Orvis, the Vermont fly-fishing manufacturer’s endorsement is a testimony to the outstanding on-ranch opportunities for brook, brown, rainbow, cutthroat, and cuttbow trout. All instructors are Orvis Endorsed, and all equipment used is manufactured by the Orvis Company. Visit the Lonesome Outfitter – featuring our Orvis Pro Shop – before your trip to procure any final information and gear that you’ll need for your trip.
At The High Lonesome Ranch anglers experience an entirely unique and natural fishery. High mountain snowmelt and springs form our valley’s North Dry Fork spring creek that flows for 16 miles from our uppermost reservoir at 7200 feet down past the ranch headquarters and then beyond to our lowest fishery at 4300 feet. As the cold, pure water gradually cascades down through our valley, you’ll find the exciting byproduct created in part by our resident beaver population. For decades they’ve sharpened their teeth on the aspen, cottonwoods, and oaks that line the creek’s perimeter. Over time the downed trees have helped form a series of 18 spring-creek pools, each of which is full of heavy and healthy trout. The pristine water gives our guests goosebumps when they sight cast to cruising 20+ inch brookies, browns, rainbows, cutthroats and cuttbows.
The pools vary in size. Some are small and intimate which allow for sight fishing to cruising trout. In other instances you’ll work medium-sized pools, which vary in depth. For the larger waters you’ll find all the gear you need on the bank. From small rowboats and float tubes to PFD’s and anchors all you need to do is to be ready to cast. And if you’re a little rusty, one of our Orvis-Endorsed guides will help sharpen your skills.
Float trips are great options, with the majority occurring on the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers. The two common boats used are either the classic McKenzie style drift boat, or a self-bailer, which is a raft with a frame. One or two anglers are accompanied by one of our guides. All of the float guides are seasoned veterans of the rivers and have fished in a variety of situations. They will navigate anglers through a series of slow and fast water, with a fishing day beginning at 9:00 AM, a lunchtime break in a cottonwood grove, and an afternoon float that concludes around 4:00 PM. Plan your trips ahead of time, particularly during July and August, because guides are hard to come by during those times.
Streams and Rivers
The Western Slope is drained by the Colorado River. And from every great drainage source come even better tributaries. Out here you’ll find outstanding fishing in the big rivers like the Colorado or the smaller rivers like the Roaring Fork, Crystal, White, and Frying Pan Rivers.
Timing is everything. And there are a number of good choices here. Prime time fishing is in July and August – perfect timing for family vacations. There is also excellent spring pre-runoff fishing for trout that have wintered over and are ready to feed. The fall is an excellent time, too, where the rivers are quiet. Working a dry fly or a streamer against the bank draws hits from some of the biggest fish of the season.
Whether you prefer to walk-and-wade or fish from a drift boat, The High Lonesome Ranch can schedule and accommodate your needs.
Fly-fishing and Conventional
As there are a lot of different fish to catch there are also a number of fishing styles from which to choose. Whether you prefer to fly-fish for trout or spin or bait cast for largemouth bass, we’ve got an opportunity for you. The High Lonesome Ranch is an Orvis Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge, and all instructors are certified Orvis fly casting instructors and guides. Every guide is an accomplished warm water angler and capable of teaching children to cast level-wind or spin reels. It’s never too late to catch a trophy trout or to introduce your children to fishing. At the ranch, we’ve got the resources to do it all.