LOWER GUNNISON RIVER
GUNNISON GORGE NCA NON-WILDERNESS
Experience classic big western river guided walk wade fly fishing in the heart of Colorado’s Gold Medal Trout Waters!
Explore over 10 miles of guided walk wade fly fishing on the Lower Gunnison River with access to Gold Medal Trout Waters, including RIGS-exclusive 2-mile stretch of private water access to historic Angell Ranch (across from Pleasure Park & Gunnison Forks), and within Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area, and all included with the cost of our Gunnison River fly fishing trips. The federally protected Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park play host to one of Colorado’s best trout fisheries. Often referred to as Black Canyon, the more accessible Gunnison Gorge NCA is undoubtedly western Colorado’s crown jewel of fly fishing. A virtual bug factory is known for prolific insect hatches and outstanding dry fly fishing, including its renowned stone fly hatch (Pteronarcys Californicus).
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Think About Your Goals
What do you want out of your full-day walk wade Lower Gunnison River guided fly fishing trip? When booking, let our reservation team know what you’d like to focus on or if you have limitations. Want to – Have fun with family and friends? Work on improving techniques and tactics? Take in the Gunnison River’s remote canyon desert riparian ecology? As we say, “it’s your trip”, so be sure to convey your goals in advance to maximize the experience.
Access to over 10 miles of Gold Medal quality trout waters, with both public and private water, walk wade access to our guests. Hiking and walk-wading are necessary to cover the Gunnison’s large river features and worth the effort, but let our staff know if lite hiking is your limit. Ask us how to help with travel plans to include a lower Gunnison River walk wade trip as part of a regional tour when visiting nearby destinations like Grand Junction, Montrose, or Delta Colorado, not to mention backdoor access from Crested Butte or Gunnison areas are worth the drive.
Our Gunnison River walk wade trips are a little over one hour from our fly shop. At lower elevations (4500 feet), spring conditions offer epic blue wing olive (BWO) and caddis fly hatches. Can’t-miss “Stone Fly Hatch” dominates May and June. Summer conditions bring excellent hopper, terrestrial and PMD hatches, while nymphing and streamer tactics rule the fall, finishing with midge and baetis in the winter months. Our guided walk wade fly fishing trips are available year-round, yet run-off, flash floods, or heat can be seasonal considerations, so discuss with our staff the best times to go.
Expertise in Gunnison River & Western Colorado Fly Fishing
With 20-plus years of outfitter experience in Gunnison Gorge NCA, including guided drift boat float fishing and three-day deluxe wilderness float fishing 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 East Portal.
WHAT WE PROVIDE
All-Inclusive + Lunch
We provide rod/reel and waders/boots or wade socks/boots (conditions dependent). All Full Day tours include a riverside Charcuterie Lunch (locally sourced meat, cheese, crackers, olives, nuts, fruit, cookie) and filtered water. Our guides provide access to their personal 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! *Make sure to bring your day pack, large water bottle, and rain jacket for this trip as we venture deep into the river canyon.
Low Client-to-Guide Ratio
For your benefit, we exclusively offer a low client-to-guide ratio of two clients per guide, so everyone receives hands-on attention and personalized service – no mixed parties. So you can focus on perfecting your cast, learning more about the resource, or working to catch the fish of the day. Our guides are patient and informative professionals.
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 experience.
Custom Meeting & Pick-Up Locations
Let RIGS bring the experience to you! Coming from Grand Junction, Montrose, Delta, Crested Butte, 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 trip, so our team is informed for easy on-site logistics and your 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.