There’s something about the Lower Gunnison River in the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area, an almost out of this world feel to it.
It is both desolate and full of life, forcing us to question our senses. The history of the area alone is enough to overwhelm with archeological sites dating back before the Pyramids. It holds a special place in our hearts here at RIGS. The world-class Gold Medals Waters of the Gunnison act as the pulse of the area; home to thousands of trout. Not just trout, but big beautiful brown and rainbow trout, many of them well over 18 inches. While this incredible fishery may leave you aching to wet a line, the mastery of these waters requires a deep knowledge and patience to understand. Our guides’ passion for the Gunnison River often borders on obsession, with guides eagerly anticipating when they will return to the river that only a special few get to experience.
The best way to experience the Lower Gunnison and Gunnison Gorge is by boat, allowing our clients to access miles of secluded water teeming with fish. The Lower Gunnison River is fish-able and floatable year round. The river fishes best April through October. Spring, Summer and Fall is the time of the dry fly. Caddis, Stone, May Flies and Hoppers dominate the river throughout the summer months. The River is best fished from a drift boat; this allows you to fish areas you don’t have a chance to get at from the bank. Our drift boats are the perfect way to experience comfort with their state of the art ultralight technology that gets our clients into the best locations with little to noise to disturb the fish.
What takes the experience on the Lower Gunnison to the next level is our guides. RIGS guides are a passionate, dedicated and patient lot of true teachers. Their ability to get new anglers into fish as well as challenge experienced anglers is what we specialize in. Below is a glimpse of some of the best guides in the region and RIGS top guides.
Matt McCannel, RIGS Head Guide, has been guiding in the Gorge for 13 years. On average he spends 80 days out of each year guiding on the Gunnison River. He will do just about anything to get his clients into fish; his relentless enthusiasm is his driving force.
Jeff McKenna has been guiding in Colorado for 7 years. He describes his passion for the Gunnison best in his words, “the Lower Gunnison is such a special section of river. It contains so much fishing opportunity and versatility as it winds through such beautiful canyons. The deep pools, small riffles and bigger runs provide the angler with not only fishing challenges, but logistic challenges that demand a strong-willed angler. That’s few of the reasons I love the ‘Lower G’”.
Chance Harris has been immersed in the outdoors from a very young age. Hunting and fishing are a part of who he is, his ability to adapt to changing conditions, his patience and his willingness to share his passion for fishing with others are some of the qualities that make him such a great guide.