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 

August 18th, 2018 

The rivers in the Gunnison Valley are very low due to the severe drought we’ve had this season. Recent rains and cooler temps at night have helped but we can expect more warm and dry days in August, and the rivers will drop. There are also plans to reduce the flow out of Taylor Reservoir again on 9/1. We can expect very low water for the rest of the season.

It’s been a very busy summer here with a lot of pressure on the rivers and fish during some very tough 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. When the rivers warm up, getting off the water early, by 1 PM or 2 PM, is key. As the water temps rise and the fish get stressed, take extra care of the trout by not handling them. Get any photos early, when your fish is in good shape and not stressed. For a quick photo, 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 some bug activity on the rivers, but the major mayfly hatches on the Gunnison River and the East River are done, though fish are still taking caddis and stoneflies off the surface. The Taylor River is fishing fairly well with spotty mayfly hatches throughout the canyon and up at the C&R stretch. Peak time for the hatch has been from about 12 PM to 3 PM (give or take), and it has been best on cloudy/rainy days. The Taylor is a tailwater with cooler water temps, so fishing through the afternoon can be okay. We’re still seeing stoneflies, BWOs, caddis, PMDs, and some Green Drakes hatching during the middle part of the day. Prior to the hatch, look for fish to feed on stonefly nymphs, caddis pupa, and mayfly nymphs and emergers. 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 8-10. For dry fly fishing, fish BWO ermergers and adults (18-20), Elk Hair Caddis or X-Caddis patterns (14-16), PMDs (14-18), and Green Drakes (10-12). For Stonefly adults, try a Yellow Stimmie or Rogue Foam Golden Stone (8-10) with a mayfly nymph underneath. You can also fish a variety of hopper-dropper rigs through late summer now.

-John Bocchino (Colorado Fishing Manager)

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