Colorado West Elk Update


After the first backcountry of the West Elk Expedition, we enjoyed a few days of fishing on the Taylor River. This Taylor is full of fish, many of which are huge. In addition to catching some fish during our time on the Taylor, we also completed our service project which was planting willows for the Crested Butte Land Trust. Willows provide habitat for fish and insects alike, while also preventing erosion.

For our second backcountry, we entered the collegiate peaks wilderness just outside of Buena Vista, CO. We hiked to a lake just off the Continental Divide Trail. The 14,000ft mountains surrounding the lake were breathtaking, but not as breathtaking as the wild cutthroat. We fished hard for two days with everyone in the group catching some really nice fish. 

On the third day of the backcountry, those that wanted to fish in the morning fished around camp while some rested up for our hike out of the backcountry. The hike out was fast and before we knew it we had set up camp near the town of Salida. After setting up camp we drove into town for some much needed showers and a swim at the local rec center. A pizza dinner to celebrate our success put all of the kids straight to sleep.

For the next couple days we are planning on fishing two different lakes. We are hoping to add to our fish totals with some huge fish as well as a shot at some Arctic Grayling. We will follow that up with a float with Cutthroat Anglers down the Arkansas River. From there we head to Silverthorne, and then Denver the next morning. The trip is flying by! Wish us luck on the final stretch. 


Tight Lines, 

Jack, Robbie, Baker and Crew


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