The South San Juan Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area located in the San Juan National Forest, east of Pagosa Springs, in southern Colorado. Originally designated as wilderness by Congress in 1980, it is a component of the National Wilderness … The fishing: well, the Blanco, San Juan and Conejos Rivers all … We had an incredible 2019 fishing & hunting season. Make sure you are familiar with the following regulations along the Conejos before setting out for your day of fishing:Downstream Menkhaven Ranch through Aspen Glade Campground, and Bear Creek subdivision, HEBO Corp. and Douglas properties:- Artificial flies only- Bag and possession is two trout, 16" or longerPlatoro Lower Bridge to South Fork Confluence:- Artificial flies and lures only- Bag and possession is two trout, 16" or longerLake Fork to Rock Lake:- Artificial flies and lures only- All cutthroats must be returned to the water immediatelyOutside of these areas, all regular Colorado Division of Wildlife standard fishing regulations apply. If you are a fly fisherman, the South San Juan offers a tremendous opportunity for the fly-fishing purist. The South San Juan Wilderness encompasses the southeastern extent of the San Juan Mountain Range, including a segment of the Continental Divide. You can find the trails along USFS Road 250. One such hidden gem is (yet another) Crater Lake, tucked away in the South San Juan Wilderness - an area labeled by many as "Colorado's wildest corner". After I ate I grabbed some pictures and then hit the trail again. Created on December 22, 1980, when President Carter signed Public Law 96-560, the 127,721-acre South San Juan Wilderness is a geographically remote and primal territory. Each fisherman will be asked to participate in a short orientation on riding and horsemanship. The wilderness boundary extends from south of Hwy 160 to just north of Hwy 17. Be careful past South Fork though, as much of the land belongs to the Menkhaven Ranch and is posted private property. Terrestrials are recommended in sizes #14-#18. … There are a few area fly shops that publish Conejost River fishing reports. Make sure you know where you are and where nearby private property boundary lines are in order to maintain a good relationship with the property owners in the area. In terms of accommodations, there are several ranch resorts in the area that cater specifically to anglers looking to fish the many trout filled waters of Colorado, and many of them are located quite close by the to the Conejos, too. Located in Rio Grande and San Juan National Forests. Welcome to Fish Creek Outfitters, where your adventure in the beautiful San Juan Wilderness begins! A few to check out are listed below. The Conejos, San Juan, and Blanco Rivers have their headwaters here. Trout Fishing the Beautiful South San Juan Wilderness of Colorado August 2020 By Rex McMahon August 18, 2020 Tips and Tactiics 0 Comments OK, so the government authorities have still deemed the beach to be one of the most dangerous places in the world for COVID – 19. A better question to ask might be where can’t you fish along the Conejos. FISHING THE ELK CREEK AND BEYOND. __CONFIG_colors_palette__{"active_palette":0,"config":{"colors":{"62516":{"name":"Main Accent","parent":-1}},"gradients":[]},"palettes":[{"name":"Default Palette","value":{"colors":{"62516":{"val":"var(--tcb-skin-color-0)"}},"gradients":[]}}]}__CONFIG_colors_palette__, DIY Guide to Fly Fishing the Conejos River in Colorado, DIY Guide to Fly Fishing the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, DIY Guide to Fly Fishing Cochetopa Creek in Colorado, DIY Guide to Fly Fishing the Florida River in Colorado, DIY Guide to Fly Fishing the Crystal River in Colorado, DIY Guide to Fly Fishing South Boulder Creek in Colorado, DIY Guide to Fly Fishing the Elk River in Colorado. Sat, Jul 25, 2009, 6:00 AM: Big Mountains in the Summertime!This will be a 5-day, 4-night backpacking trip (plus 2 travel days) in the scenic South San Juan Wilderness in SW Colorado. Government information and links are at the bottom of this page. That was a neat spot to have lunch. South San Juan Wilderness – Aug. 2020: Trip Report. Always verify you are not fishing in one of the restricted zones for regulations before you start casting. Conejos River. Numerous fishing access points and easements along the way provide access to some of the finest trout fishing to be had in Colorado. Conejos Peak Loop, South San Juan Wilderness, CO. Camping, campfires, and restraining or grazing of recreational livestock are NOT permitted within 200 feet of Bear Lake, Blue Lake, Green Lake, and Red Lake. Learn more about the Elk Creek and surrounding area at the official US Forest Service website. Copyright 2020 DIY Fly Fishing, all rights reserved. I talked to the one guy not fishing for a few minutes, then set my stuff down and took a lunch break. This was the last documented grizzly in Colorado. The origin of the name of the river is unknown, though why anyone would name it “Rabbit River” (translation) remains a mystery. Hunting & Fishing in the South San Juan Wilderness of Colorado, License #3160, Unit #81. Start your journey on South