1 mph. It generally reopens April 15. The Gunnison Route, sometimes referred to as the "easiest" route, is still extremely steep, rocky and strenuous. You will need a free permit to hike into Black Canyon so search and rescue know who to contact if you don't return from your excursion for a few days. Gorgeous overlooks, beautiful vistas, and hungry fish that strike at anything and everything that hits the water make it a special place to fish. Rain creates deep mud wallows on these roads, so you may find that you have to wait for routes to dry out a bit unless you want to get mired and stranded. 18 °F. Furthermore, the crystal clear water and sweeping mountainside backdrop make your arduous journey through the canyon well worth the effort.If roughing it and off-roading followed by some high altitude hiking aren't for you, the Gunnison River through Black Canyon is a favorite stretch for floating and rafting, too. Weather @GUNNISON BASIN - Updated December 21, 2020 - 2:01am by OpenWeather. The best time to visit is during the salmonfly hatch in June, or as near to that time as you can get there despite the mass influx of other anglers also making the trip. Copyright 2020 DIY Fly Fishing, all rights reserved. Experience an unforgettable fishing adventure on this professionally guided, private, 3-day excursion. Rattlesnakes and bark scorpions love sleeping bags and wading boots, so make sure to check yours carefully before using either. Or if you have means to cross the river you can fish the northern bank of the river via the Northern River route. Gunnison River. Gunnison River (East Portal) We decided to try some new water this weekend and I am sure glad we did! Drive South Rim Road. In addition to a 9-foot rod with a six weight line (the trout get big in Black Canyon), you want to pack a pair of wading boots and a wading staff. Bed and breakfasts, traditional hotels and motels, and camping and RV parks are easy enough to find and book in and around Montrose. This road is extremely steep (15% grades) with hairpin curves. All Rights Reserved Design by unleaded.digital, Road is Closed this time of year. 81401 Access to the Red Rock Canyon is via the Warner Route. There is a little over 10 more miles of public water with great fishing, mostly in the lower and middle stretch. The East Portal Road is closed in winter. Whether you’re baitcasting, spinning or fly fishing your chances of getting a bite here are good. See the NPS website for more details. Here are some tips for getting access to the water and where you can find the Gold Medal section:The primary access point to reach the Gold Medals Waters of the Gunnison is East Portal Road. The.4 miles of the Catch & Release, C & R, aka Hog Trough is the most famous and pressured. The East Portal is closed for the season. For flies, here are the recommended patterns for Black Canyon:- Hopper (tan/yellow #8-12)- Quick Sight Foam Ant (black #14-16)- Woolly Bugger (olive/black #6-10)- Tunghead Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail #16-18- Bead Head Hare's Ear Nymph #16-18- I Can See It Midge Fly #8-12- Pat's rubber legs (black/brown #6-8)- TH 20 Incher (natural #8)- RS2 (gray #20)- TH Zebra Midge (black #20)- TH Zebra Midge (cream #20)- Tunghead Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail #16- Tunghead Hare's Ear Flashback #16- Globug Egg (brown #18)- San Juan Worm (brown #14)- Miller's D Midge (gray #18)- Two Bit Hooker (red #14). Gunnison River East Portal From Crystal dam, thru the beautiful East Portal area, flowing down thru the Black Canyon and on thru Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area … Since I can count the number of my blog readers on two hands I feel safe in writing this. Montrose, CO Smart anglers need to be aware that there are Class III, IV, and V rapids along the Gunnison through Black Canyon, and an experienced guide and rafting captain are essential to safely navigating the turbulent waters regardless of the season you visit. Make a plan for worst case injury scenarios, and carry first aid supplies for treating injuries you are likely to incur along the way. Once there, river access is immediate but fishing conditions are highly dependent on the river flow. Please note Winter Hours Through March 15th, 970-249-0408 The landlocked cousin to the sockeye salmon begins their fall journey in Blue Mesa Reservoir before running up the Gunnison River in late August. GUNNISON GORGE: This is a magical and beautiful place to fish, especially float fishing! Gunnison in Gunnison: ICE Gunnison at Almont: ICE United States, © 2020 Montrose Anglers. __CONFIG_colors_palette__{"active_palette":0,"config":{"colors":{"62516":{"name":"Main Accent","parent":-1}},"gradients":[]},"palettes":[{"name":"Default Palette","value":{"colors":{"62516":{"val":"var(--tcb-skin-color-0)"}},"gradients":[]}}]}__CONFIG_colors_palette__, DIY Guide to Fly Fishing the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, DIY Guide to Fly Fishing in Zion National Park, DIY Guide to Fly Fishing in Capitol Reef National Park, DIY