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|Telluride Fly Fishers|
Water flow: ICE AT RICO ICE AT DOLORES
Visibility: 24 inches
Water temperature at mid-day: 33 Degrees F
Water condition: Clear
Best time of day to fish: MORNING OR LATE AFTERNOON UNTIL DARK..
Best stretch: Below Rico to Dolores, Above Rico to Lizard Head, Below McPhee Dam
Best access point: Anywhere that is public
Fly fishing hatches in order of importance:
Midge, BWO, Micro- Stonefly (Yellow Sally) CADDIS. PMD. Californicus Stonefly.
Fish species: Trout
Fishing season: Year Round (Prime: June 15 - October 20) Winter is slow.
Nearest airport: Montrose Airport
Recommended fly fishing leader: 9 Foot Leader
Recommended fly fishing tippet: 5X Tippet
Best fly fishing rod: 9' 4 Weight Fly Rod
Best floating fly line: WF Trout Fly Line
The pristine Dolores River in the southwest corner of Colorado starts as a series of small feeder streams at 10,200 ft near Lizard Head Pass. It runs through the town of Rico all the way to Dolores, over 48 miles in all where it is then dammed up at McPhee Reservoir. The Dolores is classic, small stream pocket water with occasional pools and rocky runs. It has varied mayfly, stone fly and caddis activity ...
with the latter being pre-dominant. Terrestrials are also prevalent with grasshoppers and beetles working well from spring through fall. Streamers, mainly wooly buggers, can be effective in the high water of June and early July. Five species of trout are available ranging from rainbow, brown, brook, cutthroat and cutbows. Also present are sculpins and kokanee that run into the river from Mcphee. The Dolores has state designated stocked sections, but there are an abundance of "wild" fish. From Rico up to the headwaters the river is mostly public. From Rico on down, much of the river is private but there are still many sections not posted that are open to the public. Dry-dropper rigs work well from spring to fall with top fly sizes in the 10 to 14 range depending on time of year and water levels. Droppers in size 16 work well early and range on down to 20 as the season progresses. Popular dry flies include elk hair caddis, stimulators, parachute adams, royal coachman (and Wulfs) and all types of grasshoppers. Most bead-headed droppers will work including copper johns (all colors), pheasant tails and hare's ear nymphs. Emergers work well from late summer into fall. Hatches due occur, but are difficult to cue on due to the fast flowing, gradient nature of the Dolores. Many of the tributaries, including the West Fork, the East Fork and Bear Creek are also worth exploring. Winter fishing is slow to non-existent due to low water and ice.
SINGLE NYMPHING WITH A SMALL (1/2 INCH THINGA-MA-BOBBER).
WATER LEVELS ARE SUPER LOW AND UPPER RIVER IS GETTING ICED OUT. THE DRIVE TO THE SAN JUAN AT NAVAJO DAM MIGHT BE WORTH IT. GOOD LUCK!