Jet Boat Float Gunnison Gorge
If you enjoy fly fishing in the Crested Butte area you may want to experience the Jet Boat Float Gunnison Gorge. I enjoy this exciting day of great fly fishing at least once per summer.
There are only two ways to fish the Gunnison Gorge for the day – Hike in and out, or take a jet boat. I like saying the words “jet boat”. When I say those words I get a smile on my face. I imagine I will be going somewhere very fast on the water… combine the words “jet boat” + “Gunnison Gorge Fly Fishing” and I am very excited for a great day.
The day starts out early as I pick up my client and friend in downtown Crested Butte. It is too early to stop at “the Gasser” (the Gas Café) for coffee and a couple of McStop breakfast sandwiches so I prepare this before I leave my house as a surprise for my fishing buddy. I pick him up at 5:00am, and he is also very excited. He has his fly rod and backpack neatly stacked by the street, and he is sitting on his porch ready to go… we put his stuff in my truck and head out.
Kebler Pass Road early in the morning is alive with wildlife. We saw fox, deer, and elk along the way. At the end of Kebler Pass Road we hang a left and go through Paonia then stop in downtown Hotchkiss to pee get some jerky and fill-up with gas. It is only about 5 more miles to the turn-off to Pleasure Park and as we take the left I look at the barren landscape here and know that the river is just down the hill and around the bend…
Pleasure Park is an interesting place. We pull up to the large building on our right and walk inside. This is a throwback time warp sort of experience. There are very few lights on as we walk into the combo restaurant, bar and fly shop. We get a warm welcome and some recommended flies for the day, we step up to the bar to pay for our day on the water. The jet boat up river and a full day float is $600 + tip to the guide. It is 7:00am and to our right there is someone drinking at the bar. We wonder if he has been there all night as we walk back outside.
We drive a hundred yard down to the river and see our guide waiting on us. We quickly park, get our stuff and walk over to the jet boat. We meet our guide and exchange pleasantries. Thankfully, he asked us three times if we got everything. We said “yes” twice and the third time, I realized I left my sunglasses in the car. We put all of our stuff in the jet boat, put on our life jackets and got in. Captain Al and our guide were behind us, we sat on the bench seat just in front of them. We pushed off and Al floored it. We went from zero to fast in 2.3 seconds. We reached for our hats just before the flew off our heads.
We started out on a wide deep part of the river and soon we understood why people say Al can “thread the needle”. We were going full speed and mere inches from large rocks. I looked up to see an approaching set of rapids. There were rocks everywhere and we were heading right for the largest one. Suddenly the boat made a hard right and then a hard left. Now we were heading right for a section of the river that was blocked by rocks and water tumbling over them… I was certain we would hit the rocks and all be catapulted out of the boat and into the air. As we got closer Al made a slight adjustment as I closed my eyes and braced for impact. There was a loud “whup, whup” on the hull of the boat, but we slid right through… we looked at each other and laughed.
Soon we arrived at The Smith Fork – a small stream that flows into the Gunnison river at the end of the canyon. There is a sandy beach and whalla! There was our boat we would be floating in all day – it was tied up on the beach. Al had “jetted” our boat up earlier in the morning.
Al said goodbye and gave us one last display of his boat handling mastery as he exited with a high-speed u-turn that Al did as he returned downstream back to Pleasure Park…
We got out, got all of our stuff, and our guide started setting-up our rods and telling us stories of his decades of exploring, and fishing in the Gunnison Gorge.
We had a great day on the water – we caught many brown trout waiting for our large hopper pattern to appear right by the banks. We also fished deep runs and caught both rainbow trout and brown trout. We had our share of fish stories – mostly lunkers that we got a glimpse of, but when they say us they turned and headed into the force of the current and got away.
I addition to a gentle float trip, we pulled-over many times to walk-and-wade, and also stopped for a great lunch.
The day goes by too quickly. Time fly fishing goes by twice as fast. Soon we were approaching Pleasure Park and the end of another adventure fly fishing.
About the Gunnison Gorge
As you may know the headwaters of the Gunnison River start in Crested Butte. The Slate River flows into the East River, and the East River joins the Taylor River in Almont to form the Gunnison River. The Gunnison River flows into the Blue Mesa reservoir just West of Gunnison. Below the Blue Mesa dam is the Morrow Point reservoir, and then the water flows into the Crystal reservoir. Final the river is allowed to tumble again as it cuts through the steep walls of the Black Canyon and then into the Gunnison Gorge.
Gunnison River Expeditions
On our trip last summer, we were guided by Gunnison River Expeditions out of Hotchkiss, Colorado. They have a stable of fly-fishing guides
For direct link to the Jet Boat Service
Crested Butte Fly Fishing
Whether you are a visitor, home owner or considering a Crested Butte home – you will have access to great fly fishing in the rivers and streams in the Crested Butte area.
Because Crested Butte is at the end of the valley and surrounded by mountains – we also have many drainages that provide crystal clear mountain streams and rivers. There is Cement Creek, Brush Creek, Slate River, and the East River and Taylor River join in Almont to create the Gunnison River. See Fly fishing in the Crested Butte area.
There is plenty of great public water that you can float, or walk and wade. There are also many rivers and streams that flow through private land that offer great ownership opportunities with private fly fishing. The Reserve on the East River, The Wilder on the Taylor, Gunnison Riverbanks Ranches and Crystal Creek are all developments with private residences and homesites for sale with access to approximately 2 miles of private fly fishing in the Crested Butte area.
People often ask me “What Makes Crested Butte Special?”
People often ask me what makes Crested Butte special – there are so many things…, but the amazing fly fishing we have here in the valley, and Jet Boat Float Gunnison Gorge with family, friends and clients is one thing that is very most special to me.
How can I help you with Your Crested Butte Real Estate Needs?
The Crested Butte area offers a wide variety of properties including ski in/ski out single family homes, ski-in/ski-out condominiums, lake and river frontage properties, golf course property, and true fine mountain homes on acreage. To see featured properties or search the MLS – visit www.ChrisKopf.com.
If you considering Selling your Crested Butte home and are interested in finding out what your existing property is worth – call me.
How is the Crested Butte Real Estate Market doing? Click this link to see my monthly Crested Butte Real Estate Market Reports I appreciate the opportunity to earn your business and be your Crested Butte Real Estate Agent.
Broker / Owner
Global Luxury Property Specialist
Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties
mobile phone: (970) 209-5405