Rio Grande Reservoir Fly Fishing Creede, Colorado August 2022

by | Aug 27, 2023 | Camping, Fishing, Kayaking, Rio Grande River, Videos | 0 comments

The Rio Grande originates in south-central Colorado, in the United States, and flows to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Rio Grande rises in high mountains and flows for much of its length at high elevation; the valley floor at Albuquerque is 5,312 feet, and El Paso 3,762 feet above sea level. In New Mexico, the river flows through the Rio Grande rift from one sediment-filled basin to another, cutting canyons between the basins and supporting a fragile bosque ecosystem on its flood plain. From Albuquerque southward, the river flows through desert. Although irrigated agriculture exists throughout most of its stretch, it is particularly extensive in the subtropical Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas. The river ends in a small, sandy delta at the Gulf of Mexico at Brownsville, Texas.

The Rio Grande Reservoir is one of the earliest major dam projects in Colorado, a 550 foot long, 111 feet high earthen and rock dam was built creating the Rio Grande Reservoir in Hinsdale County Colorado.

The original intent for the reservoir created behind it was for agriculture in the San Luis Valley, but over the years the lake has grown in popularity for fishing and recreation. It was built from 1910 to 1914. Long and narrow, the Rio Grande Reservoir is the third-highest major reservoir in Colorado at an elevation of 9,400 feet and contains 51,110 acre-feet of water.

Trout fishermen do well from shore or by wading in and fly fishing. The reservoir is open from May 1 – November 15 unless early or late snow blocks access.

Brown and rainbow trout fishing is good from the Rio Grande Reservoir downstream to Del Norte. The section of water between South Fork and Del Norte provides the best location for catching trophy brown trout.

There is a primitive boat ramp and reservoir access road about 1/2 way along the Rio Grande Reservoir. There is a vault toilet here. Not recommended for large boats and long trailers. Motors are allowed on this large reservoir. Fish are stocked during summer months.

There are four campgrounds located on the road back to the Rio Grande Reservoir from Highway 149. This is County Road 18 / FSR 520. Here they are in order from closest to Creede:

Road Canyon Campground – Located in an open meadow beside the Royal Gorge River, Royal Canyons the closest campground to Creede, at less than forty minutes, with proper campsites, a toilet, but no water. There are 6 free first-come, first-served sites open from open mid-May until weather closes road access.

River Hill Campground – Open Memorial Day weekend, there are 20 tent/camper sites that can be reserved up to 6 months in advance. There is a boat ramp, picnic tables, toilets, drinking water, and parking on-site.

Thirty Mile Campground – Boasting 35 reservable sites, including 9 pull-thru, this campground has water and trash services from Memorial Day – Labor Day. Open the rest of the time without amenities or a fee, there are several nature trails nearby leading into the Weminuche Wilderness and an amphitheater that has summer Campfire programs. Reservations can be made in advance.

Lost Trail Campground – With 7 free, first-come, first-served sites, 3 of which are pull-thru and 4 are dead-end spurs, each area has a table, fire ring, and parking spur. Closed from November – Math 15th for snow, there are vault toilets and trailheads, however, there is no water or trash services.


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