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Great Fall Fishing Conditions!
September 6, 2017 


Fall has arrived in the San Juans with the Lake Fork of the Gunnison flow rates staying slightly above the 79 year median, 134 CFS as of this writing. Overnight temps have been in the mid 40s with daytime highs in low 70s, making for ideal water temperatures. The river is completely wade accessible but because of the low and slow flows the river bottom is slick, so watch your footing. Our stoneflies are mostly gone for the year, and the focus now has shifted to caddis and mayfly imitations. We are still using stimulators or hoppers as the dry above a bead-head nymph in a dry/dropper rig, which is ideal for current conditions. Use a BH Prince, BH Pheasant Tail, BH Copper John, Tung Teaser, Micro May in smaller sizes for the dropper. For dries go to a Para Adams, Purple Haze, BWOs, Goddard Caddis, and Elk Hair Caddis. The terrestrials are on, and beetles have been fantastic in tree locations with hoppers picking up mid-day in open sunny meadows.

Cebolla summer pressure is now in the history books, and you can expect to find sizable stretches of this stream to yourself. As with the Lake Fork, similar patters work here but there are more treed banks ideal for ants, hoppers, and beetles.  The fish are rising to Attractor Dries, Para Adams, and Elk Hair Caddis.  We’re combining with small nymphs, such as Tung Teasers, BH Prince, Micro-Mayflies, and Caddis Pupa very successfully. 

Henson Creek is on with the high country snow melt finally over, allowing for safe wading and the usual great fall fishing.  Dry flies such as Blue Wing Olives, Para Adams, and Elk Hair Caddis as well as terrestrials are producing good results.  The essential nymphs dropped below a dry fly is always productive, with Caddis Pupa, Pheasant Tails, and Micro-Mayflies.  Never forget to try a streamer on a cloudy day or late day.   

Big Blue Creek is fishing at its normal productive level with very few people to compete with for the miles of access available. Great fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing will only get better now that the summer is over. The brookies are always willing to feed to a well-presented cast. Attractor dries will easily get the eager brook trout rising.  Nymphs dropped below the dries are always a good compliment for Big Blue and will potentially add some larger fish to the mix.

The Rio and Gunny are still fishing well, even after seeing a lot of float pressure. The bite has shifted to Caddis and Mayflies.  Popular flies our guides use this time of year include Para Adams, Goddard Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis, Beetles, and Hoppers.  Micro-Mayflies, Caddis Pupa, Pheasant Tails, Lightning Bugs, BH Prince, and Tung Teasers will all catch fish.  Midges are also very much in play this time of year.  Preferred color is black, but olive and red will produce some action.  Rainbow Warriors are one of our guide favorites this time of year.

Area lakes continue to fish well and getting even better now that the some of the summer-time pressure is over. For bait fishermen, try power bait or salmon eggs. For spin fishermen, Mepps, Panther Martins, and Rapalas will yield fish. For fly fishermen, light tippet and small dries will take rising fish in the lakes.  Woolly Buggers and streamer patterns are also a great way to go and may produce some giants.

All of the area waters are fishing very well. If you are new to the area and would like to learn the water, or are a beginner and would like to learn to fly fish, our experienced guides would love to show you the area. Regardless, come on into the shop and we will be happy to help with the latest information.

Tight Lines,



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