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Water flow: 950 cfs through town
Visibility: 24 inches
Water temperature at mid-day: 56 Degrees F
Water condition: Clear
Best time of day to fish: 10 PM to 4 PM
Best stretch: Almont down to Blue Mesa
Best access point: All public water from Almont through town.
Fly fishing hatches in order of importance:
Green Drakes are hatching on the upper Gunnison size 10-14. PMD's size 14-18, Caddis hatch in the morning's and evening's
Fish species: Trout
Fishing season: Spring
Nearest airport: Gunnison-Crested Butte Airport
Recommended fly fishing leader: 9 Foot Leader
Recommended fly fishing tippet: 5X Tippet
Best fly fishing rod: 9' 5 Weight Fly Rod
Best floating fly line: WF Trout Fly Line
The Gunnison River begins at Almont, Colorado, where the Taylor River and East River merge to form its headwaters. The river grows in size as it flows down through the Gunnison Valley and into Blue Mesa Reservoir. This is the first of several dams as the Gunnison continues its flow through the Black Canyon and eventually into the Colorado River. Our section of the Gunnison River, the upper Gunnison, is from ...
the headwaters in Almont all the way to Blue Mesa Reservoir.
The East River is a freestone river which drains out of Emerald Lake, which is located at 10,500 feet in the Rockies near Crested Butte. So the upper Gunnison is impacted by both snow-melt and the controlled releases from Taylor Reservoir. The Gunnison is best fished from a boat in the early season during high water. There are also plenty of public access points for wading the river during summer and fall.
The Gunnison River contains a very high density of trout, including browns, rainbows, and cutthroat. There are long riffles and runs, and a lot of deep pools which hold large trout. There are good hatches of stoneflies, caddis, and mayflies during the season. The peak season is from mid June to mid September, and fall fishing can be spectacular on the Gunnison. The fall kokanee salmon run brings loads of hard-fighting sockeye salmon up the Gunnison River from Blue Mesa as they run all the way to the Roaring Judy fish hatchery on the East River. There is a catch-and-release season for kokanee from August 1 to October 31. Big trout will follow the salmon up to feed on their eggs. A 9-foot 5-weight fly rod is a good all purpose choice for the Gunnison River. A 6-weight rod can also be used during the salmon run.
Tandem nymph rig or dry fly dropper rig.
Water flows are on the decline. Look for fishing to greatly improve as water continues to drop.