John with a beautiful brown trout on an evening float

The Gunnison River is known for its great trout fishing opportunities. We offer trips starting at the Chukkar Trail all the way down to the small town of Austin, CO. This section offers a variety of water to fish.

Upstream, you’ll encounter some class 3 and 4 rapids in the Gunnison Gorge. This section is known for its large salmon fly hatch, in the early summer. During this time, big fish feed aggressively on large stonefly’s that fall to the water’s surface. For more information on our Gunnison Gorge trips, click here.

Once out of the Gunnison Gorge, you’ll encounter a gentle, four mile stretch of slow-moving riffles, known as the Smith Fork. This water offers great dry fly opportunities. There are a couple of ways to access this section of water. One is floating from the Chukkar Trail through the Gorge. If you’d like to spend more time on this section, we’d suggest a day of walk / wading.

If you’d like to add a little more adventure to your walk / wade day, we can lead you up to this lookout point that puts you above the river with exceptional views.

The Smith Fork leads you to the confluence of the North Fork at Pleasure Park. This is where the majority of our “lowers” will begin. From here, you’ll encounter great nymph runs, dry fly banks, and great structure to throw streamers. It’s not uncommon for experienced anglers to catch fish using all three methods.

Currently, these sections of the Gunnison River hold more brown trout than rainbow trout. However, the rainbow trout population does seem to be bouncing back thanks to the conservation work being done. There’s also potential to catch native fish species such as chub and sucker fish.

The Gorge and the lower sections can be a year-round fishery; however, things really slow down during the winter months. From spring to fall, the fishing can be excellent with great dry fly opportunities. Book a trip today and we’ll see you on the water!

Sections We Float

Gunnison Gorge

Chukkar to Pleasure Park – 14 Miles

  • Mostly Trout
  • Exceptional Dry Fly Water, Especially During Stone Fly Hatch of Early Summer
  • Best for Multi-Day Trip

Lower “Gunny”

Pleasure Park to Austin – 8 miles

  • Mostly Trout
  • Nymphs, Dry Fly, and Streamers

Black Canyon Anglers (BCA) to 65 Street Bridge – X miles

  • Mostly Trout, Common to Catch Native Chubs and Suckers
  • Dry Dropper, Nymphs


$700 per boat / 2 anglers / 8 hrs
$600 per boat / 2 anglers / 6 hrs
$500 per boat / 2 anglers / 4 hrs

Current Flows

It’s important to know what the flows are for the river, as they can help you determine how well it can fish. For the Gorge, it’s important to look below the Gunnison tunnel and for the lower it’s important to look at the North Fork flows and current flows at Delta.

Gunnison Tunnel

North Fork