Autumn Trips

Fall Color Change & Guided Fly Fishing in the Heart of Colorado


Fall fly fishing trips start with the Autumnal Equinox, approximately mid-September through mid-December. As fall nights approach freezing temperatures in the high country and daylight hours shorten, trout receive the signal to feed more incessantly, bringing some of western Colorado’s best fly fishing of the year. Fly fishing during the autumn season is a guest and client favorite, with more favorable weather patterns, fewer crowds, and excellent angling conditions at all guided fly fishing locations.

Early fall (September–October) is a popular time of year to visit, and for a good reason. As the kids return to school, our crowds transition to a relaxed mix of empty nesters, hunters and anglers eager to venture into the brilliant fall color change of the San Juan Mountains surrounding Ridgway. Increased lowlight brings welcome cooler temps, and early shadows to river hatches as remarkably productive fishing prevails on our rivers.

As late autumn (mid-November–mid-December), brown trout exhibit spawning behavior, yet rainbow trout continue their quest to bulk up; even kokanee salmon begin a seasonal migration from deep in reservoirs up into several area rivers. Late fall signals the potential for snowfall at higher elevations. As a result, the region experiences a pause as fish retreat to lower elevations with controlled release flows and stabilized water temps as winter settles in.

Fall in the scenic San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado allows visitors to experience the picturesque fall color change along the Colorado Scenic Byway: San Juan Skyway and The Million Dollar Highway, all without summer crowds. A trip to the region is incomplete without a self-guided photography tour, fall Music Festivals in Telluride, or experiencing the historic and scenic stops of southwestern Colorado’s charming Victorian-era mountain mining towns of Ouray, Silverton, Telluride and Durango, Colorado.

Autumn settles in and fly fishing tours and excursions continue near Telluride, Ouray, Silverton, Montrose, and Grand Junction, Colorado. We offer prime river sections of the Gunnison River: including Gunnison Gorge NCA, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Pak / Curecanti National Recreation Area, San Miguel River, Uncompahgre River and Lake Fork of the Gunnison River, daily throughout the fall. *Fall flight schedules into Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ), a half hour from our shop and accessible via all major airline carriers due to popular destinations like Telluride Ski Resort: Town of Telluride and Mountain Village, and other regional destinations including Gunnison Crested Butte, Ouray, and Silverton Colorado. Renting a car is highly recommended if you fly to the area in autumn.