Colorado Adventure Final Update

Hello all,

The Colorado Rocky Mountain adventure has had a fantastic last few days and is coming to a bittersweet end. The last time you heard from us, we had just exited the backcountry of Rocky Mountain National park. The following day we slept in before eating a big breakfast and packing gear. By late morning we had the van loaded up and were on our way to the Colorado river. As you might remember from our last update from the backcountry, there had been a ton of rainfall in the previous few days in the headwaters of the Colorado. When we arrived at our campsite on the Colorado, we ran into some very stained water that would make for some tough fishing. After consulting with our float fishing guides, we decided to pivot and wade fish the blue river that day and float fish the Arkansas river the next day. We ate a quick lunch and headed to the Blue excited to get fishing.

After we rigged up our rods, we started our descent into the canyon, and within a few hundred feet, we spotted rising fish that were more than double the size of anything else we had caught so far. For those unfamiliar with the Blue, it is one of the more pressured tailwaters in Colorado, which means that the fish are big, but also very smart and wary of flies. We knew that a technical tailwater like this would definitely be a test of the campers' new fly fishing skills. Regardless, the kids had a very successful day with tons of strikes and multiple fish over the 16-inch mark landed. We wrapped up our fishing just before dark and headed to our new campsite to cook dinner and get some rest. 

The next morning was an early one, but we had no trouble getting the kids up because float fishing was on their minds. After a quick breakfast, we headed out to meet our guides at Cutthroat Anglers in Silverthorne. The guides then drove the kids out to fish various sections of the Arkansas river from their drift boats, and as per usual, the kids did great. One boat hauled in 65 fish over the course of the day, and the largest fish of the day was a beautiful 20-inch rainbow! The kids got back to Silverthorne late after a very full day of fishing, and we headed to the historic Mint Steakhouse for a delicious final banquet dinner. We then headed back to our campsite for the night and got some well-earned rest to prepare for the early morning drive back to the Denver airport the next day. 

This year's Rocky Mountain Adventure has been an absolute blast for all of us, guides included. We have had a great group of kids, and it has been a ton of fun to watch them grow in their fishing, backpacking, and leadership skills over the course of the trip. We would love to see all of these kids on Lillard trips in the future! Parents will receive a Flickr photo album soon, so be checking your emails for that. Thanks again to everyone for an awesome trip, and we hope you all have a great rest of your summer!


Tight lines,

Will, Jack, and Remi 

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.


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Will Lillard, Founder/Director/Guide

Contact Us

[email protected]

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

(828) 577-8204