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The Beauty of Fly Fishing in Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley

Exploring the Abundant Fishing Opportunities

Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley in Colorado are home to some of the best fishing spots in the state. With two million acres of public land surrounding the headwaters of Colorado’s largest river drainages, it’s no wonder that anglers flock to this region. Whether you prefer float fishing from rafts or embarking on multi-day backpacking trips to alpine lakes, the Gunnison Valley offers an exceptional fishing experience. Regardless of your skill level or fishing preferences, you’ll almost certainly reel in a catch in this angler’s paradise.

A Guide to Enhancing Your Fishing Experience

To make the most of your fishing excursion in Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley, it’s wise to go with a guide. Local fly shops and guides in the valley can provide valuable insights and assistance to ensure you have a successful and enjoyable trip. Starting your adventure at a fly shop allows you to learn about the local hatches and get recommendations on where to begin your fishing journey.

Easy Fishing Spots in Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley

If you’re looking for convenient access to fishing, the Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery Ponds are an excellent option. Located south of Crested Butte and a few miles before Almont, these ponds offer car-side access, making them perfect for families and beginners. Additionally, there are plenty of opportunities for river fishing in the area. The Gunnison River, with its multiple access points and abundance of float fishing guides, guarantees a memorable fishing experience. Hiring a guide is highly recommended to ensure success, especially when fishing north of Gunnison. Access points in the Curecanti National Recreation Area, such as Cooper’s, Beaver Creek, Willow Creek, and Neversink, provide excellent opportunities for walk-wade fishing along large stretches of the river. Don’t miss the chance to target Kokanee salmon during their annual run in early September, as they attract some impressive trout. The Taylor River is renowned for its fishing, particularly in the catch-and-release section below the dam. Although it offers roadside access, crossing the river can be challenging during the summer months. Exercise caution when attempting to reach the other side for fishing purposes.

Moderate Fishing Spots in Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley

Cement Creek, located approximately seven miles south of Crested Butte, is a moderate fishing spot. Starting at Pioneer Guest Cabins, there is nearly four miles of public access along the creek until reaching Cement Creek Ranch. Beyond the ranch, more public land opens up, featuring a meadow with numerous beaver ponds. Moving around these ponds is the primary reason why this section is classified as moderate. Coal Creek, situated up Keblar Pass Road, offers an opportunity to catch wild brown and brook trout throughout the summer. Beginning at Wildcat/Carbon Trail, anglers can work their way up to the Irwin Cutoff. Keep an eye out for moose as you cast your fly. Horse Ranch Park, in the Ruby Anthracite drainage, is another moderate fishing spot. Accessible by driving past Coal Creek on Keblar Pass Road, this area is home to beautiful little brook trout. Stimulators are all you need for a successful day of fishing during the summer and early fall. Spring Creek is a versatile fishing destination that can be approached as an easy or challenging option. From Crested Butte, take Highway 135 to Jack’s Cabin Cutoff, followed by a left turn onto Taylor River Road. Another left turn onto Forest Road 744 will lead you to the Spring Creek Campground. With minimal private land below the reservoir, anglers can enjoy approximately 12 miles of fishing opportunities. For the adventurous angler, there are even more opportunities for hike-accessed fishing on tiny streams and beaver ponds above the reservoir. As the season progresses and water levels drop, expect wary browns that are more likely to bite in forested sections with varied streambed gradients.

Challenging Fishing Spots in Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley

Texas Creek, located up Taylor Park, is classified as a challenging fishing spot. The creek offers ample public water, beaver ponds, and willow bashing. Fishing here extends into the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness and includes access to several high alpine lakes. However, to reach this area, a four-wheel-drive vehicle or mountain bike is required. Brush Creek, also located near Crested Butte, is another difficult-to-access fishing spot. Taking the turn at Skyland and following Brush Creek Road, anglers will encounter gravel, rough dirt roads, and eventually, 4×4 terrain. This challenging journey leads to a section of the creek that offers exceptional fishing. As you move higher up the drainage, you’ll find cutthroat trout. To reach the upper sections, a reliable four-wheel-drive vehicle with all-terrain tires is recommended. Green Lake, another high alpine fishing gem, is located close to Crested Butte. Hiking from the Crested Butte Nordic Center and ascending the Green Lake Trail will take you to this picturesque destination teeming with cutthroats. The round trip is approximately eight miles, with a significant elevation gain along the way. In conclusion, Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley offer a diverse range of fishing experiences for anglers of all levels. From easy-access fishing spots to more challenging destinations, there is something for everyone in this breathtaking region. Whether you prefer fly fishing on rivers, exploring creeks, or venturing into pristine alpine lakes, the opportunities are endless. Embark on your own fishing adventure, and let the natural beauty of Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley enhance your angling experience.

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