Cimarron River

Details

Location:
Cimarron, CO
United States United States
Coordinates:
38.45309, -107.54361
Distance:
0.0 Miles
Description:

The Cimarron River is a tributary of the Arkansas. It extends over 698 miles (1123 km) across four states (New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Kansas). The headwaters flow from Johnson Mesa west of Folsom in northeastern New Mexico. The river enters the Oklahoma Panhandle near Kenton, then crosses the southeastern corner of Colorado where it flows into Kansas. It then re-enters the Oklahoma Panhandle, again into Kansas, and finally back into Oklahoma where it flows into the Arkansas River at Keystone Reservoir above Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Head East on Hwy 50 towards Gunnison (out of Montrose). Go past the little town of Cimarron (don't blink), make your next right. Public access begins past the National Forest Boundary Sign. Fall is a wonderful time to fish. The days are cooler and the fish are more active getting ready for winter. It is shaping up to be a great fall for fishing with a nice monsoon season waning and the rivers looking good. Don't despair that summer is almost over, that's a good thing...Fall is almost here.

The Cimarron River is a major tributary to the Gunnison River flowing through the Uncompahgre Wilderness and into the big river from the south, just below Morrow Point Dam. There are several ways to reach the Cimarron River basin including a scenic route over Owl Creek Pass from Ridgway. I think the Owl Creek drive is the prettiest in the state. Many scenes from True Grit were shot on location near here. You will be amazed by the diversity of landscapes, from alpine tundra to majestic spires, pinnacles and castles blocking the sun to dark, green forests carpeting steep mountains. And water, water everywhere.

Most of the lower Cimarron is private and off limits to the public but three miles of water above where it enters the Gunnison are open to fishing. There is some nice water below Silver Jack Reservoir running alongside the campgrounds on forest service road 858 but not as much solitude as you might want. (Big Cimarron Campground, 18 sites, no water, pit toilets.)

Flyfishers need to concentrate instead on the forks of the Cimarron where the swift waters hold lots of rainbow and brook trout (and some cutthroats). Anglers can cast flies to pocket water, smooth glides, riffle after riffle, and work from head to tail an occasional pool. The fish are rarely big, maybe 14-16 inches tops, more like 9-12 inches on average, but the rivers are fun to wade, built for dry flies and you won't be casting shoulder to shoulder with other fishermen. Both the Middle and West Forks have good road access from forest roads while reaching the balance of the East Fork requires hiking a streamside trail (TR 228). The East Fork runs through a green, grand valley from its headwaters. There is a loop trail which connects the two streams (TR 227).

The West Fork Cimarron River has cascading waterfalls and handsome scenery. You can see Wetterhorn Peak (14,015 feet) to the southeast. To the north, the Owl Creek Pass area and Chimney Rock and other rock pinnacles and precipitous peaks dominate the view. There are good roads which follow the stream (forest service road 858 also known as Owl Creek Pass Road and forest service road 860) as well as a nice trail (TR 226), the West Forks Trail, which follows it for some time. Some of the pools up by Owl Creek Pass have some small and plump but skittish cutthroat trout.

Elevation: 6,750 feet to 12,960 feet.

Spot Access:
Parking (car/truck), Picnic Area, Swimming Area, Shore fishing access, Fly Fishing, Floating
New Photo

Photos

Map

Map for 38.45309, -107.54361
New Fishing Report

Fishing Reports

Cimarron River Fishing Report 07.30.12

  Cimarron UPDATED: 07/28/2012 The FORKS OF THE CIMARRON-EAST-MIDDLE-WEST: If chasing wild fish in small rivers is your thing, this is your place. With an elevation of 9600 feet each of these rivers have there own high alpine breathtaking valley. All three forks have an abundance of pocket water, small pools and riffles. Great hatches can be expected throughout the summer. A dry fly fisherman's dream. Happening Now: You can access the forks of the...

