Colorado is all about the outdoors. Pick a season, any season, and you’ll find plenty to do with or without the family. Fishing is akin to a religion in my family, so I was ready to experience a fly fishing adventure in Telluride, Colorado. Did I mention this was my first fly fishing adventure?
Get Hooked on Fly Fishing Adventure in Telluride, Colorado!
Tucked into a box canyon surrounded by 13,000 and 14,000-foot peaks, Telluride is a town of just eight blocks wide and twelve blocks long, and designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1964. ith the town’s colorful Victorian-era homes, clapboard storefronts, boutiques, art galleries, gourmet restaurants, historic buildings and more, Telluride is a delight to explore, and the perfect setting for fly fishing.
The San Miguel, Dolores, Uncompahgre and Gunnison are among the finest trout streams in the Rocky Mountains. Each offers unique fly fishing opportunities, from the San Miguel’s freestone pocket water to the glassy runs of the Lower Dolores. The Dolores River is just south of Telluride, but begins above Lizard Head Pass in the mountains, a short drive from Telluride.
Fly Fishing with Telluride Sports Guide
Growing up, nearly every summer weekend, Dad, Mom, my five siblings and I would pack the family car and head to the next fishing hole. When Telluride Sports gave me the opportunity to fly fish in Colorado, how could I refuse?
Telluride Sports is located in the historic mining town of Telluride in Southwest Colorado’s San Juan Mountains.Their Adventure Desk is the epicenter for Telluride outdoor activities, and the store is an outdoorsman’s dream, filled with everything from outerwear to shoes to mountain bikes.
I hadn’t fished in years; my man Flint does lake fishing often. This was our first fly fishing adventure, so we chose a guided trip. Guides are relatively affordable and essential especially when an angler is not familiar with the area. After a mandatory fishing license (just $9 for one-day), a half-day guided fly-fishing trip including supplies was just $265 for both of us. A full day for two is just $330. As the saying goes, experience priceless.
Our guide Dave Hill couldn’t have been a more perfect fit. Late 50’s, long time guide, mountain cowboy, chatted us up and offered priceless details about the area, he so fit the part. And he had the weathered hands of a fly fisherman.
Once we checked in, we donned our gear – hey, don’t I look cute in the baggy waders?! — and off we were on our fly fishing adventure. Our transportation was Dave’s Ford Expedition (just like mine!), and we are off to the Dolores River.
Why Fly Fish near Telluride?
According to Telluride.com: “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 waters home to big Cutthroats, Browns and Rainbows.”
Our guide immediately warned us that June was early in the season. In fact, he told us we were his first fly fishing guests this season. This early in the season, Dave explained, the run-off from the mountains made the waters warm and murky, especially later in the day. The picky trout stayed deep in the water, not real interested in taking the bait, and these spring-creek conditions are known to challenge even the most experienced anglers.
After patient lessons from Dave, we dropped our lines behind the town of Rico, with nary a bite, before heading back toward Telluride, traveling 10 more miles. Guide Dave took me under his wing, letting Flint know that ladies first, please – insisting that his priority was for me to catch the first fish. His instruction to both of us was spot on, toss the reel this way, that way, mend the line, watch the bobber, and pull up! Our half day tour ended before we knew. Our only regret was that we wished we’d booked a full day!
The fishing stories have already begun. The result: Diana reeled in (and released) two rainbow trout; one got away – and it was the biggest we’ve ever seen! Hey, I’ve got my guide as a witness. Flint didn’t get a nibble. Dave was good on his word, and both of us had a great first fly fishing experience.
The result: Diana reeled in (and released) two rainbow trout; one got away – and it was the biggest we’ve ever seen! Hey, I’ve got my guide as a witness. Flint didn’t get a nibble. Dave was good on his word, and both of us had a great outdoor family adventure on our vacation. I can’t wait to get back in the river and try fly fishing again.
Bottom line (pun intended) is that fly fishing is fun, relaxing and a perfect summer activity for the whole family. (Our guide Dave suggests children ages 9 and up). Book your own fly fishing adventure at Telluride Sports. Ask for Guide Dave, tell him Diana, Traveling Grandmom sent you. Whether you’re fly fishing adventure leads you to the beautiful Colorado mountain town of Telluride, or elsewhere, just do it!
More about Telluride
At the heart of San Miguel County are two unique communities: Telluride and Mountain Village. These two towns are connected by a free gondola, the only transportation system of its kind in North America, so when you’re not fly fishing, hiking, biking or any other number of summer outdoor activities, at 8,750 feet above sea level, Telluride is a brimming historic picture book, complete with clapboard storefront houses, shops, B&Bs and hotels.
Above Telluride is the neighboring Mountain Village, with a more modern, mountain architecture, world-class accommodations( such as luxury, boutique hotel Lumiere where we stayed), and panoramic views of the mountains and valleys.
*Everything you want to know about Telluride: http://www.visittelluride.com
*See the beauty yourself, Telluride webcams http://www.visittelluride.com/discover-telluride/photos/webcams
*Places to Stay http://www.visittelluride.com/places-to-stay
- Recommended eats:
Located on Main Street, La Cocina de Luz serves casual regional Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, including breakfast. It’s organic, sustainable, free-range and locally grown ingredients include many vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. Trust me – this is the best Mexican food I’ve ever had! Also order their fresh margaritas, made with organic lime and agave nectar.
- Steps away from the gondola in Telluride, the fine dining at Cosmo at Hotel Columbia is an opportunity to treat yourself. Try their fresh sushi rolls, followed by surf and turf, and a great selection of wine by the glass.