Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing the Gunnison Valley:

Choose from walking and wading, floating or lake fishing depending on your preferences.

Located in the heart of Colorado Rockies, Crested Butte and Gunnison are truly a fly fisher's paradise.  Surrounded by pristine rivers and spectacular mountains, it is easy to see why so many come for the fishing and stay for the scenery. Choose between chasing Rainbows, Browns, and Cutthroats on our semi-private water on the Taylor River or chase wild trophy trout on the Gunnison River,  the East River or many of the small creeks in the valley.  Not only are these rivers some of the best in the West but the surrounding scenery is beautiful and our skilled guides will be by your side to share their wealth of local knowledge. 

Whether you are a lifelong fly angler or trying for the first time, our guides will meet you wherever you are in your skill set.  Let us choose the appropriate flies, tackle, and giving tips to help you land either your first trout on fly or the absolute fish of a lifetime!

"The veterans had stories and smiles that I'm certain will last far into the future. Billy, Ben and Dylan provided us with an excellent trip and exemplify the hospitality and warmth of this valley." - Bryan from Project Healing Waters


Eleven Experience is committed to the conservation and long-term sustainability of the local watershed. During the severe drought we are experiencing in the western slope of Colorado, we will continue to closely monitor conditions that impact the health of the fishery. The scheduling and timing of fishing trips will be influenced by current conditions; therefore, availability cannot be guaranteed.

GUNNISON RIVER FLOWS                                       TAYLOR RIVER FLOWS
                   TOMICHI CREEK FLOWS                                          EAST RIVER FLOWS
          LAKE FORK FLOWS                                                  COCHETOPA CREEK FLOWS

               OTHER VALLEy Water Conditions

                 Gunnison Weather Forecast 

Fishing Report 

July 15th, 2018 

The rivers in the Gunnison Valley have gotten very low with this terrible drought. Our part of the state is seeing some of the worst of it. Recent rains will help some, but we need a lot more. It’s a very busy July and a bad combination of the most pressure on the rivers and some very fragile conditions. Anglers can reduce the negative impacts on the fishery by fishing during the coolest part of the day, during mornings and evenings, and monitoring water temps to make sure we are not harming trout. Many of us stop fishing at about 65 or 66 degrees to be safe. At 68 degrees or more, trout mortality increases. As the water temps rise and the fish get stressed, take extra care of the trout by not handling them. If you want a quick photo and your fish is in good shape, make sure you wet your hands and keep trout close to the water to minimize the time they are out of the water. Just a few seconds is more than enough to get a photo. If trout are too stressed, quickly release fish without handling them. If trout need to be revived, hold them in the current facing upstream. Do not rock them back and forth. Moving water through their gill system from behind is not good for them. Once they have enough oxygen and they are ready, they will swim away on their own. 

We’re still seeing decent bug activity on the rivers, but the major hatches on the Gunnison River and the East River are past peak now. The Taylor River is fishing well as the summer mayfly hatches move through the canyon. Peak time for the hatch has been from about 11 AM to 2 PM (give or take). We’re seeing Golden Stones, BWOs, caddis, Yellow Sallies, PMDs, and Green Drakes still hatching during the middle part of the day, and there is a good spinner fall in the evenings. Fish are moving into the riffles to feed on emerging mayflies, and they are also chasing caddis and stoneflies. Prior to the hatch, look for fish to feed on stonefly nymphs, caddis pupa, and mayfly nymphs. For nymph fishing, try a tandem nymph rig using a combination of mayfly nymphs and stonefly nymphs. You can fish a big stonefly nymph up front with a mayfly nymph or caddis pupa or Hare’s Ear trailing behind. Good mayfly nymphs include Barr’s BWO Emergers, Two-Bit Hookers, Copper Johns, Juju Baetis, Micro Mayflies, and Pheasant Tails. For stonefly nymphs, try Pat’s Rubber Legged Stonefly Nymphs, 20-Inchers, and Prince Nymphs, size 6-10. For dry fly fishing, fish BWO ermergers and adults (18-20), size 14-16 Elk Hair Caddis or X-Caddis patterns, Yellow Sallies (16), PMDs (14-16), and Green Drakes (10-12). For Golden Stonefly adults, try a Yellow Stimmie or Rogue Foam Golden Stone (8-10) with a mayfly nymph underneath. 

-John Bocchino (Colorado Fishing Manager)

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