Welcome to Camp Caddis

Hosted by Telluride Outside on the magical rivers of Southwest Colorado, Camp Caddis aims to inspire and educate young people in the captivating sport of fly fishing.

Our 5-day camp is offered for children ages 8-13. As a family-friendly guide service for over 35 years, Telluride Outside conceived Camp Caddis as an opportunity to enthrall our children by dedicating the very best resources to this endeavor.

Every aspect of Camp Caddis will reflect our mission, from top quality equipment to our clean and safe vehicles, use of world class private water, guest instructors and, most of all, our energetic professional guides chosen for their affinity for teaching.

Our maximum guest-to-guide ratio of 4:1 will more closely resemble a private guided trip than a typical summer camp. Each participant will receive extensive instruction, both 1-on-1 and in group settings. Camp Caddis is characterized by efficient handling to optimize fishing time each day. We have created an itinerary to be hosted on three different rivers with a menu of fly fishing scenarios intended to impart a broad base of experience and related skills while offering the elements of pure fun that keep children excited about each successive day.

2024 Camp Caddis

July 22 - 26
Ages 8 - 13
$1,350 per student

Day 1: Introduction to fly fishing on the Uncompahgre River

  • 9:00 am Meet your instructors at Telluride Outside. Each child will be issued equipment for the week and we will review the schedule and expectations.
  • 9:30 am Drive to Pa-co-chu-puk State Park on the Uncompahgre River (55 minutes north via HWYs 145, 62 and 550).
  • 10:30 am-12:30 pm Intro to fly fishing classroom. Modeled after our acclaimed "Local's School," we begin the week with a two-hour classroom style session with rotating stations that focus on major subject areas, including casting, insect identification, fly selection and rigging/knot tying. We deploy plenty of props to make this a hands-on learning experience that taps our children's curiosity from the first moment.
  • 12:30-1:15 pm Lunch
  • 1:15-4:00 pm On-the-water instruction on both ponds and the river at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk. We will use every element of this gifted natural classroom to impart a learn-it-while-you-do-it approach to Camp Caddis.
  • 4:00-5:00 pm Drive back to Telluride Outside.

Day 2: Instruction on the Upper Dolores River

  • 9:00 am Meet at Telluride Outside and drive to the Upper Dolores River (public lands approximately 30 minutes south from Telluride on HWY 145).
  • 9:45 am-12:30 pm Fly fishing the Upper Dolores River with emphasis on tactics and style. The Upper Dolores is a small river with lots of structure. This an ideal place to learn the intricacies of trout habit and a practical approach to trout fishing while wading easily in this stream of modest size and water volume.
  • 12:30-1:15 pm Lunch.
  • 1:15-4:15 pm Fishing the Upper Dolores with an emphasis on catching some fish and having a great time. For both confidence and the thrill of success, It is important for kids to start catching fish early in the week. The Upper Dolores offers an ideal setting with high odds of success.
  • 4:15-5:00 pm Drive back to Telluride Outside.

Day 3: Entomology and fly selection

  • 9:00 am Meet at Telluride Outside and drive to a local stream.
  • 9:45 am-11:30 pm Bug hunt: Students gather aquatic insects from the streambed for study and discussion. Instructors introduce the strategy of match-the-hatch fishing with our illustrative "bug board" and live examples gathered by our anglers. A discussion on fly selection leads into afternoon fishing with carefully selected flies.
  • 11:30 am-12:30 pm On-the-water casting instruction. This is the perfect setting to isolate the most critical skill in fly fishing.
  • 12:30-1:15 pm Lunch.
  • 1:15-4:00 pm Fly fishing on local stream or lake with emphasis on match-the-hatch strategy.
  • 4:00-5:00 pm Drive back to Telluride Outside.

Day 4: Hike-in alpine creek fishing

  • 9:00 am Meet at Telluride Outside and drive to trailhead (25 and 50 minutes south from Telluride, respectively, on Highway 145).
  • 9:45-10:45 am Hike 1-2 miles up trail to access the creek in a remote area.
  • 10:45 am-3:45 pm Fly fishing on a small alpine stream for wild fish. Lunch will be taken at the appropriate interval. Our students will be divided into smaller groups with a specific guide for the whole day, rather than descending upon the creek like a swarm of locust. These creeks offer some of the finest wild trout fishing in Colorado, the perfect opportunity to catch gorgeous fish on dry flies and learn the value of conservation.
  • 3:45-5:00 pm Hike out and drive back to Telluride Outside.

Day 5: Fly fishing derby and awards

  • 9:00 am Meet at Telluride Outside and drive to Roaring Fork Ranch, Upper Dolores River (45 south from Telluride on HWY 145).
  • 10:00 am-3:00 pm Camp Caddis culminates in a light hearted fishing derby on one of our best private ranches where each child might catch their best fish of the week. Competitions, awards and lots of laughs wrap up this memorable and rewarding experience. Each student will receive take home fly fishing accessory gifts to commemorate their special week.
  • 3:00-4:00 pm Drive back to Telluride Outside.

FAQs/advice from our experts

Only anglers 16 years and older need a license.