Rio Grande - Float: Creede to Wagon Wheel Gap

  • Creede
Elevation: 8700
  • Car (4x4 not required)
Seasonal Accessability:
  • Late Spring/Summer/Fall
Water Type:
  • River
Driving Directions:

Directions to put-in: drive out of town heading west on Hwy 149 towards Lake City. After one mile there is a ninety-degree turn in the road, take the left road (Airport) a second mile toward the river passing the Mineral County Airport on your right and the Mountain Views RV Resort on your left. Public access boat ramp, latrines and parking on west side of road. Directions to take-out: drive seven miles out of Creede heading east on Hwy 149 toward South Fork. After crossing the river a second time look for large parking lot and public river access across from cliffs on south side of the highway.

Restrictions: Must have Colorado Fishing License to fish. Fly/Lure Only; 2 Brown trout limit, minimum 12 inches; All rainbow trout must be released.
Commonly Caught Species:
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Brown Trout
Suggested Bait: Flies, Lures
Fishing Method:
  • Flyfishing
  • Float Fishing
  • Wading
Boat Type:
  • Non-motorized Boats Allowed
  • Yes
  • Yes
Description & Notes:

This float is a local favorite at the beginning of summer. Deep Creek runs into the Rio Grande across from the put-in. The first section of river has another public access point a mile down on the north side. Then you float past an old Division of Wildlife fish hatchery and the river quickly turns to private property, Wason Ranch.

There are grassy banks and cow pasture for miles. I’ve seen streamers ripped through the drops at the beginning before the guest ranch itself and grasshoppers with a dropper work great along the deep grassy banks down below. When the river is below 600 cfs this float takes around three hours (give or take how good you are at back-rowing). Most folks quit floating this section when it gets below 350. Between 400 and 500 is optimal. The second half of this float is through La Garita guest ranch, again all private. Bellows Creek comes into the river and throwing drys up under the willows in the dapple is the best way to nab a fish through here.

Photo Credits:

Photos by Kara Brittain, • Photo 1