Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Gunnison River - Below Gunnison Tunnel - Colorado

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

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Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

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Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midge Noon-4pm #22-#26 Zebra Midge, Black Beauty
Scuds All day #16-#22 Rainbow Warrior, Orange Scud
February Midge Noon-4pm #22-#26 Zebra Midge, Black Beauty
Scuds All day #16-#22 Rainbow Warrior, Orange Scud
March Midge Noon-4pm #22-#26 Zebra Midge, Black Beauty
April BWO 11am-3pm #18-#22 Rusty Spinner, ADAMS
Midges All day #20-#26 Zebra midge, Griffith's Gnat
May BWO Noon-4pm #18-#22 Blue Dun, ADAMS
Caddis Evening #14-#18 Elk Hair Caddis, E/C Caddis
June Caddis Evening #14-#18 Elk Hair Caddis, E/C Caddis
Yellow Sallies Afternoon-Evening #14-#16 Yellow Sally, Little Yellow Stone
Drakes 2pm-6pm #10-#12 Green Drake, Sparkle Dun
July Yellow Sallies Afternoon-Evening #14-#16 Yellow Sally, Little Yellow Stone
Drakes 2pm-6pm #10-#12 Green Drake, Sparkle Dun
PMD Afternoon #16-#18 Parachute PMD, Light Cahill
August Tricos Morning #20-#24 Trico Spinner, CDC Trico
Terrestrials All day #10-#16 Hopper, Ant, Beetle patterns
September Terrestrials All day #10-#16 Hopper, Ant, Beetle patterns
BWO 11am-3pm #18-#22 Rusty Spinner, ADAMS
October BWO Noon-4pm #18-#22 Blue Dun, ADAMS
Midges All day #20-#26 Zebra midge, Griffith's Gnat
November Midges Noon-4pm #22-#26 Zebra Midge, Black Beauty
Scuds All day #16-#22 Rainbow Warrior, Orange Scud
December Midge Noon-4pm #22-#26 Zebra Midge, Black Beauty
Scuds All day #16-#22 Rainbow Warrior, Orange Scud

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Gunnison River, particularly the stretch below Gunnison Tunnel, is rife with great spots for fly fishing. Here are some of the best to leverage:

  • East Portal: This stream-intensive location offers anglers opportunities to catch Rainbow and Brown Trout amid peaceful surroundings.
  • Gorge: Offering wild trout, the Gorge is ideal for experienced anglers due to its challenging steep banks and swift currents.
  • Billy Creek State Wildlife Area: Situated downstream from the East Portal, Billy Creek offers a wonderful mix of trout population including Brown, Rainbow and Cutthroat.
  • North Fork: The most challenging section of the Gunnison River, North Fork is known for its large trout quantities and impressive hatches.
  • C&B Bridge: This downstream location is perfect for anglers seeking a less challenging yet rewarding trout fishing.

Remember to respect local fishing regulations to maintain these world-class fishing locations.

Best Access Points

The Gunnison River, below the Gunnison Tunnel, offers numerous access points for enthusiasts looking to fly fish in its waters. Here are some of the best spots:

  • East Portal: Accessible via the East Portal Road within Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
  • Pleasure Park: This spot is situated where the Gunnison River meets North Fork River.
  • Gunnison Gorge: Located downstream from the Black Canyon, but requires a hike to reach the fishing spots.
  • Dominquez Canyon: Offers backcountry fly fishing between Pleasure Park and Whitewater.

Keep in mind that conditions can vary based on weather, season, and hatch patterns, so it’s advisable to check local reports. Always remember to respect local regulations and private property rights when accessing the river for fly fishing.

Local Fish

  • Brown Trout: A crowd favourite for fly fishers due to their size and aggressive eating habits.

  • Rainbow Trout: Notable for their unique fight style, they are a thrilling catch for any fly fisher.

  • Brook Trout: With beautiful colors, they are an exciting and photogenic catch.

  • Cutthroat Trout: Known for their cutthroat marking, they are a challenging catch demanding skill and patience.

  • White Fish: Often overlooked, White Fish can be a fun and rewarding catch, especially in winter when other species are not biting.

  • Salmon: The classic sport fish, Salmon offers a thrilling experience with their strength and tenacity.

  • Pike: Known for their aggressive predatory behaviour, Pike are a thrilling catch for any angler.

  • Small Mouth Bass: Not as common on the Gunnison, but a fun and rewarding catch when you find them.

About The River

The Gunnison River, below the Gunnison Tunnel, is steeped in a rich and fascinating history. The river and the tunnel share their name with Captain John W Gunnison, a field engineer, who explored the area in the mid-19th century.

Construction of the Gunnison Tunnel, considered an American triumph of engineering, began in 1901 and it served an important role in irrigating the Uncompahgre Valley. This transformed arid land, allowing settlers to farm and contribute to the growth of the American West.

Considered an angler’s paradise, the Gunnison gorge below the tunnel is internationally renowned for

  • Gold Medal trout fishing
  • Stunning Black Canyon views
  • White-water kayaking adventures.

Notably, the Gunnison River is designated an Area of Critical Environmental Concern and a Gold Medal Trout Water body, acting as a testament to its natural significance.

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