....................... ......Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park
Destinations: East River, Colorado The East River is not that well know but when you mention that it and the Taylor River forms the Gunnison River, it usually dawns on most anglers at least the area of Colorado it exit in. The only downfall for the average fisherman is that much of the river flows through private property.
The area of water below the Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery for about a mile is open to the public. This is not far above the junction of the Taylor River or the beginning of the Gunnison. There are some private outfitters that have rights to the river in certain areas, but other than that, all but about a mile and a half is private waters. Kokanee Salmon make a run up the river from the Blue Mesa Reservoir to the hatchery where they were born, providing a variety other than trout. This happens each fall and is strictly catch and release.
There is also some public water in the East River's headwaters above Crested Butte in the Gunnison National Forest but it is mostly a small meadow stream with small trout. There are some sections of pocket water that hold all four species of trout - brown, rainbow, brook and cutthroats, but again, they are mostly smaller fish in the headwaters. The river flows in a southerly direction from Emerald Lake until it reaches the Taylor. There are much larger brown and rainbow trout in this long section. The problem with it, like many other Colorado locations, is the lack of public access, otherwise the East River would be much more popular than it is.