Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Gunnison River - Gunnison - Colorado

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

Water Flow Chart

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

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Daytime 18-22 Smoke Jumper Midges
February Midges Daytime 18-22 Zebra Midges
March Blue Winged Olives, Midges Afternoon 18-22 RS2s, Pheasant Tails
April Blue Winged Olives Afternoon 16-20 Baetis, Mercury BWO
May Blue Winged Olives, Caddis Afternoon 14-18 Baetis, Elk Hair Caddis
June Stoneflies, Caddis Morning, Evening 6-10, 14-16 Pat’s Rubber Legs, Elk Hair Caddis
July Stoneflies, Caddis Morning, Evening 6-10, 14-16 Pat’s Rubber Legs, Elk Hair Caddis
August Tricos, Caddis Morning, Evening 20-24, 14-16 Trico Spinners, Elk Hair Caddis
September Blue Winged Olives, Tricos Morning, Afternoon 18-22, 20-24 RS2s, Trico Spinners
October Blue Winged Olives Afternoon 16-20 BWO Dun, BWO Emergers
November Midges Daytime 18-22 Black Beauty
Blue Winged Olives Afternoon 16-20 Baetis
December Midges Daytime 18-22 Smoke Jumper Midges

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 in Gunnison is one of the premier destinations for fly anglers, owing to its trout-filled waters and spectacular scenic views. Some of the top spots for fly fishing include:

  • East River: This tributary of the Gunnison River is known for rainbow and brown trout.
  • Taylor River: This area is famous for its catch-and-release zone, with large trout breeds.
  • Black Canyon: This spot is ideal for skilled anglers due to the intense rapids and large stonefly hatches.
  • Blue Mesa Reservoir: It’s the largest body of water in Colorado and houses brown, rainbow and lake trout.
  • Almont: The river stretches in Almont also teem with rainbow and brown trout.

Make sure to check local regulations regarding permits and seasonal closures and always respect the environment when fishing.

Best Access Points

The Gunnison River, situated at Gunnison, boasts a treasure trove of fly fishing opportunities. Here are some of the best access points:

  • East Portal: Located at the base of the Black Canyon, this region offers an abundance of rainbow and brown trout.
  • Almont: This junction of three rivers (Taylor, East and Gunnison) is a tried-and-true spot for quality fishing.
  • Gunnison Gorge: This little-pressured wilderness area is prime territory for large trout, challenging rapids and clear water.
  • Blue Mesa Reservoir: The reservoir, the largest body of water in Colorado, houses rainbow trout, brown trout, and lake trout.
  • Curecanti National Recreation Area: This area offers several access points along the length of the Gunnison River.

Note: Some locations may require a hike or boat to reach the best spots, so be prepared!

Local Fish

  • Rainbow Trout – Rainbow trout are popular game fish known for their vibrant colors and aggressive eating habits.
  • Brown Trout – Brown trout are targeted for their size and aggressive nature. They are also known for their beautiful golden-brown coloration.
  • Brook Trout – Brook trout are smaller but are known for their beauty and tenacity when hooked, making them a fun challenge for fly fishers.
  • Mountain Whitefish – While not as popular as the trouts, mountain whitefish are abundant in the Gunnison River, making them a practical target for many anglers.
  • Cutthroat Trout – Named for the reddish-orange streak in their mandible, cutthroat trout are native to Colorado and a great sport fish for fly fishers.
  • Yellow Perch – Yellow perch are small but feisty, which, combined with their bright coloration, makes them fun to catch.
  • Pike – While not as common as the trouts, pike are a prized catch in the Gunnison River due to their size and fight.
  • Smallmouth Bass – Smallmouth bass are quite the catch for fly fishers due to their aggressive fighting once hooked.

About The River

The Gunnison River, named after American Explorer John W. Gunnison, is a captivating waterbody located in the west-central part of Colorado.

  • Early Days: The indigenous Utes people were the initial residents by the river. Back then, they used it for sustenance, given its rich availability of fish and game.
  • Exploration Era: Notable explorations included those by the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad and Major John Wesley Powell. These exploits shed light on the river’s dramatic canyons, influencing future development in these areas.
  • Modern Times: Today, the Gunnison River is famed for its breathtaking Black Canyon and is an immensely popular destination for whitewater rafting and fly fishing enthusiasts.

Despite the passage of time, the Gunnison River continues to be appreciated for its versatile features and mesmerising beauty, making it a historical and natural marvel worth exploring.


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