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Everything posted by Gunnison_Country

  1. Fellas- Had an absolutely stellar spring season on the Lake Fork and Taylor Rivers in the Gunnison Valley. Thought I'd share a few photos while runoff is temporarily ruining my piscatorial pursuits. I'm betting most any serious fly angler knows where this guy came from...the Taylor C&R. He ate a #22 red D-Midge. And if you've never fished the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River, it's flat out awesome. I can't wait to throw giant tan and gold Chubby Chernobyls at big browns and 'bows lined up against the bank after runoff subsides! And it's not just the Taylor C&R that has big fish potential, but the entire lower Taylor as well. This guy ate a #20 grey RS2.
  2. I'd also offer up a Bead Head Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail. I'd like to spend a year just throwing this fly and see what happens.
  3. "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read".... Mark Twain. This might be one of the best quotes I've seen in ages. So true.
  4. I love the topic of books, and this in no way is an attack on you, Mike. I'd certainly agree with you that if I was wanting to learn to tie a fly pattern, YouTube would probably be much easier and thorough. I can only speak for myself, and I am certainly biased as I wrote and am currently selling a fly fishing guidebook, but I just like to be able to hold the information that I'm studying in my hand. I love the idea and feel of a good book. I like the permanence of a book, versus the here and gone nature of a website. I love the way books look on the bookshelf. I'm at my computer a lot during the day and I don't like getting my fly fishing info from the computer. I guess I just find it a lot more comfortable to sit back next to a roaring fire with a good glass of wine and dig into a well-written fly fishing book. I think many of us thought that with the internet age in full-force, books and magazines would die a slow death, and some have, but all in all I think the book industry is doing quite well. Judging from the number of books I've been blessed to sell, there are a lot of folks that must agree with me. Doug
  5. I'm just curious here...if you had to choose one fly to fish for an entire calendar year, what fly would you choose? I live and angle in Colorado's Gunnison Valley and I would choose a Pat's Rubberlegs Stonefly Nymph. Specifically a size 8 chocolate & black version. This nymph catches fish from mid-February all the way through mid-November and easily catches most of my fish each fishing season. If I'm nymphing, at least one of my flies is always a Pat's Rubberlegs. I'm interested what fly you would fish if you had to choose only one for an entire year?
  6. Good to see Kansas City get some props. I grew up in Shawnee (folks and brother still live there), but saw the light and moved to Colorado's Gunnison Valley about 18 years ago. While I miss whitetails, bbq, and the Chiefs, I think I made a great choice. Welcome from Colorado.
  7. Love everything about Wes Studi (especially his role as Magua in The Last of the Mohicans.) Dude has lived a pretty amazing life.
  8. Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are really great tools that help me sell the fly fishing guidebook that I wrote. I'm doubtful that I'd be on any of those if not for the help it gives me on the business side of things. Otherwise, I'd much prefer to spend time here where I can actually learn things. My handle is GunnisonFlyFish on both Instagram and Pinterest if you want to check out some fly fishing pics. Doug
  9. Molas Lake is pretty close to my stomping grounds in the Gunnison Country. It's been on my radar screen for years but your video convinced me that I need to head to Molas in 2019. Thanks for posting. Doug
  10. I've never been able to catch a fish on a San Juan worm. Not one fish. A red Copper John hasn't fared much better for me either. Doug
  11. The twenty mile stretch of the Taylor River between Taylor Dam and Almont has been rising as added releases from the dam are needed to mitigate what little run-off is occurring. The lower Taylor is currently running clear at 388 cfs. While there have been a fair number of fly anglers on the river, it will really ramped up on Memorial Day weekend, but since the Gunny is also fishing well it has dispersed the traffic a bit. Rafting traffic, which bothers most fly anglers more than it pesters the Taylor’s fish, has really ramped up as well. The fishing has been very good, with blue-winged olives hatching most afternoons, especially if some cloud cover or precipitation encourages them. While fish can be coaxed to the surface with both a Mathews’ BWO Sparkle Dun and Craven’s Mole Fly, nymphing has been the most effective technique to catch trout. I’ve caught fish in the last week on Barr’s Beadhead BWO Emerger, Mercer’s Mayfly, Rainbow Warrior, and a purple Craven’s JujuBaetis. I’ve been using a Pat’s Rubberlegs as my first fly with one of the aforementioned BWO imitations as a dropper with extremely good success. If it happens to be sprinkling or sleeting, head up to the C&R as BIG 'bows and browns have been rising to olives with reckless abandon. You certainly don't want to miss the opportunity to catch some of the Gunnison Country's biggest fish on dry flies. In the increased flow, the fish are exactly where you’d expect them, which is in slothful pocket water, shallow bank water, eddies, and any semi-deep slow water slicks. Try to make a good cast to good slow or medium paced water along the far bank because the increased flow keeps fly rodders from crossing the river and much of the quality water on the far side of the river hasn’t seen many flies and many of the fish residing there have been unmolested for a few weeks. If you don’t much care for nymphing, do not let your heart be troubled…dry fly season with begin in earnest any day now!
