Telluride Area Rivers
Western Colorado Rivers
The Telluride area is home to the San Miguel River, but has easy access to other rivers that are nearby. Once you book a fishing trip, guides will make sure to take you to the sweet spot to maximize your chances and experience some of Colorado’s best river fishing. To book your trip today, call us at 888-376-9770!
San Miguel River
The San Miguel River begins in the San Juan Mountains above Telluride, Colorado and ends near Uravan with the Dolores River. The San Miguel is mostly free flowing and drops over 7000 feet from an alpine ecosystem to the desert. The river offers miles of accessible fishing and while the main river holds predominately Rainbow and Brown Trout, the headwaters and side creeks are home to Brookies and Cutthroats. The summer and fall months provide wonderful dry fly fishing. However, the river is accessible year-round, with often the largest fish being caught in the spring, prior to runoff. Beginning anglers will find the San Miguel an excellent location to improve their skills on this somewhat "non-technical" river. The seasoned fisher will also find many challenging situations, as well as fish of surprising size and strength. We are truly blessed to have this treasure right in our back yard. The South Fork of the San Miguel is found west of town in the Ilium Valley.
The Gunnison: Black Canyon, Montrose and Delta
The lower fourteen miles of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River (The Gunnison Gorge) is a Gold Medal fishery holding large Browns and Rainbows. This section of river is a designated Wilderness Study Area where access is difficult and commercial use is very limited. Few locations provide the combination of excellent fishing, wildlife and scenery which you will find in the Black Canyon. It is one of the premier trips of the lower forty-eight! The Black Canyon is a Fee-Use area and special regulations apply - please stop by the any Telluride area Fly Shop to obtain a copy of the BLM regulations. All trips into the Gorge are pack-in, pack-out; please follow all regulations and help us keep this incredible resource in its pristine condition!
The Dolores: Hwy. 145 below McPhee Dam outside CortezUncompahgre River: North from Ridgway Reservoir to Montrose (18 miles)
South of Telluride, the Dolores River begins its journey from the high mountains above Lizard Head Pass. The "Upper Dolores" (Lizard Head Pass to the town of Dolores) is a freestone stream similar to the San Miguel. Below McPhee Reservoir lies an eleven mile stretch of Quality Waters home to big Cutthroats, Browns and Rainbows. This catch-and-release tailwater characteristically contains selective, picky trout that can only be fooled by small flies and delicate presentations. These spring-creek like conditions can challenge the finest of anglers.
Large trout may be caught using a variety of techniques on the Uncompahgre. This special river offers outstanding match-the-hatch dry fly fishing in summer and fall months and some of our best winter fishing from November-April. In every season, the Uncompahgre is one of our favorite trout streams. The Uncompahgre is dammed-controlled water, so river levels and water clarity are more consistent than on the San Miguel and Dolores. The Uncompahgre is lower gradient than the high elevation San Miguel and Dolores, lending to excellent brown trout habitat. The river is primarily fished at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk State Park, just downstream from the reservoir. The park offers more than a mile of public access to terrific trout water, accessible year-around. Additional public access may be found near Billy Creek (3 miles downstream from Pa-Co-Chu-Puk) and in and around the town of Montrose (18 miles downstream).