Zapata Trail, which winds for 5 miles until it reaches the stunning basin of South Zapata Lake, where you can set up camp for the night. The Conejos offers great fishing and beautiful landscapes and vistas, but it is very important to respect private property when fishing in the area, as irresponsible anglers who trespass can cause access via private land and easements to disappear over time due to poor choices. Situated in the south east corner of the wilderness, this 22.2 mile hike in the Conejos Peak (pronounced coe-NAY-hoes) area offers a mix of wooded valleys, alpine meadows and huge herd of elk. The location is primitive — be prepared with plenty of food and water — but, the trade-off … A tapered 9-foot leader, with tippet size 3X to 5X to match the flies you are throwing, is pretty standard. The following regulations are in … The South San Juan Wilderness encompasses the southeastern extent of the San Juan Mountain Range, including a segment of the Continental Divide. Located approximately 50 miles southwest of Alamosa, CO and 30 miles north of Chama, NM, we are in the heart of the Rio Grande National Forest and the South San Juan Wilderness. South San Juan Wilderness is a reserve in Colorado and has an elevation of 11,404 feet. The Conejos River Headwaters Loop is somewhat difficult to access, but it is extremely beautiful and remote. We are proud to offer drop camps through our outfit to some of the most beautiful places to fish in the Rio Grande National Forest of the South San Juan Wilderness. The headwaters start up above the Platoro Reservoir, which is accessible via USFS Road 250N from Highway 17. Hidden away in the southernmost reaches of Colorado where ite lies nestled in the eastern slopes of the San Juan mountains is a stretch of water that is every fly fisherman’s dream-come-true: the Conejos River. The closest airport is the San Luis Regional, and flights in and out year round are fairly reasonable, though summertime tends to see an increase in both price and traffic. Our location presents a unique opportunity to fish in an area that escapes the crowded areas that come with summer, and offers a challenge to fisherman to experience Elk Creek and its variety of fishing for rainbows, browns, and cutthroats. The tarn possesses a unique teal hue and is home to some good-sized native cutthroat, which can be easily seen feeding in the shallow, log-choked outlet. A look at four of the seven highest peaks in the range, on the Continental Divide Interesting Recent History/Facts The last grizzly bear sighting in Colorado was within the South San Juan wilderness in 1979 (killed during a dramatic attack involving self-defense with arrow in hand), and some speculate that grizzlies may still roam the area. From a roadside trailhead in a switchback above the Conejos River Valley (a fly fisherman’s paradise), this hike begins with a 0.9-mile warm-up on the dirt road before bearing left onto more rugged doubletrack through a bushy meadow. Rainbow Trout Outfitters is proud to offer some of the premier hunting and fishing opportunities in the southern Colorado Rocky Mountains. The river snakes back and forth across the borders of the San Juan National Forest and the South San Juan Wilderness Area, making them slightly less accessible but still open to the public. This area offers a varied terrain from the bare peaks along the Continental Divide, to gently rolling subalpine plateaus of spruce forests and … The trail is a fairly gentle walk that offers scenic vistas of the Conejos Valley and gives access to several small fishing lakes. South San Juan Wilderness Area. While we specialize in drop camps, we also offer … West of Alamosa, this 93-mile tributary of the Rio Grande offers solitude and incredible fly-fishing in the San Juan Mountains. Situated south of Platoro Reservoir, this 17.7 mile hike offers a mix of wooded valleys, alpine meadows and a an exhilerating stretch of the Continental Divide Trail. We can take you on a high country camping trip or guide you on the big game hunt that you have been planning for years. The weight limit for the riders is 240lbs. Al of this is to ensure the safety of the riders while on the trail to camp. Forest-wide Regulations. Many fishing easements have also been added to private land along the Conejos, which has proven a major boon for both anglers and the owners and renters of summer cabins. Rainbow Trout Outfitters is an equal opportunity service provider and employer and operates under a special use permit from the USDA Forest Service. Summers is hands down the very best season to fish the Conejos. A 4 day backpacking adventure into Colorado's South San Juan Wilderness. Conejos River Headwaters Backpacking Loop, South San Juan Wilderness Area. Covid summer has made recreation around Santa Fe quite popular at basically all times, so I decided to explore the South San Juans instead a … If you are a fan of winter fishing, most experts recommend sticking to waters below the dam, and to try to fish on warmer days since the winter weather can be brutal. A 4-wt fly rod with floating line is perfect for fishing dry flies, nymphs and small streamers on the Conejos River. Thirty-two