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Ohio Creek & East River Drainages

Fishing Areas

A couple of miles north of Gunnison off Highway 135 is Ohio Creek.  This beautiful valley, with hay meadow bottoms and cattle ranches, is primarily private property.

As you exit off Highway 135 onto the Ohio Creek Road, you will travel approximately eight  miles on a paved road until you hit a good gravel road.  About nine miles from the Highway 135 turnoff, turn left on County Road 727 for Mill Creek.  Here you can access the National Forest and the West Elk Wilderness.  The views of the Castles and Baldy Mountains are inspiring.  Mill Creek is a medium small creek that yields nice brook and rainbow trout.

Return to the Ohio Creek Road and travel upstream for three miles to the junction of Carbon Creek and turn right.  The lower section to the Forest boundary is private property.  Above the Forest boundary is a one-mile stretch of stream and beaver ponds.

Back on the Ohio Ck Road and 6 miles above the Carbon Creek turnoff begins a mile or so of public fishing on Ohio Creek.

Your are now starting up Ohio Pass.  Watch for a Forest Service sign on the left marked "Beaver Ponds."  A short walk puts you on a large, deep beaver pond full of trout.  There are three or four more good sized ponds just west.

Continue on up Ohio Pass about 5 miles until you reach the intersection with the Kebler Pass Road.  Turn right and watch carefully for a sign marking Lake Irwin.  It is a short drive to this gorgeous lake and good picnicking and fishing.

Returning back to the Kebler Pass Road, head east about six miles to Crested Butte National Historic District and south on Highway 135 back to Gunnison.

The Gunnison River begins at Almont where the East and Taylor Rivers converge.  From this spot downstream on the Gunnison River to the National Forest's Almont Campground is excellent fishing.  This productive sections is a wild trout water with special regulations.  Read the signs and your fishing proclamation carefully.

The Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery is located along the East River about five miles upstream from Almont.  Turn off of Highway 135 into the hatchery and cross the bridge.  From this point downstream one mile is a wild trout water with special regulations.  Once over the bridge, look for a sign that directs anglers downstream to several ponds and a small stream.  This is public water and the ponds provided the Colorado record 30 and 1/2 pound German brown trout in 1988.  Local anglers say his big brother still lives in the area.

Cement Creek is located on Highway 135 approximately seven miles upstream from the Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery.  Public access to Cement Creek begins less than two miles from Highway 135 at the Cement Creek Campground and extends upstream for 10 miles.  Watch for several sections of private property.

On Highway 135, three miles beyond the Cement Creek turnoff, watch for a sign that announces the entrance to the Skyland Gold Course.  Turn right onto County Road 738 and continue on this road until it crosses the East River,. Upstream from this point, Brush Creek crosses the road.  On up the road, you will enter the National Forest and the junction of East and Middle Brush Creeks.  These are excellent small streams with many areas to camp, picnic and admire the unspoiled scenery.  Be careful of private property and shut all gates.

Crested Butte is only two miles beyond the Skyland exit.  Crested Butte is a national historic district with charming architecture and outstanding restaurants.

Driving from Crested Butte to Mt. Crested Butte, watch for the Slate River Road turnoff.   Take a left turn on the Slate River Road and drive about four miles to the junction with Oh-Be-Joyful Creek where the BLM has a small campground.  It is best to park here near the restroom to fish the Slate River and Oh-Be-Joyful. 

Back on the Slate River Road continue approximately 1.5 miles upstream.  Public fishing on Forest Service begins just upstream from the townsite of Pittsburg and goes for 2 miles or so.  If you continue on this road it will take you over Paradise Divide and over to Emerald Lake where you can circle back down the East River through Gothic and on to Crested Butte.  A passenger car is not recommended for this loop.  Watch for mountain bikers and hikers.

A special note about Gothic:  This is the home of the world renowned Rocky Mountain Biological laboratory where scientific research on plants, animals, birds, insects and aquatic life have been underway for many years.  This is a special area and anglers and tourists should exercise great care to respect research areas and stay on roads an marked trails.

Created by the Bureau of Land Management, Colorado
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Last modified: January 30, 2006