FLY FISHING THE GUNNISON VALLEY

Located in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, Crested Butte and Gunnison are truly a fly angler’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. Whether you're interested in chasing Rainbow’s and 
Brown’s on the Gunnison River, or moving through pocket water on our smaller streams, our guides 
will be by your side to share their wealth and knowledge of our local watershed. Choose from a walk 
wade trip, float trip, or multi-day combination of both, depending on your preferences. 

For those of you that are a lifelong angler or casting a fly rod for the first time, our guides will teach 
you based on your skill set. Let us choose the flies, tackle, and equipment, to help you land your first 
trout on the fly, or fight the fish of a lifetime. 

See below for current water conditions and an updated fishing report. 

"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

Current water conditions

The rivers are clearing up around Gunnison Valley, giving anglers a sense of excitement for whats around the corner. Our current snowpack level is below average, and while winter is still upon us, we need more moisture to fall to give us what's needed, following a well below water level last summer.

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

7/15/21
The past 6 weeks here in Gunnison Valley have proven to be fantastic with all of our major hatches moving up the watershed and through the tributaries! We are still experiencing some great dry fly fishing with Drake’s & PMD’s surfacing midday, while Caddis are coming off in the afternoon and before dark! Stoneflies are also a major source of food for our trout. Good patterns include Pats Rubberlegs size 8-14, Micro & Psycho Mayflies 14-18, Copper Johns 14-18, Pheasant Tails 12-18, Two Bit Hooker 14-18, JuJu Baetis 16-20, Yellow Sallies 14-18, and Missing Link Caddis 14-18. 

As July continues we will start to see these conditions shift, unless we get more moisture. The rivers will continue to drop and water temperatures will warm. We are expecting the western drought to carry on into August which will put pressure on the fishery. As a result and to be good stewards of our resource guides will carry thermometers to gauge water temperatures throughout the day. It's important to note, when the gauge reaches the upper 60’s, it’ll be time to reel it up for the day and focus on other activities. We’ll need to take extra care of our fish during the August heat, by minimizing the time fish are handled, keeping them wet at all times, and making sure they get revived and released properly. 

As part of our contribution to the health and sustainability of the local fishery, Eleven Angling will be shifting start and end times earlier in the day for fishing itineraries. While standard full day trips may not be an option, we will focus on morning trips which still produce some exciting opportunities for angling enthusiasts. What does this mean for our anglers, it means, we will be getting on the water earlier and pulling off the water earlier. This is all a part of practicing good stewardship of the resources and species within. Also, it will allow our anglers to take advantage of the best time to be on the water. For the adventure seekers, high alpine lakes are a great alternative to spend time on the water chasing fish and potentially seeing a variety of species that you wouldn’t be able to find in the rivers.

Private Water Options

The feeling of solitude is a major reason many of us choose to enjoy the sport of fly fishing. Irwin Guides is fortunate to have private water opportunities for our guests to experience. With miles of beautiful oxbows and sheltering willows, Tomichi Creek is where you'll quickly find yourself focused on the pursuit of catching fish, verses contemplating your next move based on the traffic of other anglers. This true, wild Brown Trout fishery, is paradise when it comes to Colorado fly fishing. Split up by beats, this stretch of river remains sustainable with eager fish all summer long. Tomichi Creek reservations are based on availability and water conditions. A rod fee is required to gain access to this section of river. Call us to find out more!

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