Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association

North Platte
River
Information





The North Platte runs through a vast, grassy basin called North Park. Not surprisingly, this area is similar to South Park, some 150 miles to the southeast, if you need a point of comparison. The water is a meandering, oxbow meadow-type river and is one of the few rivers that flows north and out of Colorado.

The North Platte and tributaries start high and clear in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness. The North Fork of the Platte also feeds into the North Platte and is a fine fishing stream. Both rivers offer many and varied fishing opportunities, as in the South Park area. There are deep pools, riffles, and flat water. All fly fishing techniques will take fish on the river.

Access along private properties seems to change yearly. Contact the North Park Ranger district in Walden for current information.

Good to mediocre fly fishing can be had on the other tributaries: Grizzly and Norris Creek, and the Canadian, Illinois and Michigan rivers. More importantly, these waters provide many nutrients which help the fish in the North Platte grow to 10-16 inches.

The river changes to narrow, fast-moving water at Northgate Canyon. Here, about midway through the canyon, is the Wyoming State Line. A Wyoming fishing license is required if fishing farther down the canyon.

Slow, meandering streams flowing across the valley floor offer some of northern Colorado's best fly-fishing for brown, brook, and rainbow trout. The Division has leased public fishing easements on a number of these waters. Stream leases include portions of the North Platte River, Norris and Roaring creeks, Grizzly Creek, the North Fork of the North Platte, and the Michigan and Illinois rivers.

Part of the North Platte River has been designated a Gold Medal Trout Stream by the Colorado Wildlife Commission.

Part of this river has also been set aside as Wild Trout Water.




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