Monday, April 20, 2009

On the River: Uncompahgre River, Montrose, Colorado

As you no doubt gathered from my earlier post, Michelle and I were a little sick of the late season snow storms, so we decided to head west on Saturday toward Montrose/Grand Junction area to try and improve our weather odds. Our sights were set on the Gunnison Gorge, but as fate would have it, the North Fork of the Gunnison was running at 1000+ CFS, meaning you couldn't wade across it to access the clearer dam release water of the Gorge. So, we decided to try out the Uncompahgre River just below Ridgway Reservoir.

It's a catch and release stretch of water, and I had heard it was on par with the Taylor River C & R. The water was flowing pretty high and fast, but greenish/clear. All and all it was a pretty successful day and definitely scratched where it itched. From a visual scan of the river it is NOT on par with the fish size of the Taylor C & R, but there were a lot of deep holes we couldn't really see into all that well.

We got a bit of a tease with hooking up in the first 15 minutes of being on the water with a 16" rainbow, but the rest of the day was filled with consistent 8" to 12" fish. Surprisingly, most of the fish were really good looking, including this rainbow that had some unique spotting.

Most of the time we fished what will become known to the regular readers of this blog as the "Jeff Allen standard nymph rig". That's right, you guessed it ... a soft hackle bead headed hare's ear with a blacktail baetis trailing by about 8". I always use an adjustable indicator so I can set my depth based on each spot I'm fishing (setting your depth right gives you the best chance at strike detection).

It was a great day on the river, and would have been even if we caught nothing - simply because we were in light, hooded sweatshirts basking in the 60 degree sun. Nothing but smiles here ... and I've now fished another stretch of water that I intend to go back and visit again.

Good Drifts,

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