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Private Water

Private water provides the opportunity to pursue trophy trout in unique solitude. Telluride Angler has many miles of exclusive guiding access on the Dolores and Uncompahgre rivers, plus intimate small stream water on the grounds of Dunton Hot Springs and Fish Creek Ranch, both on the West Fork Dolores. Please review the following "Private Water Menu" for a complete list of exclusive locations.

 


Cascabel Club

Crown jewel of the San Miguel, Cascabel Club offers 3 contiguous miles of private water in Norwood Canyon.  This is the best water on the San Miguel, notable for its structure, habitat variety, fish size and profusion of aquatic insects.  No longer operated as a fishing club, our lease at Cascabel offers anglers the opportunity to fish a section of the San Miguel that has been protected for more than 30 years.  [photo, right]

Rod fee:  $150/pp

 

 

 

 

Gurley Creek

The western cornerstone of the San Juan Mountains is a spectacular pyramid called Lone Cone, rising about 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 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.  [photo, left]

Rod fee: $100

 


Bayless Ranch

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 centerpunches the very best fishing water, allowing reasonable fishing access for both half day and full day trips.  You would have to fish this property 3-4 times just to cover all of its runs, riffles and pocketwater.  [photo, left]

Rod fee: $100


 

 

Redburn's Ranch (Dolores)

An heirloom ranch of arresting serenity, Redburn's is a cornerstone 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 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.

Additional rod fee: $100.

 

Roaring Fork Ranch (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 is 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.  [photo, right]

Additional rod fee: $100.

 


 
Sawmill (West Fork Dolores)

Perhaps the finest natural trout habitat on the Dolores, the lovely West Fork winds through this enchanted valley in a series of mule shoes, cobbled runs and braided channels structured with boulders and root balls.  This is small water of the highest quality, a great place to fish a fiberglass 3-weight with an attractor fly for large trout.  Mid-summer is the apex season at Sawmill when water levels are ideal and profuse hatches put the fish in high gear. [photo, left]

Additional rod fee:  $100

 

Line Camp Ranch (Dolores)

The Line Camp offers over a mile of luxurious riffles, runs and pools below the confluence of the Main Fork and West Fork, upstream from the town of Dolores. This section of the river corridor is much wider and lower gradient than the fast moving pocketwater on the Roaring Fork section. Big fish enjoy roomy habitat, feeding on crawdads, grasshoppers and a host of aquatic insects. Beautiful cottonwoods line the river and huge boulders jut out from the banks.

Additional rod fee: $100.

 

 

Lightenburger Ranch (Dolores)

Lightenburger is also located below the forks of the Dolores. 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. Fish grow to great size on both the Lightenburger and Line Camp ranches. Boulder-studded pools, low-gradient runs and luxurious riffles provide superb trout habitat. 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.  [photo, right]

Additional rod fee: $100



Akin Ranch (Dolores)

Among the best fishing properties on the Dolores River, the Akin Ranch features almost 1.5 miles of enticing natural pools, generous riffles and long dry fly slicks.  We enjoy terrific fish variety on the Akin Ranch, including resident rainbows, brown trout and cutthroats in addition to heavy cuttbows and browns that migrate seasonally from McPhee reservoir through the property.  This is an excellent destination for anglers of any ability.  Beginners enjoy sizable pools for practicing techniques with the chance to hook multiple fish.  Experienced anglers have an opportunity to walk upriver all day without seeing another angler or running out room. 

Additional rod fee: $100

Rico River Ranch (Upper Dolores)

Located just one mile downstream from the town of Rico, Rico River Ranch offers a terrific private water destination that is reachable on both half and full day guided trips from Telluride. A half mile of the Upper Dolores River 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.  [photo, left]

 

 

 

Cowley Ranch (San Miguel)

Cowley offers a great opportunity to fish a highly structured section of the San Miguel just 20 minutes by car from Telluride.  This is a great option for half day trips.  Long considered one of the best fishing sections on the river, Cowley Ranch boasts an impressive aquatic insect population with abundant summer hatches including caddis, PMDs, yellow sally stoneflies, blue winged olives and even a few green drakes.  Well-defined pocketwater rewards the perfect drift.  Wading mid-stream, the angler must position oneself for a precise cast and clever line mending to steer the fly through ever-changing currents.  A great classroom for anglers of every ability, Cowley Ranch is a favorite among our guides.

 

Dunton Hot Springs (West Fork Dolores)

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 mile of private flyfishing 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.  Please inquire for availability.

Dunton lunch/soak/fish fee: $225/pp, + guide
Dunton fishing access with regular Telluride Outside lunch: $150pp + guide

Dunton River Camp

Dunton River Camp 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 sheer beauty, passes through the River Camp for more than a mile. The West Fork is a small and accessible 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.  [photo, right]

If we judge rivers by their beauty, exclusivity, accessibility and the quality of their trout, the West Fork on the Dunton River Camp would earn perfect scores. On the last count, it would be hard to imagine another river of this size with equal quality and variety of trout. Rainbow trout are the predominant species, but brown trout are also abundant, along with the occasional cutthroat and brook trout. The angler may catch fish of any size, but trout in the 16”-20” range are common on this exclusive stretch of river.

Dunton River Camp may be fished only with a Telluride Outside guide (or by staying at Dunton Hot Springs resort). The rod fee is $150/pp, or $225/pp with an elegant streamside lunch catered by Dunton.


Fish Creek Ranch (West Fork Dolores)

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.  This is small water paradise with beaver ponds, tiny side channels, plunge pools and tree-lined cutbanks creating exotic habit for four species of trout.  Bring your 3-weight and enjoy old world fly fishing in a magnificent setting.

Additional rod fee: $150

 

"Jackson Hole" (Uncompahgre River)

One of our favorite winter flyfishing 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.  [photo, right]

Catching fish at "Jackson Hole" 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 April than in the summer months.

Additional rod fee: $100.

 

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Telluride Outside

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