View Full Version : Fishin' Colorado 2011 - Need advise

01-02-2011, 12:01 AM
Instead of our usual Montana trip this year we are thinking about Colorado. I fished the White river in'05 but don''t want to go back there.
We're looking for a central location where we can head out each day to a variety of streams within an hours drive. We prefer small to medium size wadeable water that doesn't have a ton of pressure. We'll be there for 7-10 days ....Anyone got any suggestions ...Breckenridge ? Silverthorne ? Gunnison ? Estes Park ?

Sure would appreciate any input Thanks

David Knapp
01-02-2011, 01:18 AM
Gunnison...or maybe Durango... Personally I would stay on the west slope and personally really like the southwest part of the state. The San Juan mountains have so many great streams that have very little pressure. Gunnison is a great base if u want to fish a little north of there. You will have plenty of good options from small streams to big rivers as well as stillwaters... If you want some specifics on streams, shoot me an email and I'll be glad to share some of what I know about the area...

01-04-2011, 02:15 AM
You might also want to poke around some over at OBN: www.outdoorbloggernetwork.com

There are a few good blogs listed there coming from CO, I think...

I'm hoping to get out there this year myself for my first trip West. Will it ever be the same afterwards? ;)lol

01-04-2011, 04:23 PM
Its hard to beat Southern Colorado for variety.

I would second David's advice on Gunnison.

But if it were me, I would setup a campsite somewhere above Creede (maybe even above the Rio Grande Reservoir). There are lots of great tributaries to fish on the Upper Rio Grande, if you are willing to do a bit of hiking. A very under rated fishery....

If you want to stay in a hotel/motel, Durango would be another good choice. Lots of fishing options within an hours drive, without as much hiking.

Also, another overlooked stream is the Conejos River. Lots of great fishing and in a beautiful location. Camping and Lodging options abound. Lots of good tributary streams, as well.

Best time of year would be Mid/Late July to Mid/Late September...

01-04-2011, 06:42 PM
If you do visit Durango area, don't forget the San Juan river is about 25 miles south, that could always be a day trip. In July lots of good dry fishing and browns and rainbows are common at 18 to 22 inch. big predictable tailwater, not like the Arkansas area.
Rocky Mountain Park is another great area. A couple of years ago I stayed in a cabin on the Big thompson, good brown fishing. In Rocky Mountain Park, you may see people but the idea is to go high, plenty of cuts, browns, brookies and bows. Once you climb a few feet you usually do not see another soul. My wife got a grand slam the last day we fished. Also plenty of other streams in the area outside the park. Tosdd Hosmann has a couple of good books on Rocky Mountain National Park and surrounding streams

01-04-2011, 08:19 PM
Aspen/Basalt is within range of the Frying Pan, Roaring Fork, and Colorado Rivers. If you go during the drake hatch there it can really be something.

01-05-2011, 12:03 AM
THANKS to all of you for your input. I will keep all of your ideas close so it will make the decision process a little easier. Right now we are leaning toward Gunnison but I haven't done any research on the Durango area yet. I have ordered a brochure from the Gunnison Chamber of Commerce and that might help too. I REALLY APPRECIATE ALL OF YOU ....Bob

01-08-2011, 01:20 PM
I've fished Colorado every year since 2006 and I've fished the Front Range from the Cache le Poudre to the Rio de los Pinos and everywhere in between. I now spend most of my time exploring the high country.

I have, however, fished some of the more popular streams too (Blue, Arkansas, Southe Platte, Colorado, Conejos, Rio Grande, Frying Pan, etc.). If you want my recommendation; if you want medium-sized, wadable rivers I would stay in the I-70 corridor somewhere around Dillon/Silverthorne.

With that as a hub, the Blue tailwater is in your backyard and I've caught some really nice fish here. You are a little over an hour from the Colorado, South Platte headwaters, Arkansas, Eagle, and (my favorite destination) RMNP.

Others have suggested Gunnison, I have friends that also enjoy that area but the only place I've fished there is the fish hatchery (Roaring J ??) on the East River in search of kokanee salmon.

