Gunnison, Colorado, is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, especially those who love fishing. The area is known for its pristine rivers, streams, and lakes, which provide some of the best fishing in the state. In this blog post, we’ll explore the best places for fishing Gunnison, Colorado, so you can plan your next fishing adventure.
The Taylor River is a prime spot for fly fishing, especially for rainbow and brown trout. The river flows through a beautiful canyon, with easy access from several pullouts and parking areas. The river is known for its deep pools and fast riffles, making it a challenging and rewarding place to fish.
The Taylor River between Almont and the Taylor Reservoir attracts a lot of fly fishermen. The fish can be elusive and difficult to catch, but successful fishermen have reported catching large trout.
The Gunnison River is another great spot for fishing, with a variety of fish species including brown, rainbow, and cutthroat trout. The river is accessible from several points along Highway 50, making it easy to find a spot to cast your line. The river is also known for its beautiful scenery, with red rock cliffs towering over the water.
Both the Taylor River and the Gunnison River have been designated Gold Medal Waters by Colorado Park’s and Wildlife! If you are fly-fishing either river then of course match-the-hatch. If you are fishing with lures then a spinner or spoon can be successful. Just cast your line near the opposite shore and slowly real back in, the current will give most lures a really nice action just below the surface of the water.
Blue Mesa Reservoir
Blue Mesa Reservoir is Colorado’s largest body of water, with over 96 miles of shoreline. The reservoir is home to several species of fish, including kokanee salmon, lake trout, and rainbow trout. The reservoir is also a popular spot for boating, with several boat ramps and marinas available for use.
Both the Colorado State Record Kokanee Salmon and Lake Trout were caught out of the Blue Mesa Reservoir. Reports suggest the world record Lake Trout may have been caught in May, 2023.
Boat fishermen have the most success catching lake trout, kokanee salmon, and the large brown trout. Trolling and jigging are two methods for fishing the Blue Mesa by boat, but there is good shore fishing as well. There are fishing pull-offs along the reservoir off highway 50. Many of these accessible fishing spots are lightly trafficked and can provide some good fishing. Personally, I like Bay of Chickens, but there are plenty of other shore fishing spots along the highway to explore.
The Taylor Reservoir is another large reservoir that is easily accessible from Gunnison, Colorado. Follow the Taylor River all the way up and the canyon eventually opens up to a large reservoir. The reservoir hosts Rainbow and Brown Trout and has a boat marina available to launch fishing boats.
There are several spots around the reservoir for fly-fishing or shore fishing. Fly fishermen will be interested in finding where the streams meet the reservoir. These spots are easy to find and access directly from the main road. Shore fishermen can have some luck with spinners or spoons. You may also choose to find some of the smaller ponds and creeks that surround the main reservoir. There is plenty of water to fish around the Taylor Reservoir.
If you are shore fishing the Taylor or Blue Mesa Reservoirs between May and early July, garlic scented baits are a good choice for getting bites.
Other Notable Fishing Spots near Gunnison, Colorado
There are several other fishing spots near Gunnison, Colorado. Each spot may require a different skill set or different baits depending on the time of year and local weather. Once again, though, the Gunnison, Colorado area offers some of the best fishing in the entire Rocky Mountain region, so regardless of your skills or baits, you can find fun and adventure on your fishing trip.
The East River is a tributary of the Gunnison River, and is known for its excellent fly fishing opportunities. The river is home to several species of trout, including browns, rainbows, and cutthroats. The river flows through the stunning mountain scenery of the Elk Mountains and the Maroon Bells.
Tomichi Creek is a small stream that flows into the Gunnison River, and is known for its excellent fishing for brook and rainbow trout. The creek can be accessed from several pullouts along Highway 50, making it a convenient spot for a quick fishing trip.
Crested Butte Reservoir
Crested Butte Reservoir is a secluded spot for fishing, with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. The reservoir is home to several species of fish, including rainbow trout and brown trout. The area is also a popular spot for hiking and camping, making it a great place for a weekend fishing trip.
Spring Creek is a small stream that flows into the Taylor River, and is known for its excellent fishing for brown trout. The creek is located in a beautiful canyon, with stunning scenery and plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing.
Lake Irwin is a high alpine lake located just outside of Crested Butte. The lake is stocked with rainbow and cutthroat trout, making it a popular spot for fishing. The lake is also a great place for hiking and camping, with several campsites available nearby.
Final Thoughts on the Top Spots for Fishing Gunnison, Colorado
In conclusion, Gunnison, Colorado, is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts, with a variety of rivers, streams, and lakes to choose from. Whether you prefer fly fishing in a mountain stream or trolling for kokanee salmon in a reservoir, there is something for everyone. So pack your fishing gear and head to one of these top fishing spots near Gunnison for an unforgettable fishing adventure.