West Elk Update

Greetings from Gunnison CO,

Our group of teen fishermen just finished the first backcountry section of our trip. After 4 days of fishing along the Crystal River everybody in the group has caught bunches of fish.

Matt and Hall with a nice Crystal River Cutthroat Trout" />

We spent all three nights based at the top of Schofield Pass right along the river. From there we had perfect access to both the upper and lower section of the river. Our group split up with half the group fishing the upper section near the campground each day and the other half making the 3 mile hike down to the lower section near the beautiful Crystal Mill.

Half of the group standing at the Crystal Mill before fishing the lower Crystal River" />

The day hikes allowed everybody in the group to acclimate to the high altitude while hiking without their packs. Everybody in the group made the hike down and back up with no issues and we are glad that they are all getting accustomed to the thin air.

Barret with a gorgeous native Cutthroat" />

We are even happier that the fishing was as good as always. The group fishing the top half had the pleasure of catching some rare Cutthroat Trout while the group that hit the lower sections were caught a mix of cutthroat and fat brook trout. Everybody caught several fish a day with some people catching well over 30 fish in a few hours of fishing. The conditions could not have been any better.

As fly fishermen it is our responsibility to help preserve the areas that we enjoy so much. That is why tomorrow we start our two day service project with the Crested Butte Land Trust (CBLT). The CBLT has preserved over 30,000 acres of land for the use of Outdoor Recreation, some of which we are lucky enough to fish during our trip.

From there we head back over the continental divide to chase trout up Pine Creek on our final backcountry section.

We will be sure to send another update before we hit the trail.

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