The Gunnison River
The gunnison river is formed at the confluence of the east river and the taylor river in almont co. It flows south for just over ten miles before crossing under hwy 50 at the town of gunnison. The river then heads west and follows hwy 50 west of town where it flows into blue mesa reservoir. The river is a major tributary of the colorado river. The gunnison has trout in it form its confluence downstream through the black canyon national park and gunnison gorge national recreation area down to austin colorado where the river warms up to make trout fishing unproductive. The river has rainbow and brown trout along with some cutthroat and also boasts a large kokanee salmon run that occurs in september and october. This run is a hoot to fish as some very large trout also make their way up the river from the reservoir (which happens to be the largest lake in colorado). There are lots of places to fish and miles of public water for the wading or floating angler to enjoy.
The Taylor River
The taylor river begins way up high in taylor park and flows into taylor reservoir. This stretch is called the upper taylor and is characterized by a smallish river flowing through an open valley. The outlet of the reservoir is controlled by a bottom release dam and is the famous hog trough where the states largest trout prowl. The c & r( catch and release) area as its commonly called is a very busy fishery with numerous fisherman trying their skill during even the worst weather. The remainder of the river flows along the road and has a lot of public fishing interspersed between private properties. The river along this lower stretch is a great fishery. Caution should be used when fishing this lower stretch as the bottom of the river is very difficult to wade!
The East River
The east river begins above gothic and flows south around the backside of crested butte mountain and continues through the roaring judy fish hatchery to its meeting with the taylor. The river is mostly private but the stretches of public water are well worth the effort to access. The east river flows through the hatchery property where it is classified as wild trout water and has some special regulations that you should familiarize yourself with (see the current state fishing regulations) . This is a great fishery even though there are lots of people fishing the ponds that hold plenty of fish. Plenty of public water is available from the backside of the mountain north into the gothic valley.
The Lake Fork
The lake fork of the gunnison is located about 45 minutes from gunnison. It flows from the headwaters above lake city into lake san christobal and then flows north along hwy 149 into blue mesa reservoir. The river has many public access points and is well marked to make access to the river easy. This river being a major tributary of the gunnison gets the same salmon run and the spawning runs of large lake fish since the river flows into blue mesa. This river has some of the best and most scenic fishing in the area. The river has some stretches that have been enhanced by structure in order to provide holding water. Plenty of camping right on the river is available at either red bridge or the gate campgrounds.