. June can be a good time to fish the mountain streams, especially during low water years like this one.
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 well below average/normal, and sadly, we’re looking at drought conditions this summer.