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New Private Water for Telluride Outside

By admin - Posted on 13 May 2014


For the last decade, our mission has been to acquire the best private water fly fishing leases in SW Colorado.  This year, we are pleased to offer four exclusive new properties in the Dolores and San Miguel watersheds.

Each summer, our private water seems to book further in advance, especially in July, the heart of our fishing season.  Our new leases will broaden the menu and give our customers more special places to fish, but we will still likely book these to capacity during busy periods of the summer.  Call soon to inquire about private water for your summer fly fishing in Telluride.


Gurley Creek: Early Season Opportunity

The western cornerstone of the San Juan Mountains is a spectacular pyramid called Lone Cone, rising above Wright's Mesa and casting long shadows from Beaver Park to Norwood.  At its foot lies a 300-acre reservoir called Gurley, into which flows a single tributary carrying water from the surrounding foothills.

The lake is full of heavy rainbows and cuttbows [right] which gorge on crayfish, damselflies and abundant aquatic insects.  Our Gurley lease offers more than 1/2 mile of highly structured small stream water with the potential for catching many large fish.  Dry flies, nymphs and streamers are all effective.  When the fish are in, we enjoy a high success rate for large fish under almost any water conditions.  This is a "right place, right time" fishing opportunity for late spring and early summer.

Best fishing: May-early July      Trespass fee: $80/rod

Sawmill and Upper Sawmill
The West Fork Dolores is a stream of bewitching beauty.  Telluride Outside has acquired two new leases between Dunton's Cresto Ranch and the Fish Creek confluence.  "Sawmill" and "Upper Sawmill" offer more than one mile of medium gradient creek consisting of mixed pocket water, riffles and pools laden with downed timber, boulders and other enticing habitat features.

These two properties may be fished individually on half day trips or together for a terrific full day private water experience.  Beauty counts.

Best fishing: June-early September   
Trespass fee: $80/rod

Bayless Ranch:  Three Days of Fishing on the Upper Dolores

This fantastic new Telluride Outside fishing property offers an honest 1.5 miles of the Upper Dolores in the scenic section of river valley between Taylor Creek and Redburn's Ranch.  The Bayless Ranch is accessed by a driveway that center punches the very best fishing water, allowing reasonable fishing access for both half day and full day trips.

You would need to fish this property 3-4 times just to cover all of its runs, riffles and pocketwater.  Bordered by pastoral farmland on the east and steep hillsides on the West, the Bayless is so close, yet so far away.

Best fishing: June-early October     Trespass fee: $80/rod

OUR OLD FAVORITES:  Have you fished them all?

Upper Dolores

The Roaring Fork Ranch offers 1 1/2 miles of exclusive private access along one of the most beautiful sections of the Upper Dolores River. Here, the Dolores consists of fast-moving pocketwater interspersed with a handful of deep pools. It's terrific natural fish habitat enhanced by a tremendous aquatic insect population. Surprisingly big fish are caught in this modest sized stream. Only 40 minutes from Telluride, the Roaring Fork Ranch lends itself to half day trips in addition to full day trips.

Best Fishing: late-June through October      Trespass fee: $80/rod


Among the most naturally gifted stretches of the entire Dolores, the Lightenburger Ranch offers a combination of quality fishing and picturebook ambience that makes for pleasant mid-winter dreams.

Boulder-studded pools, low-gradient runs and luxurious riffles provide superb trout habitat. Fish grow to great size on the Lightenburger.  Pale morning dun mayflies headline a season-long parade of aquatic insect hatches. Hoppers and crawdads are so abundant, however, that many of our guides favor large foam-bodied dry flies and streamers over match-the-hatch imitations.

Best fishing: mid-June through October     Trespass fee: $80/rod

LINE CAMP:  Mystery water on the Dolores

Though Telluride Outside has leased the Line Camp for more than 10 years, this secluded water is some of the least fished in the Dolores watershed.  Perhaps the most low-gradient section of the river, trout travel freely through the Line Camp, holding in subtle lies and appearing when least expected.

Some of our largest fish of the year are taken on the Line Camp, but the angler must prospect both aggressively and thoroughly to uncover this property's mysteries.

Best fishing: June-September        Trespass fee: $80/rod 

REDBURN'S RANCH: Keystone of the Upper Dolores

An heirloom ranch of arresting serenity, Redburn's is a keystone landmark in the Dolores valley. Located just upstream of the river's forks, Redburn's offers the compelling combination of unfished water, easy access and stunning scenery.  Telluride Outside is proud to offer exclusive guiding services on Redburn's Ranch, a crown jewel for our guide service.

