Tuesday, May 5, 2009

On the River: Uncompahgre River, Montrose, Colorado

... again.

If you've been following my posts, you'll no doubt have noticed a tone of disgruntlement at spring weather. I set out on Saturday, April 25th to fish the "Pleasure Park" stretch of the Gunnison River thinking I could get above the North Fork and be in relatively clear water. Unfortunately, the North Fork impeded my progress ... for some reason crossing an 80 foot wide, milk chocolate, raging, 3000 CFS river in my tiny, one man, walmart raft did not sound enjoyable, much less livable.

So, I found myself once again at the Uncompahgre River, just south of Montrose, CO. It wasn't with any reluctancy though, I had a good time when I last visited this stretch of the river and was pretty excited to hike down a little further and fish a lot more water.

It fished very similar to my last visit. The water was up, and moving pretty fast, with a good "greenish" tint to it. The fish seemed about the same, holding in the slow and deep pools. In fact, I don't think I caught a single fish in any other type of water. I was fishing the hare's ear/baetis combo like before and kept a weather eye out for Mother's day caddis (and the fish were too as I'll explain later).

Picked up a lot of good fish and got about as close to a Colorado Slam as you can get. I'm guessing that there are no brookies in this stretch of the river, but by the end of the day I had landed a Brown, Rainbow, Snake River Cutt, Colorado Cutthroat, plus a small Cutbow as well. My pride and joy was a nice 17" brown that came at my fly as it was drifting toward me. I got to see him turn downstream and inhale my fly about 2' in front of me. I think we were both thinking same thing ... "oh, crap".

Near the end of the day I was disappointed that the Mother's Day caddis never happened since I had just tied a fresh dozen of Allen Brothers Cut-wing Caddis. So ... I decided to tie one on anyway, just to test out how well they floated. To my surprise, though there wasn't much of a presence in the air or the bushes, the fish were still looking up. I ended up landing about 3 fish on dries all said and done.

It was a good day ... what more can you say.
Tight lines,


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