Colorado West Elk Expedition

Colorado West Elk Expedition

Big Mountains, Big Fish, and Big Adventure

The snow capped 14,000 foot mountains, and high alpine valleys of south-central Colorado provide the backdrop for the fly fishing adventure of a lifetime. After one day of fly fishing school at our front country campsite, we will head into the remote backcountry near Gunnison Colorado. With an abundance of brilliantly colored, big and wild cutthroat, rainbow, brown and brook trout, this area is a favorite of Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions for good reason. After leaving the backcountry we will volunteer with the Crested Butte Land Trust to help conserve this pristine paradise. With our service work done we head back into the wilderness with the assistance of pack horses for 5 days chasing monster cutthroat among Colorado’s highest peaks. Upon exiting the backcountry, we will float fish the world famous Arkansas River with expert local guides, and then top it all off with a steak dinner. Whether this is your first time fishing and camping, or you are an experienced angler and backpacker, this trip will create memories that will last a lifetime.

Upcoming Trips

Dates Cost Arrive/Depart Location
Jul 23 - Aug 08, 2020


Denver, CO
Entering 10th Grade
Entering 11th Grade
Entering 12th Grade
Entering College Freshman
Community Service
10 Hours
What to Bring

We have put together a list of all that you will need for a successful and comfortable expedition. We offer a rental program for most of the big ticket items like fly rods, reels, sleeping bags, etc..

  • Catch trophy-sized wild trout in high alpine lakes
  • Explore the backcountry with the support of pack horses 
  • Volunteer with Trout Unlimited
  • Fish and raft the world famous Arkansas River
  • Climb a 14,000 ft mountain 
  • Catch a fish on a fly you tied

Day 1

Arrive in Denver, drive to our first front-country campsite.

Day 2

Fly fishing instruction and preparation for our first backcountry trip.

Day 3-7

First backpacking/fly fishing trip into the Colorado wilderness.

Day 8

Community service project with the Crested Butte Land Trust.

Day 9

Front-country fly fishing and preparation for second backcountry trip.

Day 10-14

Second backpacking/fly fishing trip into the Colorado Wilderness.

Day 15

Full day float fishing trip with local guides on the Arkansas River.

Day 16

Pool time at the Silverthorne Rec Center and the final banquet at The Historic Mint in Silverthorne.

Day 17

Depart from Denver.


Ready to Enroll?

Click "Enroll Now" or give us a call to get started. You can also send us an email at [email protected].

If you have any questions you can Request Information and we will contact you soon with answers.

Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions was started in 2010 as a graduate thesis for my Master's Degree in Environmental Conservation Education at NYU. The operating premise was simple - by coupling amazing wilderness fly fishing camps for teens with environmental education and service learning we can help inspire future generations of fly fishing conservationists. We have been growing our unique list of trips and experiences ever since.

When it comes to choosing a summer program for your teen the options are endless. For the teen who loves to fish, be outside, and has a strong sense of adventure we have made the choice easy. We are the leader in teen fly fishing adventures and are dedicated to providing the best backcountry fly fishing experience with opportunities for teens to engage in leadership training, community service, and backcountry camping.


Will Lillard signature

Will Lillard, Founder/Director/Guide

Contact Us

[email protected]

Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions
2540 King Road
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768

(828) 577-8204