The Upper Dolores forms a dreamscape of pools and riffles [above] as it wanders along the treeline at the back of the ranch. Aquatic insects, especially caddis and PMDs, hatch profusely from the cobbled streambed. Terrestrials, such as grasshoppers and ants, blow in from meadows to the west of the river. Every technique works here: dry fly fishing, nymphing and streamers.

Best Fishing: mid-June through early September      Trespass fee: $80/rod

RICO RIVER RANCH: Secret stash close to home

Located just one mile downstream from the town of Rico, Rico River Ranch offers a private water destination that is reachable on both half and full day guided trips from Telluride. A half mile of the Upper Dolores passes through Rico River Ranch. We have also leased the property immediately upstream from RRR, combining for a mile of private water.

This is classic Upper Dolores pocket water with a handful of long, glassy runs in the mix. The fish population on this section of river is terrific, with rainbows, browns, brook trout and the occasional native cutthroat offering a colorful variety of trout.

Best fishing: late June through early September     Trespass fee: $80


One of the most spectacular ranches in our part of Colorado, Fish Creek Ranch boasts 2 miles of private water on Fish Creek, Groundhog Creek and the West Fork Dolores. The luxurious, rustic lodge sleeps up to 10 guests. Amenities include a deck and cocktail porch with spectacular views, hot tub, game room, generous common space, a full kitchen and four exquisitely decorated bedrooms.

Aptly named Fish Creek is a rich freestone that drains the mountains west of Dunton.  The magic water lies on Groundhog Creek, however, both on and above the FCR property.  Groundhog forms alluring pools, cut banks and beaver ponds along its entire length, providing unusual habitat for a stream of this size.  Fishing Groundhog Creek is reminiscent of the small spring creeks of the Gallatin and Beaverhead valleys in Montana, but without the pressure.

Best fishing: early June through September        Trespass fee: $130/rod


Just west and south from Telluride, the West Fork of the Dolores River meanders through the historic mining camp at Dunton. Dunton Hot Springs has been restored as a low-profile but magnificently appointed resort with almost a half mile of private fly fishing water. The West Fork slows and braids across this broad dell. Beavers have deepened many of the channels, creating glassy pools where trout rise. Cutthroat, rainbows, brown trout and brook trout are all present.

Rest and soak between fly fishing beats. If we can give the fish a break, we are welcome to join Dunton's acclaimed chef for a gourmet lunch and relax in their natural hot spring pools. Access to the resort is also available on special mountain bike and 4-WD tours. Please inquire for availability.

Dunton River Camp, formerly known as Cresto Ranch, is located ten minutes downstream from Dunton Hot Springs and home to one of the most gifted trout streams in Colorado.

The West Fork Dolores, known for isolation and shear beauty, passes through Dunton River Camp for more than a mile. The West Fork is a small river, averaging only 20-30 feet in width with excellent bank access for the wading angler. On the property, the river offers a surprising array of water types and fly fishing situations. Gentle "mule shoes" meander across meadows on the upper end, offering excellent deep water habitat for large trout. Grasshoppers are particularly effective in this section. Slowly descending, the stream bounces through aspen glades and more meadows, offering classic pocket water in the lower reaches.  Here we cast large attractor flies, visible and tempting in the complex currents.

Best fishing: June through October

Dunton lunch/soak/fish fee: $195/pp, + guide
Dunton fishing access with regular Telluride Outside lunch: $130pp + guide


One of our favorite winter fly fishing destinations, "Jackson Hole" on the Uncompahgre River holds abundant fish right through the season. The river here is characterized by low gradient runs, pools and cut banks, perfect habitat for heavy trout.

Catching fish at "Jackson" is a question of timing. The Uncompahgre follows a sort of reverse logic in its water flow schedule. Flows in the lower Uncompahgre are often high during the traditional low water period of mid and late summer, when irrigation calls from Montrose farms pull lots of water from Ridgway Reservoir. When the floodgates are shut off in September, flows drop substantially and Jackson Hole's many riffles, runs, pockets and pools become imminently fishable. The fish are there all year around, but we fish Jackson Hole more from October through March than in summer months. 

Best fishing:  October-March      Trespass fee: $80/rod

Let's Fish.
Book private water today for summer and fall 2014.  Call 1-800-831-6230 to book private water with Telluride Outside or click through to our Reservation Inquiry Form.



Telluride Outside

Box 685, 121 W. Colorado Ave.
Telluride, CO 81435
800.831.6230 ~ 970.728.3895
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