Photo Courtesy Steven Lamb
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing the Conejos River Colorado
The Conejos River is a ninety plus mile long river located
in central southern Colorado that's one of the best trout
streams in the state, yet it's relatively unknown. It's wild
trout are plentiful and the stream river and it's tributaries
offer miles of secluded water. The Conejos is a tributary
of the Rio Grande River. Fly fishing the Conejos River is
as good as fly fishing gets.
The river consist of just about every type of trout water
there is. There's both meadow and fast water canyon
sections. There's pools, riffles, runs, smooth flowing
sections and fast pocket water. There's a huge diversity
and a good population of aquatic insects including
caddisflies, stoneflies and mayflies.
The Conejos River is mostly a tailwater trout stream. It's
headwaters flow into Platoro Reservoir. Just below the
reservoir there's over eight miles of public access in one
area where the river flow through a meadow with deep
pools and riffles joining them. Below the meadow section
the Conejos River flows through Pinnacles Canyon. It
requires some hiking to reach its waters but plenty of
larger size rainbows and brown trout will reward your
efforts. Below the canyon, the Conejos flows through both
private and public sections downstream to Menkhaven.
There you'all find a fly fishing only section.
You can fish the small streams headwaters above Platoro
Reservoir but you will have to hike in. There's also
several good tributary streams that flow into the Conejos
Elk Creek is one of those streams which is stocked with
rainbows near the campground. Elk Creek Trial follows
the stream for over twelve miles and provides access to
some rough, steep pocket water fishing with plenty of
small wild trout. There are both canyon and meadow
sections on Elk Creek.
The Lake Fork of the Conejos River is another fine
tributary of the main stream. You'll find Rio Grande
Cutthroat trout in it's small pocket water pools, runs and
plunges.. The Lake Fork Trail will take you miles into the
backcountry along the stream.
There are several special regulated areas on the Conejos
River. Fly fishing with artificial lures only is required on
Bear Creek Subdivision, Douglas and H.E.B.O.
Corporation properties. Artificial lures and flies only are
required from Saddle Creek Bridge downstream to the
confluence of the Conejos River and the South Fork of
the Conejos River. Lake Fork is regulated as wild trout
water, artificial lures and flies only. From the Meenkhaven
Ranch downstream to Aspen Glades Campground is also
designated as wild trout waters.
The trout season is open year-round.
Springtime fishing is good in the tailwater section except
during a heavy Spring runoff which occurs in June.
Summertime is the best time to fly fish the Conejos River.
Autumn is a good time for catching large brown trout and
in general, early Fall is good for just about all the waters.
Fishing during the winter below the dam can be good on
nice warm days.
Conejos River Colorado
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 to 12 ft., 5 or 6X Nymphing:
71/2 ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Conejos River Fishing Report:
11/02/13 Customers reporting good fishing on
the tailwater section. Using our PF Blue-winged
Olive nymphs, hook size 20. Also, caught two
large browns on our Brown Sculpin. Called to
order more flies.