Local Rivers and Streams
The Upper Gunnison River
The Upper Gunnison holds a large population of Wild Brown Trout with many Rainbows and a few Cutthroat Trout. You have a good chance to catch trout 16-20 inches here.
This is where we do most of our Float Fishing Trips with 5 main boat launches between Almont and Blue Mesa Reservoir 25 miles downstream.
The first 1.7 miles downstream from our shop is public on both sides with the exception of the 1st .4 miles downstream on the East side. Almont Camp Ground is the closest camp spot to Almont, 1.5 miles downstream. The next 7 miles is private and fishes very well by raft, cat, dory or kicker.
There is some good water downstream of the North Bridge boat launch on the South side of the river. The next stretch of good public fishing is the 1.5 mile Van Tuyl Easement East of Gunnison.
Next is the White Water Park (Twin Bridges) with a small section of good fishing.
McCabe's Lane has a good 1/2 mile of fishing upstream on the East side.
The last 3-5 miles of river (depending on Reservoir levels) above Blue Mesa has very good Public fishing.
Taylor River, the Upper 20 Miles
Forty miles upstream from the shop the Taylor River starts in Taylor Lake at 11,600'. Taylor Reservoir is in the middle 20 miles upstream at 9,300'. The 20 miles of Taylor River above Taylor Reservoir is almost all public with another hundred miles of small feeder creeks holding Rainbows, Browns, Cutthroat and Brookies. Nothing big usually, but beautiful water and country. This part of the Taylor gets smaller and smaller the higher you go starting with wide open meandering cut back meadow fishing for the first 10 miles then lots of beaver ponds and brushy fishing.
The Taylor River, the Lower 20 Miles
The lower 20 mile of the Taylor is about 2/3rds public and 1/3 private. Almost all of the 5 miles upstream from us is public with the exception of Dunbar's Ranch and Three Rivers Resort. This is one of the most scenic canyons in the state and a much faster river (great class 2, 3, 4 rafting water). This stretch holds mainly 8-16" fish, Browns and Rainbows with an occasional cutthroat. The most famous 1/4 mile is affectionately known as the hog trough. This section holds mainly fisherman with the occasional 13 pound Brown, Rainbow or Cut. Fine leaders (Fluorocarbons), small flies, a good drift, a lot of patience and some luck is the rule here.
The East River
About 30 miles upstream the East get its start at Emerald Lake 10,500'.
The East between Almont and Crested Butte is private with the exception of a mile of the Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery water. This stretch of water The Division of Wildlife has designated "Artificial flies only", it is also "Wild Trout Water". The hatchery ponds are a great place to work on your casts or bring the family to keep a few trout with bait or lures allowed (no fee but your fishing license, under 16 years old fish free in Colorado!).
Above Mt. Crested Butte there is about a mile of water in the East River Valley involving a long steep hike (bring mosquito spray in the spring).
The 5 miles between Gothic and Emerald Lake has some easy fishing for small trout in small riffles and beaver ponds.
A Lifetime of Fishing
Gunnison County has hundreds of other miles of streams and rivers. The counties elevation is between 7,000 and 14,000 feet, the fifth largest county in the state (about the size of Connecticut). The county population was 13,956 (at U.S. Census 2000 with about 4 people per square mile).
Streams and Rivers within a 1/2 hours’ drive include:
Spring Creek, Tomichi Creek, Brush Creek, Slate River, Ohio Creek and Coal Creek.
Other Streams and Rivers within an hour’s drive include:
Upper Upper Taylor, Willow Creek, Illinois Creek and Cochatopa Creek.
Other Streams and Rivers within an hour and a half drive include:
Lake Fork of the Gunnison River, Arkansas River, Henson Creek, Rio Grande River, Gunnison Gorge and The Black Canyon.