lakes, most of them formed by glacial activity, hold much of the area’s moisture and drain into turbulent creeks. The trailhead for Crater Lake is a fair distance off any major highway - roughly 18 miles off of US Highway 160 - in close proximity to relatively unknown Elwood Pass (Forest Road 380). View the DIY Fly Fishing Web Map to get turn-by-turn directions to the access points shown on the map above. South San Juan Wilderness, CO 1/11 Tucked deep within a glacial bowl beneath two rugged 13,000-foot peaks, Crater Lake is one of the more accessible subalpine lakes in the Southern San Juans. Trout Fishing the San Juan Wilderness becomes a combination of hiking, fishing, camping and relaxing under the stars far from the light pollution of the big city. These meadows offer six magnificent river miles of winding water, and hold the greatest numbers of large trout in the upper watershed. Some believe that it is still home to a few grizzlies, but … The South San Juan Wilderness lies on the Rio Grande National Forest near Platoro and Antonito Colorado. The river snakes back and forth across the borders of the San I have a trip coming up the week of August 19th, my current plan is to hike the Elk Creek/Valle Victoria loop in the South San Juan Wilderness. Check out our interactive map of over 30,000 of the best places to fly fish in the US. Thank you to all our hunters & fishermen, as well as our great staff and horses. South San Juan Wilderness Specific Regulations. Summer cabins are popular in the region as well, and securing a rental is generally no problem provided you book sufficiently far enough in advance. Bar W Outfitters Colorado Licensed Outfitters providing guided elk and deer hunting, guided fly fishing, and wilderness pack trips for the adventurous sightseer, artist, or photographer in southern Colorado's Rio Grande National Forest and South San Juan Wilderness. The Conejos River is a 92 mile long tributary of the Rio Grande River, located in south-central Colorado. This short trail is mainly used to get to the Middle Fork Conejos Trail, North Fork Conejos Trail, and El Rito Azul Trail - which in turn provide access to the Continental Divide Trail - in the Whether you are in the area for a day or a week, we are here to help you get out and experience the wild outdoors. Our location presents a unique opportunity to fish in an area that escapes the crowded areas that come with summer, and offers a challenge to fisherman to experience Elk Creek and its variety of fishing for … Fished Elk Creek, David pulled in one brook trout. There is road access there, but to get as close as possible to the headwaters you are looking at some hiking through the South San Juan Wilderness.Lake Fork is another good spot to try your luck, as it is designated Wild Trout waters from the headwaters all the way to Rock Lake/Big Lake. The greatest number of insect and terrestrial populations are at their highest levels of the year, and the trout are biting at anything that looks remotely like food. Spring fishing is decent so long as you keep to the tailwaters, and fall is the best season for bigger catches since the approach of winter draws the grandaddy fish out from the depths to feed. USGS Topo maps link: Chromo Mountain Chama Peak Archuleta Creek… Access to the wilderness is mainly from the north via … Neighboring towns: Pagosa Springs, Southfork, Del Norte, Monte Vista, Summitville, Platoro, Chromo (Choma, New Mexico) Many call the South San Juan Wilderness Colorado's wildest corner. Best trails in South San Juan Wilderness, Colorado | AllTrails Last but not least, don’t forget to check out vacation rentals in the area, as you will often find hidden gems where you can stay in between trips to the river that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. The South San Juan Wilderness is … This post is also available in: EnglishFrançaisDeutsch日本語Located east of Pagosa Springs, the South San Juan Wilderness Area is administered by the San Juan National Forest. I'll have 4 … Blue Lake Loop, South San Juan Wilderness, CO. The last known grizzly bear in Colorado was killed in the wilderness in 1979. Followed 250 along a fairly bad road for 3 hours … Stop for a quick break, but plan to keep hiking, as the best fishing lies another three miles upstream in the vast stretches of the Second, Third, and Fourth meadows in the South San Juan Wilderness Area. There were four guys there, three of whom were fishing. There is a reason the last known grizzly bear to live in Colorado called the South San Juan Wilderness … On September 23, 1979 a sow grizzly was killed near Blue Lake by a bow hunter. Rainbow Trout Outfitters. It's known as Co Saddle Creek is a fly-fishing only area, so if you are looking to work on your technique there are few better places in the state to get practice. The South San Juan Wilderness offers some of the best backpacking experience in Colorado, with more than 180 miles of established trails, including a 42-mile section of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. 1. Fly Fishing the Conejos River in Colorado (coverage begins @ 10:00). 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