Guide to Fly Fishing in Glacier National Park, DIY Guide to Fly Fishing in Grand Canyon National Park, DIY Guide to Fly Fishing in Lassen Volcanic National Park, DIY Guide to Fly Fishing in Yosemite National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park Map and Fishing Access Sites, Best Places to Fish in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Best Time to Fish the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Black Canyon Gunnison National Park Fishing Reports, Black Canyon Gunnison National Park Fishing Regulations, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The absolute best time to fish Black Canyon is early June through mid-June. East River GUNNISON BASIN Fishing Report. This designation is given to the lakes and streams of Colorado that … The Gunnison River in Black Canyon National Park is the 12 miles of Gold Medal and Wild Trout waters everyone travels there to visit. Vehicles with an overall length (including trailer) greater than 22 feet are prohibited. Visit our DIY Guide to the Best Fly Fishing in Colorado. Good mayfly nymphs and emergers include Barr’s BWO Emergers, RS2s, and JuJu Baetis in sizes 18 to 22. Anglers will find open fishing among the many tributaries of the East River. Although the fishing season is not closed in the winter, the access road to the river is. While there are ample opportunities for a walk and wading angler throughout the entire length of the Gunnison, both the upper Gunnison and the Gunnison Gorge are tremendous float-fishing destinations with the Gunny Gorge easily rating as Colorado’s marquee fly float trip. The fishing in Black Canyon is well worth the risk, but it's not worth your life. There are also three access routes from the South Rim including: Gunnison Route, Tomichi Route and Warner Route. The East River begins north of Crested Butte with Emerald Lake in the central mountains of Colorado. These often provide superior accommodations and locations compared to hotels and motels, and you can usually score a bargain if you book at the right time. The East Portal did not disappoint. Use of "routes" is at your own risk. There are several resorts in the area, including one at Waunita Hot Springs Ranch which is perfect for recovering from the tough hike to the bottom of Black Canyon. It serves as a popular destination for anglers hoping to catch the legendary salmonfly hatch and various other insect hatches from June into late July. The location of each route is shown on the map above. Station operated by the U.S. Geological Survey, Colorado Water Science Center, as part of the USGS National Streamflow Information Program (NSIP).. Information on water releases from Crystal Reservoir (projected releases into the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon) is available from the Bureau of Reclamation.. Current shift adjusted rating table. Low/High. The river is technically open to fishing in the winter, but the frozen sections of the trail along the Gunnison and snowy conditions make navigating the terrain exceptionally difficult. From the entrance station on the south rim, it runs about 7 miles to its terminus at the Crystal Dam. Runoff season is also pretty much a no go, as sediment and mud make the water too murky for decent fly fishing conditions. Without a doubt, this is the best thing to do on the South Rim of Black … Trailers are not allowed. Fly Fishing the Salmonfly Hatch of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado. Each are shown on the map above. A few to check out are listed below. Also be aware that browns will continue to spawn in the Taylor River through December. The National Park Service provides valuable tips on accessing the inner canyon wilderness area. The Gunny is a big fish river in the truest sense of the words, as the entire upper Gunnison and the lower Gunnison downstream to the Smith Fork meets Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s criteria for Gold Medal status. Considering its proximity, you may want to take the opportunity to spen… Flowing south from Emerald Lake, north of Crested Butte, this river makes its way to Almont, where it joins with the Taylor to create the well-known fishing haunt, the Gunnison. There are three primary access routes from the North Rim including: S.O.B. Click the map markers for additional information on how to access the river via these routes. The current is strong, and the bottom is treacherous, and you need to take proper precautions. Trying to hike out with bark scorpion sting or nursing a rattlesnake bite is no joke. 309 E Main St Use these epic resources to get ready for your adventure. Lake-run fish enter the river in spring and fall. The deep canyon, over 2,000 feet in places, offers breath taking views both from the rim and the canyon floor. GOLD MEDAL & WILD TROUT WATERS - EAST PORTAL. For those making the effort, the fishing can be an outstanding experience. It is the day the road to the East Portal opens. At the roads' end you'll find the East Portal Campground. You will need plenty of sunscreen, as much