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Telluride Fishing

In Telluride, Colorado you can fish in wildflower-filled meadows with creeks and rivers. But that's just the beginning. Trout fishing at its best! Gold Medal waters, freestone rivers, small alpine creeks, technical tail-water fishing and high mountain lakes- the fly fisher visiting the Telluride region can find it all. The San Miguel River, the Dolores River, the Gunnison River and numerous lakes are all within easy reach of Telluride. Book a Fishing Guide

Please respect the alpine waters ecosystems.  Please catch and release.  For more information, check local sports shops and bookstores for books and topographic maps or contact the Norwood Forest Ranger Station at 970-327-4261. Fisherman can protect themselves from search and rescue liability with a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search & Rescue Card that's good for a year, only $3.00 at Telluride Sports and BootDoctors. Depending upon weather, most high-altitude passes open in mid-summer, wildflowers begin to bloom in June and peak in July, and autumn blazes with color in late September or early October. Fishing is spectacular in the Spring, May and June, while you can attract the big fish later in the season, July, August and September, tie on a HOPPER, and BAM!, hold on!  Book a Fishing Guide

Town Park-Family fishing, Trout. Easy fishing, fly and spinner. For Kids 12 and under.

Alta Lakes Easy fishing, casual fly or spinner.  The 1870s mining town of Alta is on the National Register of Historic Places and Alta Lakes are postcard beautiful. It is 5 miles one way with a 1,700-foot elevation gain. Directions: go six miles south of Telluride on Hwy. 145 (toward Cortez) to Alta Lakes Road. To reach the ghost town of Alta, stay on the main road for 4 miles. To get to the lakes, turn right at the town and follow the signs to Alta Lakes. High clearance vehicles are recommended.  Book a Fishing Guide

San Miguel River Trail in Telluride Easy fishing, casual fly or spinner. This is a refreshing, scenic fishing right along the river, a great warm up river or leisurely walk, perfect for those who want to acclimatize to the altitude. Recently expanded, it's about 2.75 miles one way with a 170-foot elevation gain. Begin at the east end of town at East Colorado and Columbine Street, past Town Park. All along the river, you can access side streets as it continues west towards the valley floor, ending at Boomerang Road. (Do not enter the valley floor as it is closed to public use).  Book a Fishing Guide

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The San Miguel River beyond Telluride: Easy and moderate fishing, fly and spinner.  Telluride and San Miguel Valley The San Miguel is one of two free flowing rivers left in Colorado. This freestone stream originates in the basins surrounding Telluride and has miles of accessible fishing.  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.  Book a Fishing Guide

The Gunnison River: Awesome Fishing! Easy and moderate fishing, fly and spinner. 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! Float trips up to three days are available through Telluride Outside, as well as walk-and-wade trips for the physically fit angler. The Black Canyon is a Fee-Use area and special regulations apply - please stop by the Telluride Angler 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! 
Book a Fishing Guide

The Dolores: Awesome Fishing! Easy and moderate fishing, fly and spinner.  Hwy. 145 below McPhee Dam outside Cortez 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 tail-water 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. 
Book a Fishing Guide

Lizard Head Wilderness Area  Tough fishing, Fly and spinner.  This area boasts some of the Southwest's most rugged and pristine mountains, with three 14,000-foot peaks and ideal high-altitude hiking. No vehicles or mountain bikes are allowed in wilderness areas. Call the U.S. Forest Service for further information about camping. 970-327-4261 
Book a Fishing Guide

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McPhee Recreation Area Family fishing, Bass, Trout, Walleye.  Easy and moderate fishing, fly and spinner.  65 miles southwest of Telluride near Dolores and Cortez. 72 sites for camping with hookups, restrooms, showers, dump station, boat ramp and marina. Call more than five days in advance for camping. Fishing, picnicking, hiking, boating and camping are available year round. 800-280-CAMP or 877-444-6777  Book a Fishing Guide

Miramonte Reservoir  Family fishing, Bass, Trout. Easy and moderate fishing, fly and spinner.  Located near Norwood at the base of Lone Cone Peak. 40 sites for campers, handicapped accessible fishing pier and two boat ramps. Free. Water-skiing and windsurfing allowed. Stocked with 90,000 fish annually. 14-day camping limit. Call for reservations at 970-327-4455  Book a Fishing Guide

