It’s a crazy and historic time, and we’re all dealing with the impacts of the coronavirus on our lives. We can still get out for some fresh air and to do some of the things we love while still practicing social distancing (which is critical). Early spring fishing can be really good, as the water warms and the bugs and fish are on the move. We’re dealing with a health crisis for sure, but the rivers and fish are healthy.
Just as we began planning for the upcoming season, and taking a look at snowpack and trying to predict runoff and all that, we got hit with the Coronavirus. And everything changed. People all over the world will be dealing with this for a while. In the Gunnison Valley, things are pretty much shut down. Visitors have been directed to go home and quarantine themselves. Only businesses that provide essential services remain open. I don’t know what the impact will be to our summer season and fishing operations. No one does. Our focus now is to get through this and stay healthy. Good luck to everyone out there.
This SNOTEL graph shows current snowpack and Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) details for the Gunnison River Basin as of February 20, 2020. Based on this info, it looks like we are at about normal snowpack. Hoping this stays on track and we have more “normal” conditions and runoff this year.
I had the pleasure of working with Todd Moen of Catch Magazine this summer, and participating in a video shoot focused on small streams in Colorado. It was a really fun project to work on and Todd did an excellent job. The video, Small Stream Colorado, was released last week on Catch Magazine and the trailer will be on YouTube soon. Thanks to Brian O’Keefe for this behind the scenes photo.
This 23″ brown trout was caught on the East River on a size 20 baetis nymph. It was a beautiful fish and probably my fish of the year.
My buddy Jim came out from New York last week and we fished around the valley quite a bit. We had to work hard to find fish at times, but we had a lot of fun.
This nice 22-inch rainbow trout slowly sipped a size 18 black ant right on the bank. Fun!
We’re still getting a lot of fish to look up at dry flies, and fishing lately has been very good!
Mid to late August is a great time to fish hoppers and hopper-dropper rigs in the Gunnison Valley. This pretty cutbow is from the East River. Underwater shots are always fun. You never know how they will come out but sometimes you get lucky with a pretty cool abstract reflection.
We’ve had a good Green Drake hatch on the Taylor River, along with lots of PMDs. Hatch time has been from around noon to 3 PM give or take. Cloudy/rainy days have been very good.