Camping & general info

Hello all,

We are making our first trip to TBGF, camping at Mary E. We will be tenting it, wondering if a shade tent/tarp is needed, what about bears, etc. Is there any good fishing near the campgrounds? Any info is greatly appreciated as we will be shipping our camping supplies from NC. Haven’t been in CO for a few years…CAN’T WAIT TO GET BACK !!!


A shade tent wouldn’t be amiss down there. I took one for the first time last year and it was an incredible boost to the comfort of our tent. Highly recommended.

Don’t worry about bears, there are enough people down there that I think the bears are probably gonna stay pretty far away.

The water is usually pretty high at Festival time, so I’m not sure how much fishing you could get down by Mary E. It’ll all depend on the water level.

:wave Last year the runoff was early and so it was good fishin. :thumbsup Watch Co in the weather forecast about 6 week before fest. If we get alot of warm days before fest, bring your rod. :flower

I’ve had good and bad years of fishing near T-Ride during the fest. Two years ago the water was so high that I left my rod in the car. The year before that was WONDERFUL. From Mary capground, just walk downstream a bit. There’s a hole that I could walk you to, but can’t explain in words, where I found a beautiful trout just lazily grabbing emerging bugs. Popped him on a Prince Nymph. Nice fish. But my favorite places to fish are the little streams. There’s one on the way from Dolores that;s just off the side of the road that doesn’t get hit much. Ya gotta be stealthy, but it’s fun. And going west from town, there is a little stream about a half hour away that also runs along the road. I think this one gets hit more often, but there are plenty of little fish in there.

There are two fly shops in town. The one on the North side of the main drag is a lot more knowledgeable than the larger sporting goods store, but that larger store will have a sign out front telling you what rivers are fishing well and what to use. The smaller store is where you’ll get the best info.

So it IS hit and miss during the fest, but there’s no better thing to do early in the morning (other than bloody Mary’s and bacon!) when the fish are hitting.

:wink: Fish?

Isn’t that the food we fry up and enjoy during the killer afternoon set on Friday?


P.S. Ahh S**T now “I LOVES the Internet” ------ Thank you very much Dustin. It only took a couple of years to get here… Hears appause from the wings

:clap :clap :clap :clap :clap :clap :clap


Thanks for the fishing & camping info! The little pieces of information will go a long way in making our trip!

:wave Welcome! You will have a great time. Right now the snowpack is deep, so by June the runoff could be pretty good still. Please keep in mind that you will need a CO license to fish. Most grocery stores or gas stations sell them. Cheaper than a fine from the Fish and Wildlife folks, and they are out there.
Also, PLEASE don’t go from one stream to another without washing your waders. The possibility of contamination or introduction of unwanted critters is very serious, and can really screw up a fragile ecosystem.

Yes, whirling disease is alive and horrible out west. PLEASE wash your boots.

And speaking of boots, there are lots of little streams that you can wet-wade with just boots, but the big rivers will require full waders, especially if you want to stay warm. That water is really cold in the bigger rivers at that time of year because of the big snowpack.

The best place to get a CO license is on-line. It’s really easy to get one, but give yourself a few weeks. It’s really convenient to ADD days to your license on-line, too. I wish New Mexico licenses were so easy!

One more fishing note. If you’re driving and have a couple of extra days, there’s some world famous water just over the NM border. The San Juan River by the Navajo Lake dam is some of the best trout fishing you’ll find anywhere. Big trout. In the “quality waters” (the first mile and a half from the dam) you can’t take anything out less than 22 inches. The area gets hit hard during the summer, but there’s PLENTY of water.