Sunday, March 22, 2009

On the River: Gunnison River, Gunnison, CO

Fri. March 20th
It's safe to say that any weekend you get out on the water 3 days is pretty good. Combine that with the fact that it was 60 degrees in Gunnison in the middle of March and that just makes me happy!

I fished the Cooper's Ranch area starting where the main braid connects up with the river again. The water was pretty off color, but the fishing was still decent. Unfortunately, since the bulk of the run off hasn't hit (and won't for another month) you end up catching more sticks and debris than anything, but that's sort of the name of the game.

The fish are still in "winter" mode, meaning they have no good reason to be in fast water looking for food. You'll find most of them in slow, deep areas, waiting for the food to come to them.

I didn't hook many small fish, so that part was nice, but ultimately I really only hooked about 6 fish in 3 hours of fishing. One fish worth mentioning was about a 17" brown. I primarily fished some pretty heavy flies (a tungsten prince nymph to start) with a baetis pattern trailing.

I think one of the keys to fishing off color water is using dark colored flies. In the summer when the water is clear I typically fish a hare's ear, but when the water is off color I like to use more pheasant tail and prince nymphs because I think the dark color of the fly contrasts with the murky water better and the fish can see them easier.

Tight lines,

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