Trout Lake: Awesome Fishing!  Family fishing, Easy and moderate fishing, fly and spinner. Beautiful spacious lake at the base of 14,000 feet peaked mountains.  Boats, waders or shore fishing. You will find yourself caught up in a fishing frenzy.  The fish bite your hook before the hook hits the water. Take the kids. 12 miles. South of Telluride on Hwy. 145.  Book a Fishing Guide


Woods Lake: Family fishing, Easy and moderate fishing, fly and spinner. Bring your tent a stay overnight.  National Forest Campground with great trails too.  The most fun is watching the Muskrats swim around.  12 mi. West on Hwy. 145, Left at Fall Creek Road, then 8 miles. up a dirt road.  Book a Fishing Guide

San Juan & Uncompahgre National Forests -
Hiking, camping, jeeping, horseback riding, boating, fishing, hunting and biking. 970-327-4261 
Book a Fishing Guide

Bear Creek Canyon  Tough fishing, Fly only. (Approximately 4 miles round trip from town to falls)- fishing, hiking, biking. This is an awesome hike, but tough fishing, a favorite of locals and visitors alike, because Bear Creek's amazing serenity and beauty makes you feel like you're miles away from civilization. It's 2 miles one way to the waterfalls with a 1,040-foot elevation gain within this 325-acre mountain canyon that is secured for the public by the Telluride Land Trust. Enter the trail from the end of South Pine Street and follow Bear Creek up the canyon and enjoy views of jagged peaks on your way to the waterfalls. About .25 miles before the falls, watch for the sign on your right announcing the trailhead to the rugged and challenging Wasatch Trail.  Book a Fishing Guide

Deep Creek Tough fishing, Fly only. This is 6.5 miles one way with a 1,672-foot elevation gain. Access Deep Creek from the Jud Wiebe trailhead at N. Aspen St. or Mill Creek. Cross the bridge over Mill Creek and turn right on the Deep Creek Trail, which continues to Last Dollar Road. The trail has many forks, so a map/guide is recommended. Bikers can make an 18-mile loop. Follow the trail to Last Dollar Rd., turn left and climb to the intersection with the paved airport road. Ride down to Hwy. 145, then east into town. Book a Fishing Guide

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Galloping Goose Trail Tough fishing, Fly only.  A long and rewarding fishing trip that is 20.6 miles one way with a 1,580-foot elevation gain. Take the Bike Path west from town and go up to Lawson Hill entrance, follow single track down old railroad grade to Ilium Valley. Make a sharp right turn at the road. Turn left over bridge to Sunshine Mesa. At first switchback, continue straight onto the old railroad grade again. Trail continues above Ames to Ophir Loop (Hwy. 145). Loop can be completed by taking South Fork Rd. back to Ilium single track and Lawson Hill or continue south (under the highway) to Trout Lake and Lizard Head Pass.  Book a Fishing Guide

Ilium Road - Ames Historic Site  Tough fishing, Fly only.  Ames is the site of the country's first alternating current power plant built by George Westinghouse, L.L. Nunn, and Nikola Tesla. To get there, bike or drive five miles west on Hwy, 145 from Telluride, then turn at the "Ilium Road" turnoff that parallels the San Miguel River (south fork) to the historic Ames power plant. It is 6 miles one way with a 1,250-foot elevation gain.  Book a Fishing Guide

Ridgway Reservoir Family fishing, Bass, Trout. Easy and moderate fishing, fly and spinner.  Located between Ridgway and Montrose. Offers 280 campsites, hookups, showers, restrooms, dump station, laundry, marina, food, swimming, picnic tables, boat rental, waster-skiing, jet-skiing, fishing. 15 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. Open year round. Reserve a maximum of 90 days and minimum of three days in advance. Call 800-678-2267.  Book a Fishing Guide

Silver Lake Tough fishing, Fly or spinner.  Access from Bridal Vail Falls. Moderate to Difficult. Approximately 4 hours round trip covering 5 1/4 miles with an elevation gain of 2,000 feet. This is a spectacular wildflower hike which ends above tree-line.  Book a Fishing Guide

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