Cimarron River Fishing Report 10.17.11

The Cimmarron fishes great heading into the Fall, especially the Big Cimarron section bellow Silver Jack Reservoir. Stone fly Nymphs will produce action all day long. You will need to nymph deep in the larger pools Otherwise, dry dropper technique works best on most sections. Try para-hoppers and the purple prince. The Forks of the Cimarron are fishing very well all dry fly action. Stimulator’s, PMX’s and a darker Elk Hair Caddis will produce fish all day long. With the cooler temps. don’t...

Cimarron River Fishing Report 09.20.11

The Cimmarron fishes great heading into the Fall, especially the Big Cimarron section bellow Silver Jack Reservoir. Stone fly Nymphs will produce action all day long. You will need to nymph the deep in the larger pools Otherwise, dry dropper technique works best on most sections. Try para-hoppers and the purple prince. The Forks of the Cimarron are fishing very well all dry fly action. Stimulator’s, PMX’s and a darker Elk Hair Caddis will produce fish all day long. With the cooler temps....

Cimarron River Fishing Report 04.08.11

UPDATED4/6/11 by Matt McCannel(Guide) Fishing on the Cimarron is not bad right know. I would keep most of my fishing around the town of Cimarron down to the inlet at Marrow Point. I witnessed a few Caddis dancing on the water last week. Most of my fish took a size 18 Peacock Soft Hackle and a Red Copper John in size 16. A good option until runoff hits. The Roads up to the Forks of the Cimarrons is still closed.     Good Luck.       Rigs Fly Shop and...

Cimarron River Fishing Report 08.17.10

I would be fishing the Forks any of them. A double dry rig is proforming the best for me. Fly’s like the Stimulator and Trudes are tough to beat on the Cimmaron with a size 18 Hare’s Ear or Copper John. A Dark Cahill in a size 12 and a Twilight Slack Water Caddis in Olive in size 14 are my go to flys right now. The trees are green and the water is beautiful so get up there. Good Luck.         Rigs Fly Shop and Guide Service 970-626-4460 www.fishrigs.com...

Cimarron River Fishing Report 06.15.10

The roads are now OPEN! For the next couple of weeks, fish the forks of the Cimmaron’s. The Big Cimmaron is still running high fishing will be a little slow but will pick up as the weather is nice. A dry dropper rig is the way to go. Fly’s like the Stimulator and Trudes are tough to beat on the Cimmaron with a size 18 Hare’s Ear or Copper John. The trees are green and the water is beautiful so get up there. Good Luck.         Rigs Fly Shop and Guide Service...

Cimarron River Fishing Report 05.18.10

UPDATED2/20/10 by Matt McCannel(Guide)   The roads are still closed     Remote High Alpine Paradise!         RIGS Fly Shop & Guide Service   PO Box 2086 565 Sherman Suite 2 Ridgway, Colorado 81432 (970) 626-4460 Email: info@fishrigs.com Web: www.fishrigs.com    ...
RIGS Fly Shop & GUIDE SERVICE
over 5 years ago (06/02/2009)

Cimarron River Fishing Report 06.02.09

Cimarron River Report:Owl Creek Pass has just opened to access the Cimarron and the water is dropping daily and with that, clarity is improve as well. The Cimarron River as well as the lakes in the area can also be accessed via highway 50 near the town of Cimarron and reports of successful attractor fishing in the west fork are already surfacing. Stay tuned for more information regarding river levels and conditions, or stop by RIGS Fly Shop for the most recent updates. www.fishrigs.comRIGS Fly...

Fish

Brooktrout-240-fw

Trout, Brook (Salvelinus fontinalis)

Freshwater
Fish_1116236325_speid54

Trout, Steelhead (Rainbow) (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Guides

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Rigs Fly Shop and Guide Service

Ridgway Independent Guide Service (RIGS) and Fly Shop is conveniently located in the incredible Uncompahgre River Valley nestled below the majestic San Juan Mountains in Ridgway, Colorado and plays...
Ridgway, CO, United States United States

Lodges

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Tournaments

There are no tournaments associated with this fishing spot.