I had the chance to angle the Uncompahgre River atPa-Co-Chu-Puk (Ridgway State Park) a couple of days ago.It was beauteous fly fishing weather with anair temperature around 60F, with mostly sunny skies and little wind.The Unc was flowing at a meager 61 cfs, whichwas good for sight fishing although the water had a pronounced green tingewhich managed to make sighting fish more difficult than it should have been.The only insects that we saw on the water?ssurface all day were a couple of caddisflies and red quills?that?s it.Not one natural rise all day.
We began fishing at 9:30 AM and explored above the bridgefirst.The photo shows Ryan nymphingwhat we call the epic run, due to several 24 inch trout that can almost alwaysbe found here.Sure enough, we found acouple of 22-24 inch ?bows and a 21 inch Snake River cutthroat trout in thearea, and although we managed to dupe a couple of smaller fish, we failedmiserably trying to hoodwink the three big ones.Paco?s trophy trout don?t get big by beingdumb.


Early in the day I snagged my nymphing rig on the bottom andwhen I finally worked it free, I realized that I had snagged another anglers?dual-fly rig made up of a #18 purple Jujubaetis with a #20 red thread worm trailer.I liked my newfound rig better than what Iwas using, so I tied on the Juju and the little red midge larva and used itmost of the day.Can?t beat $4 worth offree flies!We caught around 20 rainbowtrout total, with most of them being hatchery fish but did catch a couple ofwild ?bows.A majority of the rainbowtrout were in slow, choppy, knee to thigh-deep riffled water, but a couple werebeneath the depths of the many man-made plunges.Most of the ?bows I caught were on the redmidge, but Ryan caught several on a #20 purple Jujubaetis.Sadly, I stung and lost a LOT of fish.My lack of fishing prowess on this trip wasthe baseball equivalent of striking out 3 times and committing an error in thefield.I was the football equivalent ofRyan Leaf.
Yeah, I was that bad.


We did manage to catch two brown trout, certainly not thehogs that Paco is famous for, but a couple of solid 14-15 inch brownsnonetheless.Paco browns are gorgeousthis time of year as they prepare for their reproductive romp.Ironically, both brown trout munched a #18Flashback Baetis Nymph, which is an Orvis fly that I?ve recently becomeenamored with.

Although we were able to see cutthroats better than ?bowsand browns in the stained water, we caught a grand total of 1 Snake River cutt.She stretched the tape to around 17 inches,but was not exactly the Gisele Bundchen of cutthroats.The Crystal River Hatchery in Carbondaledeposits their used female brooders there each summer, and I?ve seen Snakes aslarge as 24 inches in the past.Picturedis a lovelier Snake River cutt captured during an earlier wintertime trip toPaco.

​We loaded up the ?Taco? and headed towards the Gunnison Country at about 4:30 PM, itching to return to Paco for another opportunity at the BIG browns, ?bows, and cutts that had eluded us on this day. We left pretty satisfied as all day long we only saw two other anglers. I guarantee my home waters, the Taylor, Gunnison, and East Rivers saw a ton of felt today.