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FISHING ON THE RIO GRANDE

GO TO: Summer Fishing : Winter Fishing

The Rio Grande is truly one of the best “unknown” rivers in America. That is to say, a crowded day on the Grande may resemble a very quiet day on another river. Drift boats frequent the river during the float season, leaving plenty of room for the wade fisherman.

The Rio Grande is the second longest river system in the U.S. South Fork and Creede are located at the headwaters where the absolute best fishing is to be found. A 22-mile section of river near South Fork is designated as Gold Medal Water. The D.O.W. states, “This is your best chance for a trophy fish.” This prestigious designation is only found on 168 miles of very special waters
in Colorado.

In 2001, local anglers voted to remove all bait fishing on the section of the river from South Fork up stream through Creede continuing on to close to the Rio Grande reservoir. Fly and lure fishing are now the only methods allowed. Since the new laws have been implemented, the overall number and the size of the trout have increased exponentially.

If you are a small stream / dry fly fanatic you are in luck! There are 50 tributaries between South Fork and the Rio Grande Reservoir, dumping in hundreds of miles of streams. Approximately 85% of these streams are found on public land and very few are fished on a regular basis.

Lake fishing with a fly rod is one of the most overlooked opportunities in the area. There are also numerous lakes in the area that are stocked by the state and allow very liberal catch limits. However, regulations may change from lake to lake, so check prior to harvesting your dinner. Most of the local fly shops and sporting goods stores will have maps for fishing and can offer great advice on the local waters.

Article & Photos by Joel Condren
South Fork Anglers 877.656.3474 www.southforkanglers.com

Contact the Division of Wildlife for information on fishing season dates, license fees, applications, etc.

(800) 244-5613 - Phone Sales
(303) 297-1192 - Information
Download Fishing Brochure

ICE FISHING

Ice Fishing

If you're seeking a little adventure to add to your winter activities, try wetting a line in our frozen alpine lakes and reservoirs. The thrill of the catch will keep you coming back! Ice Fishing is a sport recently gaining in popularity - according to a State-wide survey 25% of anglers embark on the ice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to go:

Beaver Creek Reservoir: This 114 acre reservoir is a State Wildlife Area near South Fork. There is vehicle access to the parking lot near the boat ramp. Anglers should expect to catch rainbow trout from 10-16 inches and brown trout and kokanee salmon from 10-14 inches. Due to dam inspections, the water level will remain 10-20’ below the high water mark for the foreseeable future. Anglers should take caution on steep slopes approaching the water. The ice is currently breaking up with small areas of open water near the shoreline. It is advisable to stay off the ice at this time. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the DOW Monte Vista office (719-587-6900).

Big Meadows Reservoir: This 114 acre reservoir is a State Wildlife Area west of South Fork. From Highway 160, access along Forest Road 410 (two miles) is by snowmobile, skis or snowshoes. The road has been groomed all the way to Shaw Lake. Anglers can expect to catch rainbow and cutthroat from 10-16 inches and brook trout from 10-12 inches. Ice conditions will continue to deteriorate, and anglers should us caution during this time of the year. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Monte Vista office (719-587-6900).

Mountain Home Reservoir: This is a State Wildlife Area near Fort Garland. The water level in this reservoir is variable and may be low during the winter. It is accessible by vehicle to the boat ramp. Any ice currently on the reservoir should be considered too thin to support anglers. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Monte Vista office (719-587-6900).

Rito Hondo Lake: This 40 acre lake is a State Wildlife Area located west of Creede. Access is by snowmobile, skis, or snowshoes. Anglers can expect to catch brook trout and occasionally cutthroat and rainbow trout. Ice conditions will continue to deteriorate, and anglers should use extreme caution during this time of the year. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Monte Vista office (719-587-6900).

Road Canyon Reservoir: This 140 acre lake is a State Wildlife Area located near Creede. The reservoir is accessible by vehicle. Anglers can expect to catch rainbow trout, brook trout and splake from 10 to 16 inches. Ice conditions will continue to deteriorate, and anglers should use extreme caution during this time of the year. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Monte Vista office (719-587-6900).

Sanchez Reservoir: This large reservoir is a State Wildlife Area near San Luis. It is accessible by vehicle to the boat ramp. The ice is currently breaking up, and anglers should not attempt to go out on the ice. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Monte Vista office (719-587-6900).

Smith Reservoir: This is a State Wildlife Area near Fort Garland. The reservoir was drained in fall 2009 for dam repairs; however, the lake has been restocked. Fair action reported for rainbow trout 12-14 inches. The reservoir is currently ice free. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Monte Vista office (719-587-6900).

Summit Reservoir: Summit Reservoir is a 350 surface acre lake located about 8 miles NW of Mancos and 20 miles NE of Cortez. Summit is stocked with rainbow trout, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish. Anglers are reporting good catches of 10-15 inch rainbow trout. Ice is approximately 8 inches thick.

Trujillo Meadows Reservoir: This 69 acre lake is a State Wildlife Area located 40 miles west of Antonito. Access is by snowmobile, skis, or snowshoes. Any ice currently on the reservoir should be considered too thin to support anglers. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the DOW Monte Vista office (719-587-6900).

Contact the Division of Wildlife for information on fishing season dates, license fees, applications, etc.

(800) 244-5613 - Phone Sales
(303) 297-1192 - Information
Download Fishing Brochure

 

hatch chart

MAY Caddis Streamers
  Midge  
     
JUNE Caddis BWO
  Midge PMD
  Streamers Green Drake
  Stonefly  
     
JULY Caddis PMD
  Stonefly Midge
  Green Drake Streamers
  BWO Terrestrials
     
AUGUST Caddis Streamers
  Midge Terrestrials
     
SEPTEMBER Stonefly Terrestrials
  Midge BWO
  Streamers  
     
OCTOBER BWO Streamers
  Midge Terrestrials
     
BWO=Blue Wing Olive Patterns   PMD=Pale Morning Dun Patterns
*Many areas are Gold Medal catch & release only fishing

 

FLY GUIDE

Wet your line with one of these top fishing flies for our area

Prince Nymph Fall Dave's Hopper
Rio Grande King Black Wooly Worm
Mosquito Fall Orange Asher
Tan Caddis Morning Dun

 

 


 

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