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what is the general experience on run off?

knowing freestones will blow out at some point in May or June, what about tailwaters?

wondering if run off is a total buzz kill for 4-8 weeks or is there always a decent river/stream to fly fish here in CO.
 

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No, you can still find descent river or stream fishing. Tailwaters may be effected by the increase in flow due to water release but usually remain clear and fishable. Streams may be blown out at lower elevations but the farther you go up stream towards the headwaters the sooner you find fishable water. Major rivers like the lower Arkansas or Poudre will become high and may remain unfishable into mid summer. You may have to travel a little but will always find fishable rivers or streams.
 

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The gunnison river below each dam will peak at 9000 cfs in early june and be unfishable. But most of the time it will be fishable because the flows are still clear. With the reservoirs still way down, releases will be in the 2000 - 3000 cfs range for most of the spring, then we might even be able to have normal flows this summer and fall, around 1400- 2200 cfs.
Most tailwaters experience a very brief period where they are unfishable. But since this years runoff is needed to help make up the drought in our reservoirs, the tailwaters may again be fishable all runoff.
Generally the free flowing sections of most rivers are good by the fourth of july or shortly after. But we are still quite below average in reservoir capacity, so it may be sooner again.
 
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