Tranquil Fishing Throughout Ouray
The rivers and streams running though and near Ouray are an angler's dream. Grab your rod, flies, put on your waders and clear your mind for a serene and secluded morning or afternoon of casting lines to the melody of babbling eddies and crystal clear waters. Even better, go with a local guide to access secret spots all over the our mountains.
Photo Courtesy of RIGS Fly Shop
Nearby Rivers & Creeks
Cimarron River: The Cimarron River offers great angling opportunities for wild rainbows and browns. This often overlooked fishery can provide excellent dry fly-fishing throughout the year. Public access to the Lower Cimarron is limited. Target the bottom three miles, starting at the confluence of the Gunnison River. A good piece of water lies just below Silver Jack Reservoir. Access the river along forest Road 858 and at the big Cimarron Campground. The Forks of the cimarron offer excellent public access, solitude, scenery and fun action on dry flies. You never know if it is going to be a rainbow, cutthroat or brook trout that grabs your fly. Mid summer is the best, with fall being the most beautiful. Caddis and mayflies work well but do not overlook big attractor patterns in mid to late summer.
San Miguel River: The region's only un-dammed, free-flowing river is the San Miguel River. The fishing can range from outstanding to very poor depending on snow pack and runoff. The fishing starts to pick up in early to mid summer after the runoff. Rainbows and cutbows are the most common, with browns and cutthroats being less common. Public access is outstanding with the road only a short distance away. Look for the turnouts along the road and a nice hole or run lies only a short hike away. This free-stone river has great hatches of caddis, stoneflies, mayflies and midges. Every day is diferent so it pays to come prepared and ask the local shops what is going on.
Gunnison River: The Black Canyon is the most famous trout fishery in the region. The best time of year is late spring and early summer during the "Salmon Fly Hatch". These giant bugs really get the big browns and rainbows fired up! Look for it to start in mid May in the lower Gunny (near confluence with the North Fork) and continue all the way up river to the East Portal and beyond by late June. Mid summer and fall can be good. Look for consistent caddis and mayfly hatches. Match the hatches with nymphs and/or dry flies.
Uncompahgre River: For the avid fly-fisherman there is a fantastic one-mile section of catch-and-release only fishing in the Uncompahgre River below the dam at the Ridgway State Park. Only artificial flies and lures are allowed. Brown, Rainbow and Cutthroat trout await. Great fishing days can happen here at any time of the year.
Dallas Creek: This large feeder creek flows into Ridgway State Park Reservoir and is home to an excellent trout population, access is limited.
Canyon Creek: One of the few good streams in the Ouray area for fly fishers. Both brook and rainbow trout are found here.
Cow Creek: Upper Cow Creek offers excellent opportunities for those seeking solitude. The more difficult the access (bushwhacking required), the bigger the trout.