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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're taking a trip from Ashland, Oregon to Telluride Colorado to attend a Bluegrass festival during mid-May and have six weeks to play around with fly rods on the way there and back. I'm just now researching a bit on where to fish along the way. We'll be taking the "short route" to Telluride which takes us through the middle of Nevada, Arizona and on to Colorado...not the best route for fly fishing but it's the fastest route to the Festival in Telluride. However, on the way back, we've got almost a month to make a loop that takes us through Northern Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana and Washington (perhaps others...depending) on the way back to Ashland, Oregon. So...given the time of year we're going, does anyone have suggestions on where we would find the best trout fishing? We prefer few people, rivers and don't mind hiking/camping...whatever it takes to get there. We are very flexible in regards to the route we take coming back. I'm lucky enough to have found a lady who loves fly fishing as much as I do. By way of saying, there will be no arguments as to the priorities driving back home.
Any suggestions as to fisheries we do not want to miss during that time of year, would be appreciated. Thanks to all. By the way, I was on this group for awhile last year but wandered away. It's good to be back. Anyone needing info on the Rogue River, Oregon, can contact me for an update.
 

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I would fish every skinny water you cross.
I'll send a PM in the next few days of some of my favorites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would fish every skinny water you cross.
I'll send a PM in the next few days of some of my favorites.
Thank you. We have a tough time passing any "skinny water" but know too, that it's easy to spend too much time in non-productive water when better fisheries are just around the corner. This is the first long vacation we've taken and we're really looking forward to it. About 80% of the trip or more will be fly fishing. We're taking our float tubes just in case but prefer wading and fishing if we can.
 

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The stream that flows through Telluride downvalley past Placerville is the San Miguel River, a small freestone river with good numbers of rainbows and brown trout, easily reached from the highway and waded after runoff. You may or may not be there too early. Great scenery. Take the gondola ride from downtown Tell.; ask about alpine lakes at the fly shop.
 

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The problem you'll have in late May is runoff. Most of the freestone streams will be blown out. We've got good snowpack this year, but I think the southern drainages have less that the rest of the state.

I'd try to hit some tailwaters like the San Juan in northern New Mexico, the Fryingpan, and especially the Green below Flaming Gorge in Utah. Check out the flow situation on the Green, though. They do some crazy things with the flows in the spring, but I'm not tuned into it enough to know exactly what or when. These guys can give you the word when the time comes.
 

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I lived in Telluride and other parts in Colorado for 12 years. As others have said, that you may have to hit the tail waters for the bulk of your trip. On the way out, I'd say try to hit Pyramid Lake in Nevada and San Juan in New Mexico. Then post festival, you could hit Paco just down valley from Telluride in Ridgway, the Taylor near Crested Butte (DM me if you want some skinny water in this area that should be clear at that time), The Yampa at StageCoach near Steamboat., then over to the Green. By that time things should be clearing up here in Montana/Yellowstone (take your pick there), Silver Creek then Owyhee..home
 

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Telluride Outside is the fly shop in town and should have some decent info for you. I only did winters down there so don't have a good feel on what happens with runoff. I think the Gunnison is dam controlled and sounds like a neat place to fish.

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Boy, that's going to be a tough time to be fishing in the Rockies, especially this year with normal or better snowpack. Tailwaters would be a good focus. Also, there are some good options in eastern Oregon, northern Nevada, if you poke around a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You should fish the Green. Mems
I fished the Green a number of years ago below the Flaming Gorge dam and did well. I remember that everyone launched their drift boats at the same place and time...and the take out was the same. Fishing was great. There were Cicadas everywhere The name of the game was to slap an imitation on the water near the bank...and big cooperated more often than not. Great day of fishing although no doubt I happened to be there at the right time.
That's the only time I fished the Green. Any suggestions on the Green below Flaming Gorge. We're not taking a boat this trip so we're limited to wading or float tubes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Telluride Outside is the fly shop in town and should have some decent info for you. I only did winters down there so don't have a good feel on what happens with runoff. I think the Gunnison is dam controlled and sounds like a neat place to fish.

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I'll contact that fly shop and see what I can get in the way of info. Thanks
 

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I've fished the Green on the A section below the dam and have only ever waded. It was a little challenging, but lot's of fish can still be had there on foot. There were also a ton of float tube setups I saw that day that seemed to be working so that could be an option for you
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I've fished the Green on the A section below the dam and have only ever waded. It was a little challenging, but lot's of fish can still be had there on foot. There were also a ton of float tube setups I saw that day that seemed to be working so that could be an option for you
Thanks. When I fished that area, I was focused on other boats and can't, after all this time, recall fly fishers wading...but I'm sure they did as there is a trail you can walk along the river, if I recall correctly. As to float tubes, I have a nice one that I'll bring. I could scout out the water the first day and then float tube it if it looks okay. I recall many float tubers going down the Green River below the dam. They would walk around the bad areas and/or take a different line than the drift boats through some areas. But, I'd want to know the water and scout it out ahead of time.
 

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Thanks. When I fished that area, I was focused on other boats and can't, after all this time, recall fly fishers wading...but I'm sure they did as there is a trail you can walk along the river, if I recall correctly. As to float tubes, I have a nice one that I'll bring. I could scout out the water the first day and then float tube it if it looks okay. I recall many float tubers going down the Green River below the dam. They would walk around the bad areas and/or take a different line than the drift boats through some areas. But, I'd want to know the water and scout it out ahead of time.
I walked into the B section a few years ago. Nice couple of days.
 
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