Fishing the rivers in the region may still be limited due to the spring runoff, but the wait is just about over with many of the smaller streams and rivers beginning to show signs of clearing.
Right here in Ridgway, Jerry from the Ridgway Conoco was happy to report on his recent success fishing the Uncompahgre from town down to the reservoir. While the water wasn’t exactly clear, it was clear enough for the fish to see the small grasshopper he put into the current. He said he caught a couple of fish on the surface with the grasshopper and also had some luck below the surface with a San Juan Worm.
“That stretch only fishes one or two weeks out of the year – sometimes in the spring, and sometimes in the fall,” he said. “It wasn’t bad the other day. There were actually some small grasshoppers out.”
Jerry said he spent some time over at the Ridgway Reservoir with a Kastmaster -- a hot lure this spring. Water over by the docks was still a bit murky and things have slowed down somewhat in that area (although there were some bait anglers nearby who had a pretty full stringer of fish). Jerry said he hasn’t been receiving a lot of reports from boaters out on the reservoir.
Anglers are still having luck fishing the high water of the confluence at Dallas Creek where the fish line up for food and oxygen.
The road is finally open to Silver Jack reservoir where the smaller streams that feed the reservoir are beginning to clear earlier than the rivers. Head on up to Silver Jack, where the fish are ready to chase, and bring some flashy wooly buggers or streamers.
Probably the cleanest river in the region right now is the San Miguel River. It has already dropped down to 415 cfs or so, making it accessible and clear.
I would head on up to the San Miguel County-owned park near Placerville to dust off any casting skills in the open park, then put a large stonefly up top (go for a Bitch Creek) with (you guessed it) a Red Copper John down below.
Now I am not one to sound the horn when the salmon flies begin to hatch in the region, but since the San Miguel has a small, yet substantial hatch, keep an eye out for the bright orange and yellow stoneflies mating on the willows and branches near the banks. It could happen on the San Miguel at any time now. If you catch it, enjoy. It goes fast on that river.
As for all the other streams and rivers in the area, stay tuned. According to Jerry, “The Fishing is going to pop loose very soon.”