Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The seasons are changing! Snow in the high country (7 inches at Wolf Creek Ski Area), yellow aspens, red and orange oak brush. This is a great time to be in Pagosa Springs. The day time highs have been in the mid 70’s with temps around 38 a night, making for some great sleeping weather. That is good news for the trout. The water temperature has dropped considerably from the highs around 72 degrees only 3 – 4 weeks ago, to between 50 – 60 degrees (depending on elevation). This has made the trout much more active, and the recent rains and dusting of snow has increased flows to keep the streams healthy. The flows below the dam are still great at 800 cfs. October and November is the best time of the year to catch an awesome BWO hatch. Some of the “blanket hatches” (so many bugs you can’t see your fly) are the best I have seen on any river I have fished. If you are in the area, and are interested in late season dry fly action, the Juan is the place. If you want smaller stream action, the high country is still fishing great. With some of the higher flows after some of the rains and snow, we are back to fishing with dropper rigs, this brings us to my high country tip for fall fishing.


I got a chance to catch a fish yesterday! 

Fishing dropper rigs on high country streams!


I often see anglers using their dropper rigs, without changing anything. They make their set up and leave it. They might change the dropper, but that’s it. As a guide fishing on public waters, I often have to fish behind other fisherman, or let them fish through a hole. If I get to a nice hole more than 3 feet deep, I will change my point fly’s location. I will move it up, and increase the dropper length. Sometimes, I will have a 4 foot dropper, with only a 9 foot overall length. Don’t make the mistake of just adding a 4 foot piece of leader, and having an overall length of 13 –14 feet. You do not want to sacrifice a sloppy cast. Doing this I often get into fish that other fisherman have just fished for, without any success. When I move to a new stretch, I will switch back to my standard set up. Point fly at 71/2 or 9 feet, and dropper 15” to 24”s behind that. So don’t be lazy!

                  Lower San Juan Rainbow.               
John Gibbons with a Rainbow full of colors on the Lower San Juan.
Cutthroat Trout in the net!
Scott Taylor

While you are in town make sure that you visit the following businesses!

Need Fly Fishing gear? See Pop's
Let it Fly
Located on Put hill, just West of Downtown Pagosa Springs.

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Pagosa Outside Adventures - Rafting, Biking, Kayaking, Tubing
Downtown Pagosa Springs


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Pagosa Ski Rental (PSR)

Downtown Pagosa Springs