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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for beta on the Lake Fork of the Gunnison. What is the best float fishing section? Bridges and fences to avoid and what is the best window of flows to float? Planning on it in a couple weeks. Fly shop says its too muddy and High right now but stream gauge has decreased substantially in the last couple days. So far BLM said the only section is Devil's Creek to Gate. Any word on what to expect from Lake City down would be awesome. Muchos Gracias in advance for any advice!
 

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Both fly shops in town are anti boating. The town run is the big hand fed fish stretch. Bring an eight weight for the first half of this run. The lower section of this run to devils creek is also great. You might have trouble getting under this bridge and the eddy comes up fast so be ready. There is one other bridge that might be an issue from devils to the gate. BLM says there is a fence from the gate to red bridge but I have been running it for years and have never seen a fence. Contact me and if I'm able I'll help you with your shuttle. Bring plenty of big streamers. Pike streamers work great on the town run and no tapered leaders needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for the great info. Do you have any recommendations on high or low flows to avoid? Not that low flows will be an issue. also looks like the bridges that you mentioned are scout-able from the road. My wife and I will be heading that way the 21st.
 

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One of the bridges is not scoutable from the road. It is a private bridge but you can see it ahead of time and it is not too bad of a portage. I think it is around 800 when the fit under becomes easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
portage OK? sounds like private property...and would be trespassing...we have a similar section on the Blue River close to us up here with lots of eyes looking and don't want to get the property owners after us. have you been running the Lake Fork yet this year? the way it looks flows will be above 800. Maybe just see what the week brings and make the decision what section to float closer to next weekend. Let me know if you are interested in tossing your boat in on the 21st...if not shuttle help would be great...cash or barley pops for the trouble...was going to ask at the fly shop but sounds like that is a dead end. Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
is there a legal portage around the bridge on the town run that is not scoutable?hope that i am not bothering you with all the questions...you are the only good source of info that i have found. thanks
 

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My wife and I ran the "box" canyon of the lake fork of the gunnison this past Sunday. I got a little beta from one of the fly fishing shops called the sportsmen. Even though he was not a whitewater guy, he was super helpful and very respectful. We put in roadside at a little turnoff around mile marker 79. Took out at the Gate campground. As far as the run itself, NOT a whitewater run, but a very quality 11 mile float through a really beautiful canyon. I was quite impressed and had a great time. There was one split in the river which would get someone in trouble, about 2/3 into the run, where you can't see left around the bend but you can see right. We went right, and lucky because of a downed tree without much eddy access before it was on the left. Another downed tree was fully across the water within the last 2 miles but easy eddy access right before it. As far as bridges, if I remember right, the first couple we had to duck but we could get underneath (we were in a shredder). There was a bridge that gave access to an old cabin, we portaged it to the left. Would have been really dicey to get underneath. All the rest were no biggie. We had flows of a 1060. We encountered zero fences however the fly fishing guide said we might at anytime.

On Monday, we scouted the downstream stretch before the blue Mesa reservoir. I had huge hopes of running this stretch, as it rarely has water, especially at a time I could ever get to it. 1000 CFS seemed like it would be sweet. We drove the road (entirely roadside). The first few miles looked like it would be fun, class III, with a log portage in some slack water. About halfway into the run is rattlesnake rapid (IV). The entrance to rattlesnake looked fun but then right in the middle/crux was a big ass log that ultimately made the entire rapid unrunnable, at least for this baby daddy with his baby's momma in the shredder with me. It would have been a crappy portage. We scouted the rest of the run, not really worth it to us to blow up and suit up, mostly class II and easy III for a couple more miles to the take out.

Bottom line for my trip report, if your not after adrenaline, but psyched for beauty, seclusion, and a wilderness feel...checkout the Box Canyon. Pretty cool for sure.




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God Amongst Men
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It would have been a crappy portage.
Really? Walking your boat along a flat road is crappy? Interesting....

Spot on report about the Box, that is a fun run. The standard put in is at the High Bridge access, which is a bit hard to find.

As for the Lake Fork Canyon, sorry to hear that one log stopped you from running what is a sweet stretch. Surprise Ledge is a hoot, and Last Chance is a fun drop, just go left. I'm not sure how it could be described as "not worth it", if it's over 500 then I definitely consider it "worth it". But, YMMV....
 

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My intention was not to disrespect the run, so I will qualify my statements. By not worth it, I was referring to the time in the boat vs time on the water. I estimated the run to be a hour at most, with the (rocky scree steepish embankment) portage of a shredder. We had a deflated boat, a napping baby, and a 3 hour drive home. To me, it was not worth the hassle, especially if I couldn't run rattlesnake. To someone else with different circumstances, they may have made a different choice and had a great time. It's all a matter of perception and opinion.


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We were there on the 30th of May. River was flooding all from Hensen Creek. Lots of strainers in the Gateview Section. At least 3 different places.
Some of our group ran the Lake Section (?) above "The Gate" campground. Some of us went for a hike.
S
 

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Float fishing the Lake Fork

Both fly shops in town are anti boating. The town run is the big hand fed fish stretch. Bring an eight weight for the first half of this run. The lower section of this run to devils creek is also great. You might have trouble getting under this bridge and the eddy comes up fast so be ready. There is one other bridge that might be an issue from devils to the gate. BLM says there is a fence from the gate to red bridge but I have been running it for years and have never seen a fence. Contact me and if I'm able I'll help you with your shuttle. Bring plenty of big streamers. Pike streamers work great on the town run and no tapered leaders needed.
I am mainly interested in float fishing the town run.
Where do you put in?
Where do you take out?
Length in miles?
Rapids of note?
Lowest CFS you would attempt this stretch?
Is there enough traffic to hitch to the put in?


I am hoping to make it up that way in May or June, depending on flows, to fish the drake hatch on the Gunnison below Almont for a few days. One of the days we would like to make our way over to this area. I have a 12ft raft with a fishing frame. Any other advice you have about this section would be very much appreciated.
 
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