Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing the San Miguel River Colorado
Fly Fishing the San Miguel River in Colorado can be a
very rewarding experience. It's one of Colorado's best
kept secrets. It begins from small alpine lakes at an
elevation of approximately 11,000 feet and flows for
almost 90 miles before entering the Dolores River. Almost
50 miles of its water hold trout. It has several tributaries
that hold trout as well as its South Fork. The San Miguel
River falls from the high San Juan Mountains at a steep
gradient through beautiful, red walled canyons. The river
drops over 7000 feet in elevation from its beginning to its
confluence with the Dolores River.
The San Miguel River runs through the city of Telluride
and through the valley along highway #145. Access is
easy and plentiful throughout most of the river's length. It
consist mostly fast flowing pocket water but there's some
pools and long riffles along its course.
Cutbows and rainbow trout are the most plentiful species
but the river also hold cutthroats, and brown trout. Brook
trout exist in its higher elevations.
There are few mayflies that inhibit the San Miguel River
but recently it has been reported hatches of Green
Drakes are occurring in some places. There's also a few
species of Blue-winged Olives but the aquatic insects
consist mostly of caddisflies, although most of the
caddisfly species hatch during the runoff period.
Stoneflies, consisting of several different species, are
quite plentiful and a major source of food for the trout.
The season last year-round
Spring is a good time for fly fishing the San Miguel River
provided you miss the runoff period which usually occurs
in late April, May and early June.
Summertime fishing can be great with good caddisfly dry
Fall is probably the best time for fly fishing the San Miguel
Winter fishing can be good during nice weather periods
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Photo Courtesy Steven Lamb
San Miguel River
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