Matt McCannel

Fly Fisher/Fly Tier/Guide

Head fishing guide for RIGS Fly Shop Matt McCannel has been leading newcomers and experienced anglers alike on successful trips for more than a decade. Since 2005, he’s been guiding for RIGS full-time, passionately making his clients better anglers. Matt takes a unique, out-of-the-box approach to fly fishing and instruction, with an emphasis on technical tailwater trout.

Listen to Matt McCannel's Show...

Tailwaters of the Uncompahgre River

Matt McCannel, a professional guide, introduces us to the tailwaters of the Uncompahgre River (Paco). On the western slope of the Colorado Rockies, this tailwater yields incredible trophy browns and rainbow. Browns exceeding the 20-pound mark lurk in the shadows of boulders and stumps. Join us as Matt guides us down the river and shares his secrets to catching these monster fish.

Questions asked and answered during the interview:

  • What's the best time of year to catch the trophy browns and rainbows?
  • How do you find the trophy fish?
  • What type of water do they inhabit?
  • Do they attack streamers?
  • What do they eat?
  • What are the top three fly patterns that attract the big fish?
  • Does Euro nymphing work for these fish?
  • How accurate does your presentation have to be to get good takes?

Check out this video: Matt McCannel Sight Fishing Paco's Trophy Trout

Intimately familiar with the waters of Western Colorado, Matt guides in the Gold Medal waters of the Gunnison Gorge and on the Uncompahgre River tailwater “Paco” where he’s helped clients successfully catch Browns up to 20 lbs. He’s known for carrying a ladder with him on his Sight Fishing Trips, giving his clients a huge advantage when it comes to spotting trophy tailwater fish. Above all, his focus is on
giving his clients the most enjoyable experience and getting his clients into the biggest fish — period.

His unique ability to teach and explain even the most intricate details is the key to the success of his clients, and has made him one of the most sought-after guides in the nation.

Matt is an Ambassador/Pro Team member for several of the industries best companies like SAGE, Simms, FishPond, Costa, Scientific Anglers

His mantra? “Go slow and be patient.”

Matt makes his home in Ridgeway, Colorado and can be reached through his website at or by email at


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