Fly Fishing on the Taylor River
Photo By CBMR/Tom Stillo

Fishing & Hunting

The Gunnison Country provides some of the finest fishing and hunting in North America. Surrounded by pristine wilderness and abundant open lands, the area provides excellent habitat for deer and elk. And the cold, clear, clean water that runs from the high mountain ranges is ideal for numerous species of fish.

Fishing

Gunnison County's population is mostly fish. Our rivers, streams, ponds and lakes present the very best fishing in the central Rocky Mountains. With three million new fish released each year from hatcheries and hundreds of miles of waterways to select from, the Gunnison Country is a fisherman's heaven. Four characteristics distinguish it many other areas:

Quantity and diversity of water- Besides Colorado's largest man-made lake (Blue Mesa), the Gunnison Country boasts several other scenic reservoirs, three classic rivers, a number of streams and countless alpine lakes and beaver ponds, plus a kids' fishing lake and fish hatchery ponds for "lawn chair fishing."

Escape from the crowds- The fish are everywhere, but the humans aren't. With so much publicly-accessible prime fishing, everyone can have their own private fishing spot.

Diversity of fish- You might catch the extra-tasty kokanee salmon or brown, rainbow, cutthroat, brook, or mackinaw (lake) trout.

Strong fly hatches- With their healthy insect hatches, the area's waters entice fly fishermen July through early November.

The Gunnison area provides a variety of waters for anglers of all persuasions. Small streams, big rivers, alpine lakes and big reservoirs offer numerous fishing opportunities.

In the high country, anglers can ply the waters for brown, rainbow and cutthroat trout with lightweight fly-fishing gear or spinning tackle. Few experiences compare to wading a cold, clear stream in a high valley on a brilliant summer day.

The area also is home to bigger rivers the Gunnison, the Lake Fork and the Taylor. Some of the best brown trout fishing in the country can be found deep in the canyon of the Gunnison Gorge.

For those who prefer still waters, Blue Mesa Reservoir and Taylor Reservoir are favorites among Colorado anglers. Blue Mesa Reservoir is renowned for its lake trout, kokanee salmon and brown trout; Taylor is known for trout and northern pike.

For current regulations and costs or to purchase your license on line visit www.wildlife.state.co.us/Fishing/.

Area fishing maps: www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/gfo/recreation_information/fish/fish-areas.html

Ice Fishing

Don't be fooled; winter can bring the best fishing in the Gunnison Country. Fly fishermen catch huge rainbows in the catch-and-release area below Taylor Dam, where the water is still open and the fish are ravenous. Several lakes offer excellent ice fishing: Blue Mesa (rainbow and brown trout and kokanee salmon), Taylor (huge lake trout).

Hunting

Renowned for "big bucks", hunters travel to Gunnison from around the world every year to stalk the wiley mule deer. The number of licenses for mule deer is limited by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, consequently, lots of buck grow to maturity and sport trophy-quality racks.

The success rate is also high for hunters. Drawing a license in this high-quality area will take a few years, but for serious hunters looking for the trophy hunt of a lifetime, it's worth the wait.

Elk hunters also flock to the Gunnison area. Colorado is the only state where elk licenses are available over-the-counter right up to the day of hunting season.

Hunters should remember that big game hunting in Colorado's high country is challenging. Terrain is rugged, animals move into difficult areas when they start to feel hunting pressure, and the altitude requires being in good shape for both you and your horses. If you are unfamiliar with big game hunting, consider hiring a professional outfitter.

To apply for licenses, view the hunting areas or get a wildlife habitat stamp visit www.wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/.



Fishing

 

Three Rivers Resort

Fly Fishing, guided fly fishing from rafts. A variety of raft trips.
130 County Road 742
P.O. Box 339
Almont, CO 81210
970-641-1303
888-761-3474 (fax)
website · email
 

Gunnison Country Guide Service

3-5 day horseback pack trips. 1/2 or full day trail rides. Guided fishing and drop camps, guided pack-in hunts and drop camps.
P.O. Box 1443
Gunnison, CO 81230
970-641-2830
website · email
 

AEI Guide and Outfitter

Guided fly fishing trips on Taylor, East, Gunnison and many other Rivers in Taylor Park. Guided fishing on Taylor Reservoir. Guided hunting trips, archery, muzzleloader and rifle for elk, deer, mountain goat and bighorn sheep.
#2 Illinois Creek
Almont, CO 81230
800-595-2945
website · email
 