If you want some "local" advice, I would recommend this small forum:


Most of the guys on that forum ar backcountry anglers too, but I'm sure they could offer their opinions on the popular waters.

I'm heading out the first two weeks of August, but other than a trip to the southern part of the state in search of big Rio Grande cutts, most of my time will be high in the backcountry of RMNP.

Good luck,

01-08-2011, 05:53 PM
Thanks Chris, Im looking at the I-70 area as well. I appreciate your input....Bob

01-08-2011, 07:31 PM
i always suggest the creed area and even northern nm.

Rio Grande, Gunnison, Small Streams, Rio Costillo just to name a few.... Arkansas isnt far from there either. Email if you want more details.


01-10-2011, 01:28 PM
Email if you want more details.


DD, I have fished in a number of areas that you mentioned and even tried this crazy hike last summer:


We didn't have the same experience you did with fishing, possibly due to the front that moved and in and drenched us, or maybe because we were there in late August (notice there isn't any snow on the far peaks).

We did catch a few of these, but the water seemed like one long riffle. The intersecting stream was a tangled mess deadfall but did manage to fish very well...a bit smaller fish but lots more plunge pools to find them in...

Anyway, I'd like to compare notes with you, if you don't mind. I don't see your email posted anywhere on the forum here, so if you have a second and can drop me a line at petecz@charter.net, I would sure appreciate it.

Thanks, Pete

01-11-2011, 12:52 AM
email sent ..... always like to talk about that area

01-14-2011, 05:32 PM
Have you fished the Taylor, or the East and the Tomichi If so I'm appreciate some feedback on these...Thanks Bob

05-08-2011, 01:55 PM
Bob...I wil be in the Gunnison area in July. I was curios to see if you have found any info on Tomichi, Talor, or the East River. I will have acess to a small stretch on Tomichi but I would like to hit some of the other streams in the area as well.

Does anyone have any fly recommendations for late July in this area?

06-12-2011, 11:47 AM
Instead of our usual Montana trip this year we are thinking about Colorado. I fished the White river in'05 but don''t want to go back there.
We're looking for a central location where we can head out each day to a variety of streams within an hours drive. We prefer small to medium size wadeable water that doesn't have a ton of pressure. We'll be there for 7-10 days ....Anyone got any suggestions ...Breckenridge ? Silverthorne ? Gunnison ? Estes Park ?

Sure would appreciate any input Thanks
Check out the Dillon/Sliverthorne area - you'll catch a lot of fish in all types of water. You do not need a guide - just a good map of the area. I have fished the area (2005, 2007 and 2010) and caught hundreds of fish using a "never sink caddis - pheasant tail dropper" rig.

06-12-2011, 09:02 PM
I really appreciate everyones input. We finally decided on the Gunnison area, we found a cabin on a 500 acre ranch with a mile of the Tomichi we can call our own for 2 weeks. We will venture south toward the Durango area and fish there as well.
Everyone has been really helpful and when we get back I'll try to post a report. My user CP says I can'y post pics so ...don't know how I'll get around that.
Trip starts the 1st of August


07-05-2011, 07:12 AM
I hope runoff will be over by then. Most streams in the state are really blown up, due to 200 to 350 percent snowpack and a long extremely cool spring. The Streams in the south central Front Range are fairing better, but are still pretty high. I fished the S. Platte at the Dream Stream at 550 CFS yesterday, there were fish to be had but conditions were difficult. Have'nt heard reports from the Gunnison area but the Frying Pan is at 25,000 CFS.

Another 3 weeks might do the trick. Not trying to be a downer, just wanted to let you know what I have seen first hand out here so you can prepare yourself. Last year I did a mid June trip out that way, rivers were blown so used my Gazeteer and found small streams to fish for Cutts and Brooks.

Have a Good 'Urn,

07-06-2011, 04:57 PM
Thanks Bones, always good to get some fresh info. I too hope the runoff will be about gone when we get there in August. I haven't talked to any fly shop people in a month or so. I might make some calls and get some idea about conditions..
.....Thanks again