"The veterans had stories and smiles that I'm certain will last far into the future. Billy, Ben and Dylan provided us with an excellent trip and exemplify the hospitality and warmth of this valley." - Bryan from Project Healing Waters
September 15th, 2018The rivers in the Gunnison Valley are very low due to the severe drought we’ve had this season. It’s been a very busy summer here with a lot of pressure on the rivers and the fish during some very tough conditions. Recent rains and cooler temps at night have helped, but anglers can plan on very low water for the rest of the season and we all need to continue to take good care of the fish.
As move into fall fishing, we’re still seeing some bug activity on the rivers, but the major mayfly hatches on the Gunnison River and the East River are done. The Taylor River is fishing fairly well with spotty mayfly hatches throughout the canyon and up at the C&R stretch. Peak time for the mayfly hatches has been from about 12 PM to 3 PM (give or take), and it has been best on cloudy/rainy days. We’re still seeing some stoneflies, BWOs, caddis, and some PMDs hatching during the middle part of the day. And look for Tricos on the Gunnison River in the mornings.
For dry fly fishing, fish small Tricos (20-22), BWO ermergers and adults (18-20), Elk Hair Caddis or X-Caddis patterns (14-18), and PMDs (14-18). You can also fish a variety of hopper-dropper rigs and dry-dropper rigs. For nymph fishing, try combinations of stonefly nymphs, mayfly nymphs and emergers, and midges. Good mayfly nymphs include Barr’s BWO Emergers, Two-Bit Hookers, Copper Johns, Juju Baetis, RS2s, Micro Mayflies, and small Pheasant Tails, size 16-20. For stonefly nymphs, try Pat’s Rubber Legged Stonefly Nymphs, 20-Inchers, and Prince Nymphs, size 8-10. Small midge larvae and emergers can be trailed behind a mayfly nymph. Try various colors in size 18 to 22.
The salmon run in the Gunnison Valley is full on now. Anglers typically get out early in the mornings to get on the deep pools where the salmon stack up. As the run progresses, trout will get in there with the salmon and feed on eggs, providing good opportunities for late summer and early fall fishing.
-John Bocchino (Colorado Fishing Manager)