Climate & Hatches

What You Can Expect on The Rio Grande Throughout The Seasons

It doesn’t matter what time of year, we would love to hear from you! All of us here at RGA & SFA hope to spend some time with you on the water! Below is a brief description of our ever changing seasons.


Springtime Fishing on The Rio Grande

This is the time of year to get rid of cabin fever! Float Trips start as soon as the river flows will allow, normally this is around the 1st of April.

This can prove to be some of the best nymphing and streamer fishing of the year and will last until run off starts in mid May. The fish are very hungry after their long Winter hibernation, and will attack a well-placed fly.

Book a trip, I guarantee you will be the only boat on the river. I will say it again, come fish the Rio in April!!!

Rio grande angler guide Billy holds up a large rainbow trout caught during the Spring in Creede, Colorado.
Happy clients smile at the camera as thy drift down the rio grande river on a guided fly fishing trip during the summer.


Summertime Fishing on The Rio Grande

The Rio Grande is best known for two of the early season hatches. The giant stone-fly, or salmon-fly, starts its upstream migration around the first part of June. Anyone who has ever ‘hit’ a salmon-fly hatch will most likely begin to shake with anticipation of this annual event. Imagine the opportunity to cast giant stimulator’s, sofa pillows or a Chernobyl anything to giant browns and rainbows lying beneath the Willows along the rivers edge.

Shortly after the salmonfly hatch has moved on, the green drake, a large dark mayfly, will start to emerge each day by mid morning and produce some of the most explosive dry fly takes to be found on any river. Prolific hatches such as caddis, dark stones, yellow sallies, BWO’s and PMD’s continue through the month of July when they give way to warmer, lower water levels and the start of the terrestrial season.

A ‘hopper hatch’ is an almost daily occurrence on the grass-lined banks of the lower Rio in August. This is also when many of the guides will choose to throw giant woolly buggers or streamers in the deep holes and under-cut banks. Each year this method produces some of the largest fish of the season.


Fall Fishing on The Rio Grande

If you were to survey 100 fishing guides as to their favorite time of the year to fish, I would bet that 95 % would tell you mid-

September through mid-October. It is spectacular. This time of year we find that we have the river all to ourselves and have ample opportunities to locate some of the trophy browns in the river. Cool crisp days with the Aspens and Cottonwoods changing into their autumn colors make this one of the most phenomenal times in the Rockies.

Float Trips are an absolute must this time of year.

A brown trout, caught from the Rio Grande River in Creede, Colorado, is held high by a Rio Grande Angler guide.
Snow falls on the Rio Grande Angler fly shop in downtown Creede, Colorado.


Winter Fishing on The Rio Grande

If you are here to ski don’t overlook the fishing opportunities around Creede & South Fork. Things really slow down as nighttime temps drop to well below freezing and the river cools.

However, the San Luis Valley gets more than 300 days of sunshine per year and on a good sunny winter day the river can be very productive while nymph fishing.

Call the shop for the latest report and winter fishing opportunities.

“There will be days when the fishing is better than one’s most optimistic forecast, others when it is far worse.  Either is a gain over just staying home.”
~Roderick Haig-Brown, Fisherman’s Spring, 1951~