Posted on

Gunnison and Crested Butte Fly Fishing Report- July 27th, 2023

The previous fishing report could be summed up in one sentence: the fish were where you expected them to be. They were in every decent seam and could be caught with a good drift. Repeat: a good drift.

This week’s TL;DR-  Fishing conditions are still all around great, just not what we would call easy. While a good drift is always a key piece of the puzzle, fly selection and timing are becoming more important.

Because of the hot and dry conditions, there are a lot of fish moving to deep holes now (especially the bigger ones). If we get some moisture, it could really extend the duration of hatches and fish would be willing to move up in the riffles to feed for a longer duration. The Taylor is an exception as water temps stay more stable, especially in the first several miles below the reservoir. 

Gunnison River

-X-Caddis- Olive or Brown, size 14-18

-Parachute Ext. Body BWO, Size 18

-French Nymph Jig, size 14-16

-Two Bit Hooker or Twisted Mayfly, Size 16-18

-Streamers- Sculpin patterns, Olive

East River

Now that flows have dropped, the East at the Hatchery is a go-to spot for wade access.

-Foam Body Caddis- Olive or Brown, size 14-18

-Parachute Ext. Body PMD, size 14-16

-Purple Haze, size 16-18

-Holo-point Jig, size 16-18

-Coppertop Duracell, size 16-18

Taylor River

-Hairwing Drake, size 10-12

-Parachute Adams, size 10-16

-Elk Hair Caddis- Olive or Tan, size 16

-Tungsten Psycho May- Black or Olive, size 16-18

-Cheeseman Emerger, size 18

Creeks & Small Streams

You’re covered with a small handful of attractor patterns that you likely already have in your box. All the old classics like Parachute Adams (one update to this classic pattern- it’s available in our shop with a hi-vis pink post, which you’ll find particularly useful in sizes 16 and smaller), Elk Hair Caddis, and Stimulators still work. You can fish a single dry most of the day. 

When fishing attractor patterns like stimis, it’s important to make sure that your fly is floating high and dry. Since these patterns don’t imitate anything natural, they don’t work so well as emergers.

-Yellow Rubber Leg Stimi- Size 12-16

-Hi-Vis Micro Chubby- Olive (or any color, really) size 16

-Foam Body Caddis (try some of these if you’re over it with having to re-apply floatant to keep your bug on the surface every few casts) Olive, Brown, or Tan, size 14-18

A few other tips

-We’ve had quite a few people coming in to the shop lately that are puzzled as to why the flies we recommended aren’t working for them, in the spot that we sent them to. When we ask to see their rig, we’re often finding dries tied on to leaders that have been chopped down to 6’ (probably the equivalent of 0X or 1X tippet) wind knots in their leaders, and dropper flies tied on 8” below the dry fly. 

Here’s the quick fix- fish a 9’ 5X leader on most of the water in the area. Check for wind knots and replace tippet as necessary. Taper down with tippet sizes between flies if fishing multiple flies. For most water in the area, dropper lengths should be, at a minimum, 18” and can be quite a bit longer when fishing deeper pools. 

-Make sure to carry a thermometer. If you don’t have one, stop by the shop & pick one up. Check the water temperature throughout the day and stop fishing if you see temps rise above 65 degrees. Bring fish in quickly whenever possible and keep the picture taking to a minimum.

-Thanks for reading. It’s a great time to get out on the water, and we hope you have a blast. Feel free to stop by the shop, everyone that works here is on the water whenever they’re not here and we’re always happy to answer questions.