Fishing Update

Picture+of+the+Uncompahgre+river+under+the+Ridgway+reservoir.

Landon Kusuno

Picture of the Uncompahgre river under the Ridgway reservoir.

Landon Kusuno, Staff Writer

TELLURIDE — With a pandemic surging through the country, many are left inside unable to enjoy regular activities. As many of us are stuck inside waiting for things to open up, some people are finding ways to make the best of a bad situation. 

One of the best ways to self-isolate and social distance is by spending some time by yourself outside. My favorite way of spending days off is fly fishing. This time of year is one of the hardest times to find fish. With runoff season coming in the next week or so, your favorite fishing spot is likely going to be blown out by high off-colored water. 

During runoff season, many anglers turn to tying flies and watching fishing videos on YouTube, there is still a way to get your fix of fishing. This time of year, the most productive water can be ice melt off lakes and tailwaters. 

Possibly one of the best options for tailwater fishing in south-west Colorado is the Pacochuk national park. Located under the Ridgway reservoir, Paco (short for Pacochupuk) is home to some of the biggest fish in the region. Though a very technical tailwater there are fish to be caught. 

Lately, at Paco, the flows have been up a little bit. According to waterdata.usgs.gov flows have been running at a constant 232-237 CFS. Lately, with higher flows, I have found success in sight fishing pocket water. During a recent outing I caught most of my fish on a simple buggy Baetis nymph, and purple warriors size 16-18. 

This time of year you can expect to find a wide array of hatches. Most fish will be taken on midges size 18-20, and Baetis from size 22 on the small side and size 16s on the larger side. With midges, Baetis, and caddis being the most productive recently look forward to fishing terrestrials in the upcoming summer months.