Fly Fishing in Crested Butte Colorado

Thanks to Pure Fishing for the rod and reel to test my fly fishing skills in Crested Butte Colorado. 

It seems that any vacation we have taken in the past 10 years have involved skis or a fly rod and sometimes both.   I decided that if I cant beat them I need to join them. 

I have taken the Orvis 101 and 201 classes they offer for free in the past but always seem to be the odd man out when it comes to fly fishing with the family due to numbers.  Only 2 to a boat/guide and we have 5 people so someone has to stay back.

fly fishing in Crested butte lake

Not this time, after dropping off our son at the USAFA, we drove to Crested Butte, CO for a little vacation.  Honestly I was not ready to come home to a quieter house!

Known for being a ski town, Crested Butte is absolutely beautiful in the summer. Thanks to the many mountain streams, rivers, and mountain lakes you can find a place to cast a line  in the spring, summer, and fall with Rainbow, Brown, Brook, and Cutthroat trout. 

This trip my family decided not to take a guided fly fishing day but rather hit up the local shops for tips on where to go.  However there are several outfitters that can take you on a float or wade guided trip.
mountain lakes in crested butte
I happened to find a VRBO that had access to the Slate River, a popular area to paddle on.  Yes there is such thing as a plastic hatch… LOL
what is a plastic hatch fly fishing
The VRBO also had access to  a beautiful mountain lake just a 5 min drive or 20 minute walk up hill.  Walking around it you could see the very skiddish rainbow trout lurking around. 

I was outfitted thanks to Pure Fishing with a ROD and REEL

The Reel is a Greys Tail Fly Reel.  The perfect beginner Reel priced starting at $129.
Greys Tail fly fishing reel
When you buy a reel, don’t forget you will need to buy line.  You can head to most fly shops and they will put it on your reel for you. 
Here are some features of the Grey Reel from the website: 
  • High quality di-cast, machine finished construction
  • Carbon disc drag system
  • Modern large arbor industrial design
  • Supplied with reel pouch


Greys Tail fly fishing reel with backing

The Rod is a Greys GR80 Streamflex Fly Rod 9 Feet 5 Weight


  • Advanced resin system and high modulus carbon construction
  • Custom Greys reel seat with dual-locking rings
  • AAA cork handles
  • Section line-up marks
  • Hard partitioned rod tube

The dimensions of this rod, 9 feet 5 weight is a very versatile rod for many fly fishing expeditions.   It is the perfect rod to take on vacation as you can use it in many situations from shore fishing to wading in the rivers. 

fly fishing in slate river

Since it was June in Colorado the water was pretty cool, so we used wading boots and wading socks to stay warm. 
view o
Later in the year, when the water levels are lower, you can probably wade in with Chacos or Keens.   Just be aware of slimy rocks on the riverbed.
The thing about fly fishing is spotting fish.  
1) look for a rise in the water
trout rising in water
2) Spot trout near rocks and grassy areas
eye spy a trout
I call this eye spy.  Be sure to have polarized sunglasses when fly fishing to be able to play eye spy in the water with these elusive trout!
Crested Butte elevation is over 8000 feet so be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen when you are out on the water.  Just be sure to wash your hands before touching the trout and sunscreen. 
Of course my boys took off and explored many rivers in Gunnison County and while I would have loved going with them, I enjoyed the serenity of the slower flowing river near by and the very quiet mountain lake. 
Of course if you need to get your steps in there are tons of beautiful hikes around.
hiking in crested butte, co
Be sure to check out Pure Fishing for all your freshwater, salt water and fly fishing gear for all levels.  Fishing is a great way to explore new areas just always check in with the states wildlife websites to obtain fishing licenses.  

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