Colorado Rocky Mountain Expedition Update

Hello all,

The 2022 Colorado Rocky Mountain expedition just finished off a strong trip! The last time you heard from us, we had just exited our second backcountry and were getting cleaned up in preparation for our final segment fishing the Colorado river. That night we received some news that water temperatures were getting dangerously high on the Colorado and an all-day fishing closure had been implemented to protect the fish. After consulting with some local guides, we decided to pivot and move our camp to the Arkansas River outside of Buena Vista, Colorado instead.

The next morning we woke up, packed up camp, and hit the road. After about an hour of driving, we decided to make a pitstop at a well known tail water to do a little fishing. The fishing was technical, but the kids were rewarded for their efforts with a number of very nice fish pushing 20 inches being landed. After lunch, we decided to drive on and set up camp on the banks of the Arkansas just in time to catch an evening hatch before dinner and rest.

The following morning the kids slept in and ate a nice, big breakfast before hitting the river once again. The fishing was good, but ended up being a little bit slower than the previous night, so we decided to check out another section of the river in the afternoon. We decided to drive down river to a canyon area famous for whitewater rafting that was rumored to have some fish of good size. Once we arrived, we split in to two groups, one group would continue downstream to fish some pocket water, and the other group would hike upstream into the canyon to hunt for big fish. Both groups came back successful, with the downstream group catching large numbers of smaller fish and the upstream group catching a few nice sized fish. 

The next morning we woke early and packed up camp to go meet our float fishing guides for the day. The guides took their respective groups to a number of different spots, but all groups did fantastic! Many kids caught upwards of 30 fish that day and landed fish up to 22 inches in size! Needless to say, spirits were high after everyone returned from the float. To top it all off, we headed to Silverthorne where we would camp that night to relax and get in our pool and hot tub time at the rec center before our banquet dinner at the historic Mint Steakhouse. By the time we made it to our campsite for the night, it was already dark; all of the campers slept out under the stars for one final night. 

Today we headed to the airport early to say our goodbyes and send everyone home. This year’s Rocky Mountain expedition has been one for the books, and we were so happy to cap it off with such a fantastic few days on the Arkansas river!


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

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

(828) 577-8204