Almont Anglers

Full service fly shop, tackle, licenses, rentals, float fishing and rafting.
10209 Hwy 135
Almont, CO 81210
970-641-7404
website · email
 

Gunnison Fish & Raft

Offering guided wade and float-fishing trips on the Upper Gunnison river. Half or full day plus custom trips for all ages and abilities. Local lodging/trip packages available. "Guiding on the gunni" since 1979.
63 Ginkgo Dr.
P.O. Box 7122
Gunnison, CO 81230
970-275-1980
website · email
 

Ferro's Blue Mesa Ranch Resort

Personalized Trail Rides. Guided Fishing Trips Group rides our specialty & Special events for groups. Lodging - Unique Store & More Where the movie True Grit was Filmed.
P.O. Box 853
3200 Soap Creek Road
Gunnison, CO 81230
970-641-4671
970-642-0568 (fax)
website · email
 

High Mountain Drifters Guide Service

Year around fishing guide service, specializing in fly-fishing.
201 W. Tomichi Ave
Gunnison, CO 81230
970-641-1845
email
 

Tenderfoot Outfitters

Summer pack Trips, Fishing Trips, Guided and unguided hunts as well as photography trips. All in the West Elk Wilderness.
Box 246
Gunnison, CO 81230
970-641-0504
website · email
 

Scenic River Tours, Inc.

Rafting, fishing, kayaking & rock climbing Choose from 2 hours to 3 days on 7 different rivers. Offices located in Gunnison & Taylor Canyon.
703 W. Tomichi Ave.
Gunnison, CO 81230
970-641-3131
website · email

Weekend Warrior Outdoors LLC

Open water and Ice fishing on Blue Mesa, Lake San Cristabol and Taylor Reservoir.
612 S. 9th.
Gunnison, CO 81230
970-209-6495
970-641-9009 (fax)
website · email

Sport Fish Colorado, LLC

"Fun, exciting trophy fishing trips for all ages and experience levels! We fish Blue Mesa, Morrow Point, and Taylor for kokanee salmon, lake trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout 365 days a year! Come experience a fishing trip you will never forget!!!"
73 A Park Dr.
Gunnison, CO 81230
719-649-3378
970-642-1112 (fax)
website · email
 

Gunnison Outdoors

Gunnison Valley Outdoor Adventures Booking Service
PO Box 246
Gunnison, CO 81230
970-641-3877
970-641-0504 (fax)
 

Blue Mesa Marinas

Marinas at Elk Creek and Lake Fork on Blue Mesa Lake. Includes store, boat rentals, guide services and more.
102 Elk Creek
24830 US Hwy 50
Gunnison, CO 81230
970-641-0707
website
 

Gunnison Sports Outfitters

Guided Fishing trips on Blue Mesa, longest running guide service on the lake. Kids 12 and under fish FREE. They will customize fishing trips to fit your needs!
201 W. Tomichi
Gunnison, CO 81230
719-850-9789
website · email
   

Outfitting/Hunting

 

Gunnison Country Guide Service

3-5 day horseback pack trips. 1/2 or full day trail rides. Guided fishing and drop camps, guided pack-in hunts and drop camps.
P.O. Box 1443
Gunnison, CO 81230
970-641-2830
website · email
 

AEI Guide and Outfitter

Guided fly fishing trips on Taylor, East, Gunnison and many other Rivers in Taylor Park. Guided fishing on Taylor Reservoir. Guided hunting trips, archery, muzzleloader and rifle for elk, deer, mountain goat and bighorn sheep.
#2 Illinois Creek
Almont, CO 81230
800-595-2945
website · email
 

Ferro's Blue Mesa Ranch Resort

Personalized Trail Rides. Guided Fishing Trips Group rides our specialty & Special events for groups. Lodging - Unique Store & More Where the movie True Grit was Filmed.
P.O. Box 853
3200 Soap Creek Road
Gunnison, CO 81230
970-641-4671
970-642-0568 (fax)
website · email
 

Lazy F Bar Outfitters

Provides guided big game hunts and sleigh ride dinners in the winter.
P.O. Box 7089
Gunnison, CO 81230
970-641-0193
email
 

Tenderfoot Outfitters

Summer pack Trips, Fishing Trips, Guided and unguided hunts as well as photography trips. All in the West Elk Wilderness.
Box 246
Gunnison, CO 81230
970-641-0504
website · email