Float Fishing the Gunnison Gorge – Float Fishing in Colorado

Float Fishing the Gunnison Gorge – Best Fishing Trip in Colorado, is an experience you will never forget and keep you dreaming of the day you will return. It is considered one of the best fishing trips in Colorado and one of the 50 places to fish before you die by Chris Santella. I tell people that have never experienced the Gunnison Gorge, that fishing is only half of the trip.  It is the beauty of the Black Canyon, the wildlife you encounter, the amazing food and of course, the fishing is world-class.

What to expect from a Three Day Float Fishing Trip through the Gunnison Gorge with RIGS: the day starts early at our shop around six a.m. with a beautiful morning drive to the trailhead of Chukar Trail.  The mile-long hike sounds like a lot but happens fast with the anticipation of the days to come.  When we hit the beach the rafts are all rigged and ready to go.  (RIGS sends one of the guides for your trip in the day before you arrive to set everything up, so that you are NOT waiting around for hours while your guides get all the gear ready for your trip.)  We will rig rods, give a safety talk and be on our way.

RIGS offers four different formats on our Float Fishing Trips, Full-Day Drift Boat, 3/4 Day Uncompahgre Single Angler, Overnight Drift Boat, and Deluxe Three-Day Float Fishing. With all trips, whether on our Deluxe three-day float fishing trip or our full-day drift boat trip, we never have our clients sitting on top of a pile of gear in the back of the boat, we provide you with comfortable high back seats.  On overnight sections, we also provide you with comfortable cots to sleep on; far better than a sleeping pad on the ground.  At no additional cost, sleeping bags will be provided upon request. The main difference between the Deluxe and the Drift Boat trips is the section of the Gunnison River. While both sections are within the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area, only the Deluxe is within the 14-mile wilderness section. The Drift Boat trips are a great way to extend that three-day trip into a four or five-day trip. Learn more about the Drift Boat Trips here. 

The Deluxe trips have six clients to four guides with a dedicated gear boat. The Deluxe format includes all rental gear, flies and leader/tippet as are part of your trip.  Most importantly, with a dedicated gear boat, everything, whether lunch or dinner, is set up and ready when you arrive. No waiting, just fishing, eating and enjoying your time. The Deluxe allows you to take advantage of some one-on-one guide time and get the most out of this amazing river. When you are ready for lunch, lunch is waiting; with tables/chairs, and cold refreshments.  The same thing happens with the camp for the night.  Our gear boat guide will breakdown lunch (while you are fishing) and head downriver to set up camp.  That means you can stay out during the prime fishing time with your guide. As we hit the beach at camp, be ready to enjoy an appetizer, drink and settle into your already set up tent and cot.  As the second course arrives, sit back, enjoy the twilight of the inner gorge and the company of great friends.  The Deluxe trip, in short, allows you more time on the water, fewer people, phenomenal cuisine in an all-inclusive experience.

People always ask what is the best time of year to go on a trip through the Gunnison Gorge.  Though the stonefly hatch is the most popular, there are many other hatches that occur in the gorge worth experiencing. From May through September, the Gunnison Gorge is a world-class place to fish.  In May you have all of the Stone Fly nymphs staged on the banks.  The water is a bit higher and the water is off-color but fishing with stonefly nymphs and worms is out of this world;   making short casts to the bank this time of year is a ton of fun.  June is the Stone Fly Hatch.  If you hit the hatch you will have some unbelievable dry fly fishing.  You are throwing bugs that are the size of a small bird.  By July and August, you can expect to start throwing Hoppers/Dropper rig, hopper fishing can be just as good as the Salmon Fly Hatch.  But never count out throwing a nymph rig for success.  September and October can be a mixed bag of Hopper/Dropper rigs, nymphing with small Beatis patterns, BWO dry flies and streamers.  Another question I get a lot is if we are in the boat all day.  The answer to the question is no, you and your guide are out of the boat plenty.  Every guide has their spots they like to fish some are better fished from the bank and others are best fished from the boat.  Water flows play into this as well.   Here are a few quotes from clients this past year.

“Just back home from a great float trip on the Gunnison River with my friends at RIGS Fly Shop. Tim, Matt, and Kelly bust their butts to put you into fish, keep you safe, and feed you well! It was definitely a bucket list experience. I will be back! RIGS is the best!”~ Barry Willett

Look us up on Trip Advisor and find out what people have been saying about us. RIGS Fly Shop is currently booking Three Day Float Fishing Trips through the Gunnison Gorge. They do fill up fast!  If you have any questions give us a call at (970)626-4460. RIGS also offers one day Drift Boat and Walk Wade trips on the Gunnison River year-round.