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Motrout has attached these 7 pictures to this report. The message is below.
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The Uncompahgre tailwaters near camp (a small footbridge allows anglers to fish both sides of the stream without attempting a difficult crossing.)
The Uncompahgre tailwaters near camp (a small footbridge allows anglers to fish both sides of the stream without attempting a difficult crossing.)
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Being a good Colorado tailwater with ample access, the Uncompahgre gets its share of fishing pressure.
Being a good Colorado tailwater with ample access, the Uncompahgre gets its share of fishing pressure.
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An Uncompahgre rainbow
An Uncompahgre rainbow
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The Uncompahgre looking up at Ridgway Dam
The Uncompahgre looking up at Ridgway Dam
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A little rainbow taken from a pond within Ridgway State Park
A little rainbow taken from a pond within Ridgway State Park
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Pretty scenery in Ridgway State Park
Pretty scenery in Ridgway State Park
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A lookout at Wolf Creek Pass along highway 160 high in the San Juan Mountains
A lookout at Wolf Creek Pass along highway 160 high in the San Juan Mountains

Report at a Glance

General RegionRidgway State Park
Specific LocationUncompahgre tailwater
Time of Dayall day
Fish Caughtrainbows
Conditions & Hatchessome pale morning duns hatching in the morning. Daily T-storms in the early afternoon with clear, pretty mornings and evenings

Details and Discussion

MotroutAugust 4th, 2014, 1:07 pm
Posts: 319
Made it to the Uncompahgre River for three days on a week-long camping/fly-fishing trip all around SW Colorado. We arrived in Ridgway State Park and set up camp on Wednesday afternoon, and until Friday night, the only breaks from fishing were to eat and sleep.

The fishing was excellent over the course of all three days, with some scattered dry fly action (PMDs, mostly) to go with consistent nymph and streamer success. The Unc is an absolutely beautiful tailwater stream, the perfect mix of a good, hearty challenge (most of the time) and almost painfully easy fishing (occasionally.) The lush river valley, and surrounding high country couldn't have made for a better setting. The fish caught were nothing spectacular in terms of size, though I did have one long, badly ending fight with a brown of rather immense proportions.

In all, a fine trip, and I'll let the pictures tell the rest.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
Jmd123August 4th, 2014, 5:33 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2310
Wow MO, nice photos! Glad to hear you had a great trip, sadly one lost big guy (we've all been there and will be there again...) but it sounds like the rest of the time you were having lots of fun with the fishies. And I don't think anyone could ask for nicer scenery in the background, just beautiful! Nothing like getting up in the mountains, been a while for me because of not enough money and too much fishing around here to explore.

How big were they exactly, what was your fly rod outfit, and what flies worked best?

And BTW that last picture is really mind-blowing! Thanks for sharing!

Jonathon

P.S. Wild or stocked fish, or a mix of both? I imagine with heavy fishing pressure it has to be stocked...
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
MotroutAugust 4th, 2014, 6:47 pm
Posts: 319
Thanks!

To answer your questions, the best method, somewhat unfortunately, tended to be dredging deep with nymphs.I did pretty well with a woolly bugger and a small dropper, either pheasant tail or copper john. I did take some fish on the surface with PMD imitations, but that was the exception more than the rule.

The fish ranged from 7-8 inchers up to 16-17 inches, a mixture of stocked and wild trout. Despite heavy stocking, I know some are wild, because in a few slack eddies, there were rather large schools of 2-3 inch trout that had to have been naturally reproduced. There are browns and cutthroats, but 'bows are the bread and butter on this river.

I dare not even speculate about the size of the brown that I lost, because I'm not even sure I believe my own estimate on that and I wouldn't expect anyone else to. But it was definitely the biggest trout I've hooked into, and it's not close.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
DUBBNAugust 10th, 2014, 10:47 pm
Colorado

Posts: 47
Glad you did well there. Go ahead and shout out your estimate. Theres been some 10 lbers stocked there, and the pond where you caught the one Bow.

Your report of wild trout in that stretch of the river is the first I have ever heard. I hope you are right.
It's OK to disagree with me. I can not force you to be right.
MotroutAugust 11th, 2014, 11:17 pm
Posts: 319
As for the size estimate, I'll go 8-10 pounds. But it really is a rough estimate. I've never seen a trout that big at close range so I don't really have a frame of reference. It was a monster though, by any reasonable standard. I hooked him in the river above one of the many little man-made boulder gardens, and he took me for quite a ride before getting off.I wasn't targeting trophies, just nymph fishing and happened to pick up a pig more or less by accident.

I guess I don't know for sure the tiny trout I saw were wild, but they were tiny (2-4 inches). Maybe it's possible they stock fingerlings but otherwise they would have to be stream-born.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
GusAugust 18th, 2014, 4:10 pm
colorado

Posts: 59
looks like a blast!
really kicking myself for not making it out there when I was living in CO!
"How do you help that son of a bitch?"

"By taking him fishing"

-A River Runs Through It

www.jsrods.com
MotroutAugust 19th, 2014, 12:17 am
Posts: 319
looks like a blast!
really kicking myself for not making it out there when I was living in CO!

Well, it was a nice little river. But having spent quite a bit of time in CO myself I'm sure you got to fish a good many streams just like her.

So much water in even a little corner of that state, you couldn't even hit all the highlights in half a lifetime. On the drive out (and back) it seemed like we were crossing another blue-ribbon, famous trout stream every hour. And that's without even guessing at all the other good ones that I don't know anything about........The only wonder is that I made it to the stream I came to fish without stopping at a dozen others first.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
OldredbarnAugust 23rd, 2014, 9:14 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2585
In all, a fine trip


There's the bottom line...That's what counts anyway...Beautiful stuff there. Colorado is on my bucket list. I've never made it there. I have some friends that go nearly every year and they rave about the fishing they have had.

Thanks!

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood

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