  12. Fellas- Rank beginner here putting in my very first fly tying supply order. I'm hoping someone can advise me as to a substitute for the following 2 items as I can't find them. 1. peacock blue Lagartun wire (fine) 2. white 74-denier Lagartun Can anyone give me substitutes for these items? Any info would be very much appreciated! Doug
  13. I had the chance to angle the Uncompahgre River at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk (Ridgway State Park) a couple of days ago. It was beauteous fly fishing weather with an air temperature around 60F, with mostly sunny skies and little wind. The Unc was flowing at a meager 61 cfs, which was good for sight fishing although the water had a pronounced green tinge which managed to make sighting fish more difficult than it should have been. The only insects that we saw on the water’s surface all day were a couple of caddisflies and red quills…that’s it. Not one natural rise all day. We began fishing at 9:30 AM and explored above the bridge first. The photo shows Ryan nymphing what we call the epic run, due to several 24 inch trout that can almost always be found here. Sure enough, we found a couple of 22-24 inch ‘bows and a 21 inch Snake River cutthroat trout in the area, and although we managed to dupe a couple of smaller fish, we failed miserably trying to hoodwink the three big ones. Paco’s trophy trout don’t get big by being dumb. Early in the day I snagged my nymphing rig on the bottom and when I finally worked it free, I realized that I had snagged another anglers’ dual-fly rig made up of a #18 purple Jujubaetis with a #20 red thread worm trailer. I liked my newfound rig better than what I was using, so I tied on the Juju and the little red midge larva and used it most of the day. Can’t beat $4 worth of free flies! We caught around 20 rainbow trout total, with most of them being hatchery fish but did catch a couple of wild ‘bows. A majority of the rainbow trout were in slow, choppy, knee to thigh-deep riffled water, but a couple were beneath the depths of the many man-made plunges. Most of the ‘bows I caught were on the red midge, but Ryan caught several on a #20 purple Jujubaetis. Sadly, I stung and lost a LOT of fish. My lack of fishing prowess on this trip was the baseball equivalent of striking out 3 times and committing an error in the field. I was the football equivalent of Ryan Leaf. Yeah, I was that bad. We did manage to catch two brown trout, certainly not the hogs that Paco is famous for, but a couple of solid 14-15 inch browns nonetheless. Paco browns are gorgeous this time of year as they prepare for their reproductive romp. Ironically, both brown trout munched a #18 Flashback Baetis Nymph, which is an Orvis fly that I’ve recently become enamored with. Although we were able to see cutthroats better than ‘bows and browns in the stained water, we caught a grand total of 1 Snake River cutt. She stretched the tape to around 17 inches, but was not exactly the Gisele Bundchen of cutthroats. The Crystal River Hatchery in Carbondale deposits their used female brooders there each summer, and I’ve seen Snakes as large as 24 inches in the past. Pictured is a lovelier Snake River cutt captured during an earlier wintertime trip to Paco. We loaded up the “Taco” and headed towards the Gunnison Country at about 4:30 PM, itching to return to Paco for another opportunity at the BIG browns, ‘bows, and cutts that had eluded us on this day. We left pretty satisfied as all day long we only saw two other anglers. I guarantee my home waters, the Taylor, Gunnison, and East Rivers saw a ton of felt today.
  14. Very nice video...thanks for sharing and I'm hoping to see what happened when you moved downstream. I rarely fish that area due to the difficulty of figuring out what the flows are at the time. My house is about 1:15 minutes away and it is hard to just head out without any idea as to what flow to expect. It's just normally a lot easier to head to the Upper Gunnison or Taylor, but I'm planning to go do a bit of "research" on that area in the near future. Doug
  15. Red Bridge has some really quality water but the best water on the Lake Fork is either Thomas Ranch or High Bridge. If you get to the river early enough and secure one or the other, you can basically fish that water all day. I'll be practicing what I preach next weekend...can't wait.
  16. I was able to get away from the grind yesterday to my favorite Colorado troutstream...the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River near Lake City. The river was a bit higher than I like at 418 cfs, which made the river difficult to cross in certain sections, but was colored Gunny Green, which is just perfect. The river was uncharacteristically uncrowded for a Friday during the summer and I was able to fish Thomas Ranch, Big Eddy, Big Bend, High Bridge and at the confluence with Henson Creek in Lake City. I simply love to nymph, and used a #10 brown/black Pat's Rubberlegs with a #16 Prince Nymph trailer all day long...never had to change. My son used a Parachute Adams all day long and probably outfished me, although I hooked up on more big fish as would be expected utilizing nymphs. We landed several dozen fish, with the biggest fish being a 17" 'bow, but I got broke off on bigger fish more times than I'd care to admit. In fairness to me, I ran out of 4x tippit and had to settle for 5x, which is a little wimpy for this river. All in all, other than losing several good fish, it was a great day on a great river.
