Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide to the East River, Colorado
The upper East River, above Crested Butte is in the Gunnison National Forest. It is a small,
nice little meadow stream in this area and theres some public fishing access available. The
stream meanders through the meadows where undercut banks are the main fish holding
areas. This part of the stream holds smaller rainbow, brown, cutthroat and brook trout.
There's also some pocket water sections of the upper river has some fairly deep pools that
hold a lot of fish. The average size is probably less than ten inches though.
The lower river has much larger trout. Although the browns only average about 12 to 14
inches, they can get quite large. Rainbows represent the other trout population in the lower
part of the river. This is where most anglers fish the river.
The Kokanee salmon show up into the river from the Gunnison River about the middle of
August. They travel up both the Taylor and the East River. Most of them are around 15
inches or slightly larger. They all run about the same size. They don't eat during the
spawning run, but they will take flies.
The Slate River, a tributary stream of the East River, has a few places where anglers can
access the stream to fish. Although the fish are on the small side, you will find the scenery is
Although the section between Gothic & Emerald Lake has some fine small stream fishing for
small trout, most of the fishing on the East River is done in the Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery
section of water.
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