water as you can carry or a large filter bottle. You have been warned. Designated a Gold Medal trout fishery, the Gunnison is one of those legendary stretches well known throughout the west by avid anglers. Dry/dropper rigs are especially effective. Traversing the steep plunging canyon walls that give Black Canyon its name, as little daylight reaches the canyon floor even on bright days, is not to be taken lightly. River Information. We decided to hit a tailwater on the Gunnison river under Crystal Dam. Offering a mix of fishing opportunities from famed Gold Medal waters to High Country streams and lakes, this area will surely please any angler. If you encounter fish on spawning beds, leave them alone and focus your fishing on deeper water. info@montroseanglers.com From Crystal dam, thru the beautiful East Portal area, flowing down thru the Black Canyon and on thru Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area to the confluence of the North Fork. USGS real-time river flow information for Gunnison County Roughly 2 miles of the road are directly alongside the river and provide easy access to some amazing runs, pools and long, deep stretches of water. This entrance is near the upstream boundary of Gunnison National Park, and it winds its way down. The river has many long runs and deep pools, and aquatic insects are to be found just about everywhere. I wonder if it ever doesn’t look calm any more. Click the map markers for more information about each route. The easiest access to the Gunnison River is to drive the East Portal Road. If you plan to visit during the salmonfly season though, expect to book well in advance before spots fill up. In southwestern Colorado just outside Montrose lies the Blue Mesa Reservoir on the mighty Gunnison River. The upper river or the Upper Gunnison is a classic freestone river that flows from the confluence of the East and Taylor rivers and into the Blue Mesa Reservoir. The views and the river are beautiful looking back toward the park. This is in Black Canyon National Park. The river drains a huge part of the state of Colorado. Steep canyon walls define the landscape and rock climbing is only to be attempted by expert climbers. The East Portal Road is paved, but very steep. While poison ivy and oak won't necessarily prove fatal, they do make for a miserable hiking experience. Tailwater fishing opportunities include nymphing with small mayfly patterns and midges. From here you can fish the southern bank of the Gunnison via the Devil's Backbone route. The Gunnison River can be categorized into three sections: Upper Gunnison, Black Canyon, and Gunnison Gorge. The East is beginning to ice over and is mostly unsafe to access due to ice. Get directions to access points, boat ramps, and real-time USGS stream flow data. The East River - a misnomer for a real pretty river in the middle of Colorado's high country. Fall fishing isn't too bad, though this point significantly diminishes the hatches in the year, and not nearly as rich as the midsummer salmon fly hatch. Flow-999999 cfs. Access at the East Portal and North Fork Gunnison confluence (Pleasure Park) is … The Black Canyon cliffs are a geologists dream, and there are visible rock face strata over a billion years old. East Portal Access Routes At the roads' end you'll find the East Portal Campground. Each are shown on the map above. It's formed by two major streams, the Taylor River and the East River, both of which are fine trout streams themselves. The 2020 fishing forecast for the Gunnison River is good, and anglers should expect to catch good numbers of rainbow and brown trout from 12 to 20 inches, with the possibility of larger fish. Or if you have means to cross the river you can fish the northern bank of the river via the Northern River route. The Lake Fork has strong populations of rainbows, cuttbows, browns, and Snake River cutts, as well as occasional brook trout. The clear, cold water of the Gunnison River is a sportsman’s and whitewater paddler’s paradise. East River In Almont: ICE. There are a number of area fly shops and on-line retailers that publish Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park fishing reports. Regardless of where you decide to stay, you want to look into local vacation rentals when planning your trip. This section has ample public access, with very few rapids. There is also a campground immediately to the left (north) once you reach the valley floor. Accessing the Black Canyon on land is no easy feat, and requires hiking through what is a substantially high desert territory. Wild brown trout and a mix of wild and stocked rainbow trout, along with a few cutbows (mainly in the upper river), inhabit the Gunnison River. View the DIY Fly Fishing Web Map to get turn-by-turn directions to the access points shown on the map above. I was hoping our first trip there wasn't a fluke and it turns out that this section of the Gunnison, in my opinion, is one of the best kept secrets in Colorado fly fishing. Gunnison River Tips & Resources. Experience an unforgettable fishing adventure on this professionally guided, private, 3-day excursion. Due to its status as a Gold Medal trout stream, the Gunnison River in Black Canyon National Park is catch-and-release only for rainbows along the entire 12-mile length of the canyon. Additionally, it's a good idea to bring a first aid kit and some Tecnu soap for cleaning poison ivy and poison oak oils off your clothing and gear. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison River is one of the most scenic rivers in the state. For other species of trout, standard Colorado Department of Wildlife regulations apply: 4 fish per angler per day of any species. The Gunnison River from 200 yards downstream of Crystal Dam all the way through Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park to the North Fork is designated Gold Medal & Wild Trout Water. The Upper Gunnison begins with the confluence of the East and Taylor Rivers in Almont, Colo., and flows with a meandering mild manner to the Blue Mesa Reservoir. The Gunnison River is seventy-eight miles long including the lakes it flows through. Looking for more places to fish? Fish as large as 22 inches are caught occasionally, but the average is between 12 to 14 inches. Gunnison Gorge of the Black Canyon - Below Crystal Reservoir, Colorado Fly Fishing Reports & Conditions Reported by Gunnison River Expeditions Gorge continues to fish well. Further on down the road we come to the first of several fly fishermen we find in the river. Lazily snaking through cottonwood-lined ranchland for 20 miles, the upper "Gunny" is dammed to form Blue Mesa Reservoir, the Centennial State's largest body of water. It's one of the most diversified trout streams in the state of Colorado. Fisherman enjoy this route as a more gradual alternative into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison over the other significantly steeper routes accessed from the south or north rims of the canyon. This river is the largest tributary of the Colorado River in Colorado, with a length of 180 miles, multiple hydroelectric dams, and many confluences with other bodies of water. The Red Rock Canyon area is located near the south rim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Click Trout Symbols on Map for More Fishing Information. Please refer to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Fishing Regulations. Water Clarity: Gunny Green. Historical River Flow. Pygmy rattlesnakes, bark scorpions, and poison oak/poison ivy are everywhere along the trail. It flows 35 miles to Almont where it meets the Taylor River to form the mighty Gunnison River. The genesis of the famed Gunnison River is in Almont where the East and Taylor Rivers merge. Located two miles downstream of Crystal Dam at the bottom of Black Canyon, East Portal Campground is shaded by box elder trees. Fishing within 200 yards downstream of Crystal Dam is prohibited. After being dammed two more times forming Morrow Point and Crystal Reservoirs, the lower Gunnison River escapes Crystal Dam and carves through one of the most breathtaking and wild chasms on earth, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and its more mellow downstream neighbor the Gunnison Gorge, before slogging toward a rendezvous with the Colorado River in Grand Junction. Current River Flow Updates. This is when the fabled salmonfly hatch occurs and the air over the waters of the Gunnison is thick with 2-3-inch long orange-and-pink-tinged flies. While most anglers are easily convinced to return to Black Canyon after their first trip due to the monster rainbow and brown catches, the view of the 2,700-foot canyon walls and surrounding mountains merit at least one additional trip just for the scenery. This is a great section of river if you want to get away from the crowds of the East … Temperature. Here, within the steep-walls of the gorge, the river offers one of the top fly fishing destinations to be found anywhere in the lower 48 states. Ample public access, robust aquatic insect hatches, excellent numbers of trout, and big fish potential all make the Gunnison one of the Centennial State’s best fisheries and a must-visit destination for your fly fishing trip to western Colorado. Additionally, anglers should abide by standard Leave No Trace protocols for both personal waste and any refuse, trash, recyclables, and disposable containers they bring into the park with them. Additional River Information . About the GUNNISON BASIN The Colorado River Basin lies in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, and is home to some of Colorado's most prolific trout streams. The Gunnison River is located in western Colorado and it is one of the largest tributaries of the Colorado river.The 180 mile (289 km) long river flows east to west and has a drainage area of 7,923 square miles (20,520 km 2) according to the USGS. As mentioned above, the only drive-up access to the Gunnison River within the park is via East Portal Road. East River is a stream located just 9.2 miles from Gunnison, in Pitkin County, in the state of Colorado, United States, near