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Home Travel Center North America Colorado Toad's Guide Service - Gunnison River Gorge

Toad's Guide Service - Gunnison River Gorge

Definition of toad: An endearing term used by guides to describe an excessively large fish or animal.

Gunnison Gorge

The gold medal waters of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a 14 mile wilderness river journey combining spectacular canyon scenery and is world famous for its flyfishing, scenery, whitewater rapids, and wildlife. This truly is a must do trip at least once in a lifetime. Many anglers come back year after year, no matter what it takes, because of their experiences on the water. Known for its large wild rainbows and brown trout, the resource stands above most fisheries in the United States. You can opt for a one, two or three day float trip in the canyon.

The Double Diamond River Ranch is managed as a trophy fishery and the biomass of fathead minnows, crayfish, and suckers grow meat eating toads. At the DDRR you realistically can catch the trout of a lifetime in a wild/natural ranch environment. The DDRR offers some of the most diversified waters on the western slope. Between half a mile of the Uncompahgre River and the Big Somo there are five private creeks and two private lakes are managed in combination to make a private trophy fishery that could be yours for the day. Be it still water or flowing these private waters contain toads that continue to surprise and awe us.

Photo Gallery


Seasons & Species

The Gunnison fishes like most freestone rivers with stoneflies, caddis and mayflies dominating the available food source. Early trips in May focus on stonefly and mayfly nymphs and streamers as the trout get ready for the Salmon fly hatch. This tends to be a predictable time for choosing the food source. Rainbows are in post-spawn mode and active and the Browns become more active as the water temperatures warm up. Caddis hatches are also possible. This trip encounters very few other groups. Late season trips in August and September enjoy classic hopper – dropper fishing. The undercut banks, pocket water and seams are all holding eager trout looking for that terrestrial treat. Many attractor dry fly patterns are productive at this time of the year.


Most trips start and end at the guide headquarters located in the downtown Montrose. As all fly fishing trips are custom, start and end times may vary.

Begin your trip by either driving in or getting picked up at the Montrose airport. If you choose to lodge at the Double Diamond River Ranch, then spend your evening relaxing and fishing the trophy waters of the DDRR and leave your extra gear at the bunkhouse instead of a rental can. The next morning you will be driven to the Gorge edge and hike down the chukar mule trail with your personal drybag. The boats and gear gets taken down by horse the day before so you don’t have to wait to get your trip started. While your guides get the boats ready you can put your flyrod and gear together and test out the waters. Once you push out you will alternate spending your time on the raft fishing and running class IV rapids until you reach the pleasure park takeout 14 miles downstream.

Book a multi-day fishing trip and you will take your time in the boat and get out frequently to walk-wade the best seams. Your guides will set up and tear down camp each day, as well as being your own personal chefs. Breakfast and dinner is river-style gourmet, and some of our recipes are to die for. Lunch is eaten midday out of the boat to maximize fishing time. After dinner you can relax and swap stories before going to bet under the stars (tents are provided in case of inclement weather or if that is your preference). The stars are bright down here, and a full moon will wake you as easily as a sunrise. Fish and wildlife are abundant with 20+ fish days the norm.


Nestled between the Uncompaghre River and the 13 acre private Lake Nohomussit is the Double Diamond River Ranch’s Bunkhouse. The 900 sq. ft. Bunkhouse was converted from a calving shed into a “man cave” using materials found on the ranch. The stone floors, farm-weathered wood walls, and tin ceiling combined with a eclectic mixture of fixtures of the 1950′s and 60′s will bring you back to a quieter, simpler time.

There is a full kitchen with stocked cupboards and a refrigerator so that, if you are so inclined, you can relax and cook in private instead of driving into town for meals. Special requests for food and non-alcoholic drinks can be made in advance of your stay to eliminate a trip to the grocery store.

The bunkhouse has a fully equipped bathroom with a sink; vanity mirror, for those of you who need a little preening; standard toilet; claw foot tub, with a hand shower; as well as a washer and dryer.

On warm nights the stone porch is set up for group gatherings, complete with tables, chairs, and fire pit. It is perfect for sitting around after days of adventure to relax and talk about the toads you caught in the past, the toads of the day, and the toad that got away.


Guided days:

Half day 1 person $225, 2 people $275, 3 people $325
Full day 1 person $325 2 people $375 3 people $425

Double Diamond River Ranch Accomodations:

Custom packages are configured especially for you depending on group size, number of nights, fishing private ranch waters and level of food service desired if any.

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