  17. Flytire- Thanks for posting up a link...appreciated very much!
  18. "I didn't realize that rainbow populations in Colorado still hadn't recovered from whirling disease. Your report made me appreciate what I have in my own backyard, and I went out and caught a few native rainbows on my local river last night." CPW has managed around the disease well in Colorado using Hofer/Colorado River rainbows and the fishing in the big rivers for rainbow trout is as good as it was before whirling disease for the most part. All I meant by my statement about WD was that it is rare to find a "wild" population of 'bows that was never impacted to begin with.
  19. Fellas- I've been casting a fly in the Gunnison Basin backcountry a lot over the last week and prepared a short creek report for my website, gunnisonflyfish.com, so I thought I'd post it up here as well for anyone who might be heading this way or looking for a new fly fishing destination. Sorry though, no photos on this version of the report as I've never figured out how to post photos quickly on this site. Hope this helps or at least entertains someone! Gunnison Valley Small Stream Report - July 10, 2017 The big and brawling runoff season is finally on the wane and the small trout streams in the Gunnison Basin are fishing as well as they will fish all year long. The Gunnison Country is blessed to be home to several uber-productive creeks , with a few of the best being Cochetopa, Los Pinos, Saguache, Tomichi, Pauline, Fall, Cebolla, Ruby Anthracite and Anthracite Creeks. Some Gunnison Valley creeks host a surprising number of different species of trout, including the tiger trout pictured above, which I caught on a local creek about a week ago. Catching a tiger trout is always epic and there are a few locales in the Gunny Basin where you have a legit chance to find one. However, you are going to have to purchase the guidebook to learn where you can find a tiger trout or two, as some information is just too valuable to let go to just anyone. Other creeks host rare populations of wild rainbows, which have amazingly managed to thrive despite the ravages of whirling disease which have decimated rainbow populations across Colorado. If a small creek has wild ‘bows they are normally some of the biggest and hardest fighting small stream trout you’ll catch all year, so I love to target small creeks that are replete with a self-sustaining population of wild rainbow trout. Currently, hatches of caddisflies, pale morning duns, red quills, green drakes and several species of stoneflies are keeping Gunnison Valley small stream trout looking up and gorging themselves while prey is abundant. While on occasion you may need to nymph in the cool of the morning on certain small streams, most notably Tomichi Creek, big dries such as a #12-14 Royal Stimulator, Royal Wulff, Parachute Adams, or Chubby Chernobyl will normally get the job done 9 times out of 10. If you get refusals on your large dry, downsize a size or two and most likely…problem solved. Many fly aficionados like to employ a dry/dropper rig on diminutive fly waters this time of year, but I’ve come to prefer dead-drifting a small streamer instead. A small streamer provides anglers with one huge advantage on creeks over a dry/dropper, namely it affords you the ability to swing your fly underneath undercut banks, which is consistently where the biggest of the small stream trout will likely be lurking. Virtually all of my largest small stream trout are lured out from deep within an undercut bank, normally at a bend pool, with a leech pattern on the swing. Simply position yourself on the stream bank opposite of the undercut and cast your small streamer above the undercut and as close to the bank as possible. Let the fly dead-drift and be ready as the current carries your fly underneath the bank at the bend. And note, there are often a surprising number of good sized fish within a small area underneath an undercut bank. If you capture one, there are often several more targets nearby, especially on creeks where ‘bows are present. My two favorite flies for this technique are a brown #16 Mayer’s Mini Leech (which is pictured above) and a #10 McCannel’s Hot Head Leech (which I obtain from RIGS Fly Shop in Ridgway, although one of the fly shops located closer to Gunnison may have them, but I’m not sure.) Kindly drop me an email if you know of a more local shop that stocks either of these leeches! Whatever you do don’t waste the next 8 magical weeks of fly angling in the backcountry of the Gunnison Basin because the fly fishing is tremendous throughout the Gunnison Country right now .
  20. Your trip is timed perfectly. Colorado had a pretty epic snowpack this year and the fishing is just getting really good as the rivers have finally began to come down. I'll be away from home later this summer chasing trout in RMNP as well...looking forward to it as I haven't been in Estes for several years. Until then it will be fishing throughout the Gunnison Country as usual!
  21. No question that on rivers a BH Flashback Pheasant Tail would be my first choice, while on stillwaters I love to use a #12 Mayer's Mini Leech. Leeches performance on stillwaters is nothing short of amazing.
  22. Thanks for sharing your video. Makes me want to get up to the high lakes in the Gunnison area. For those of you that enjoy fly fishing Colorado's high lakes, check out the next issue of Colorado Outdoors magazine (the fishing special issue) as it will include my article on the Fossil Ridge high alpine lakes. Even if you don't fish these particular lakes there is a lot of good info on what has worked for me when fly fishing high mountain lakes across the state.
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