LOWER GUNNISON RIVER
DRIFT BOAT FLY FISHING ON THE LOWER GUNNISON RIVER NON-WILDERNESS GUNNISON GORGE NCA
Experience classic big western river overnight float fishing in the heart of Colorado Gold Medal Trout waters.
The Gunnison River offers world-class fly fishing for healthy rainbow, brown and cutbow trout, with extraordinary aquatic insect hatches throughout the year, all within the impressive desert canyon ecology of Gunnison Gorge Nation Conservation Area. Experience one-night camping and two days of fly fishing while drifting through 10 miles of Gold Medal trout waters, including access to our exclusive 2-mile stretch of private riverfront at Angell Canyon Ranch (across from Pleasure Park & Gunnison Forks) within Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area and included in the cost of your trip. This secluded historic ranch rests on a spectacularly scenic bend in the river, offering our guests a chance to separate from the crowds (anchor while drifting and walk wade private property) as part of slowing down the pace and picking apart prime waters with an overnight drift boat float fishing trip.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Think About Your Goals
What do you want out of your two-day overnight guided drift boat float fishing trip on Lower Gunnison River? When booking, communicate with our reservation team and let them know what you’d like to focus on or if you have limitations. Just want a relaxing overnight float fish with family and friends? Work on improving your float fishing tactics? As we say, “it’s your trip”, so be sure to convey your goals in advance to maximize the experience.
Access to 10+ miles of quality trout waters, with both public and private float fishing and wade access near Pleasure Park / Gunnison Forks. The advantage of a drift boat is its ability to cover miles of water. Anglers appreciate the benefits of secure casting platforms, padded high-back seating, and easy access to multiple rod storage. All-day comfort is great for those with low mobility. Ask us how to help with travel plans to include a lower Gunnison River overnight drift boat trip as part of a larger trip to the region when visiting nearby destinations like Gunnison, Telluride, Aspen, Ouray, Grand Junction or Montrose, Colorado.
Drift boat trips are available practically year-round due to a protected lower elevation canyon setting (4500 feet) of the lower Gunnison River. Spring conditions offer epic blue wing olive, and caddis fly hatches, while can’t-miss “Stone Fly Hatches” dominate May and June; summer conditions bring excellent hopper, terrestrial and caddis and PMD fishing, while nymphing and streamer tactics prevail in fall, finishing with midge and baetis in the winter months. Run-off, flash floods and water temps can be seasonal considerations, so be sure to discuss the best times of year to go with our staff.
Expertise – the Lower Gunnison River & Gunnison Gorge NCA
With 20-plus years of outfitting experience in the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area, including walk wade, float fishing, overnights, and three-day deluxe wilderness trips, RIGS has set the standard for quality on the Lower Gunnison River. Our Fly Shop offers a deep selection of curated fly-fishing gear and tackle, plus the best fly selections for the lower Gunnison River, Gunnison Gorge NCA, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, including the East Portal.
WHAT WE PROVIDE
All-Inclusive + Meals
We provide all boats, fishing gear, rod/reel/line, and wade boots as needed. Overnight floats also include quality riverside meals, camping gear, cookware, tents, sleeping bags/pads, tables/chairs, dry bags, provisions, and beverages. Our guides provide access to their arsenal of hand-selected tools of the trade, including site-specific flies, nets, leader/tippet, nipper/forceps, flotant, indicators, and more. However, if you prefer to bring any of your gear, please do!
Low Client-to-Guide Ratio
Drift boat max capacity is 2 anglers to 1 Guide per boat, but feel free to fish solo and get all the prime casts to yourself. Rely on our seasoned float fishing guides to help you enjoy your river camping experience, form good fly fishing habits, and help you understand Gunnison River fishery behavior. Whether you want to perfect your cast, learn more about the resource, or work to catch the fish of the day, our guides are more than guides — they are patient, informative, backcountry stewards.*Please pack lite on these trips – space is limited.
Trips routinely meet and depart from our Fly Shop in Ridgway, with a detailed check-in process to ensure you are properly outfitted for your day on the boat. From there, your guide provides round-trip transportation and a vehicle shuttle as part of the overnight experience.
Custom Meeting & Pick-Up Locations
Let RIGS bring the experience to you! Traveling from Grand Junction, Telluride, Crested Butte, or Gunnison Colorado, or camping nearby? Save drive time and get on the water faster with RIGS optional Meeting or Pick-Up locations. Our advance online waiver process captures guest details in advance of your overnight trip, so our team is informed for easy on-site logistics and all-inclusive gear needs.
In order to legally fish in the State of Colorado, anyone 16 years or older must possess a valid Colorado State Fishing License. The cost of the fishing license is not included in trip prices. Licenses can be purchased for periods of one day or more. We encourage you to purchase Fishing & Hunting Licenses Online prior to your trip.
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GUNNISON RIVER PICKS