Colorado West Elk Expedition Update

IMG_4541Sorry for the delay with getting the update out this week, but we’ve been pretty busy in between our backcountry sections.  After our showers, laundry, and re-supply, we spent the last four nights camped along the world famous Taylor River near the towns of Crested Butte and Gunnison.  Our first full day out of the backcountry we sought out some cutthroat trout just outside of the town of Crested Butte in the morning.  After mixed success fishing we went to town to eat lunch and play a couple of games of ultimate frisbee before heading back to our campsite and to fish the Taylor for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

IMG_4544IMG_4545Friday was our service day.  This year we worked with the Crested Butte Land Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving open space and public access to outdoor recreation in the Gunnison valley.  We were working on a ranch property south of Crested Butte helping to remove noxious weeds and other waste from the land as well as tearing down an old wooden fence and replacing it with new barbed wire.  I’m proud to report that the group threw their whole effort behind the project and were very hard working.  We finished up the service day with another round of ultimate and another evening of fishing the Taylor.IMG_4543

On Saturday we had hoped to hike into the high alpine to view some of the wildflowers and spectacular vistas that make Crested Butte famous, but were shut down by some particularly nasty weather.  Our backup plan was to head to nearby lake Irwin to catch some rainbow trout under the presence of some of the higher peaks of the West Elk range.  We got out of the rain for the afternoon, and celebrated the two birthdays on the trip by taking in the war epic Dunkirk at the local theater.  After the movie it was back to the Taylor for our last evening of fishing this amazing river.  The kids absolutely crushed it and were able to bag an impressive number of fish in the two hours they spent fishing that evening.IMG_4539

Today we are headed back over the continental divide to the town of Buena Vista to prepare for our 5 day backpacking trip into the collegiate peaks wilderness.  This backcountry is a favorite of LFFE, and for good reason.  Look for the next update on August 4 to find out why!  Until then…

Tight lines! Charlie Parr

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

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

(828) 577-8204