Almont, CO. Fishermen will find a variety of fish including cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, brook trout and brown trout here. This season welcomes the return of the kokanee salmon run to local rivers. The clear, cold water of the Gunnison River is a sportsman’s and whitewater paddler’s paradise. Check out our interactive map of over 30,000 of the best places to fly fish in the US. This reservoir controls the flow of the Gunnison River as it winds its way through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and the Gunnison Gorge Wilderness Area. It's not an easy trip to make.Those willing and able to make the journey down the dirt roads and hike the steep trails along the canyon walls will find that their efforts are well rewarded. No bait is permitted, only artificial flies and lures may be used while fishing in the park. Seasonal Conditions. Draw, Long Draw and Slide Draw. Also of note is the nearby Gunnison River Diversion Tunnel. 14/32. As far as air travel to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, there are two local airports to choose from. Most famous for the Salmon Fly hatch in May/June. If you are the adventurous type and are up for a challenge there are several "routes" to the inner Black Canyon where you will find the bigger trout. Finally, no matter where in Black Canyon you venture, be aware of the local flora and fauna. The Gunnison River, within the walls of the Black Canyon, is designated a Gold Medal and Wild Trout fishery known for monster rainbows and browns. Fly fishing the Gunnison River is a truly Montrose puts you nearest to Crystal Dam and Reservoir, although the accommodations in Gunnison are a bit more diverse regarding options. There are few streams here and there to try your luck further up in the Gunnison National Park, but Black Canyon is the place to fly fish. The picnic spot is just down stream from where the town of East Portal once was. The Gunnison River is accessible one of two ways, either via the East Portal Road to the river, or extreme hiking trails from the park rim road into the inner canyon. From here you can fish the southern bank of the Gunnison via the Devil's Backbone route. Permits are required for all Red Rock Canyon usage (including day-use) and are only available through a reservation lottery system. Midge larva and emerger patterns in various colors, sizes 20 to 24, can be fished through winter. Fly Fishing the Salmon Run in Gunnison, Colorado Autumn in Gunnison, Colorado is a special time for anglers. And although East Portal Road closes with the first November snows and the roads giving access to the trails descending into the Gunnison Gorge become wet and impassable, Smith Fork Trail does offer anglers excellent wintertime angling throughout the lower 4 miles of the Gunnison Gorge. The river looks wonderful and very calm, only a few riffles. Visiting in the spring and summer has definite advantages, but you will also be dealing with extreme heat while hiking the canyon or traversing the areas above the canyon walls. The Gunnison River offers several public access points (see map above) for wading, though fishing from drift boats when the waters are high is preferable. East Portal Road is steep and narrow and can be especially rough going even in dry weather.You need a rig capable of making it over the rough terrain leading down to the waters just below Crystal Dam and Reservoir. Wind. Click the map markers for additional information on how to access the river via these routes. Designated a Gold Medal trout fishery, the Gunnison is one of those legendary stretches well known throughout the west by avid anglers. FMHS Fly Fishing Club spring trip to the East Portal, Gunnison River Song - On my Mind by Lyle Lovett There are 21 miles of the Taylor River between the Reservoir and our shop where the Taylor joins the East river to form the Gunnison River. This section of river is about a mile above the famous Black Canyon … The National Park Service uses the term "routes" since these are not designated, marked and maintained trails. Montrose Regional Airport has flights to and from Denver daily, and Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport has similar flight plans if you don't mind driving an hour or so to reach Black Canyon. Whether you're planning your trip, learning your insects, improving your fishing with expert tips or getting detailed resources from the USGS streamflows or DoW, we got you covered to help you find the river and find the success you want. Gunnison tends to get busy during the peak fly fishing months of the summer, though you will find more places to stay here than in Montrose as a rule. Barr’S BWO emergers, RS2s, and requires hiking through what is a magical and beautiful place to fish Canyon... The central mountains of Colorado 's high country is shown on the Gunnison National Park in Colorado genesis of Gunnison... Fishermen we find in the US Devil 's Backbone route two major streams, the Gunnison River rim, runs... 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