From chasing high mountain native cutthroats, technical tailwaters, and private trophy waters to pack-in wilderness float trips in the world-renowned Gunnison Gorge, every trip we offer is custom to your needs, wants, and desires. Our goal is to help you create memories that will make you smile years down the road.
As the owner of Toads, I bring a unique perspective to this industry, having been both a client and a guide in the past. Prior to moving my family here in 2002 to raise my kids in the country, I spent over 15 years traveling for business. During these trips I would always find time to go fishing, and I have hired fly-fishing guides all across the West. The innumerable dollars and looks from my wife were worth it, as I learned from some of the bestand worstguides in the industry, and have now been able to hone and apply that knowledge to our local waters. I have developed techniques designed for the nuances of our local waters, and all of my guides are trained with these skills, along with bringing their own professional skillsets to the table.
The result: the most knowledgeable professional guide staff in the region, period. We take our profession seriously and promise to give you our very best every minute to help make your trip great, both on the water and off. Creating memories is our goal, and we want your trip with us to stay with you for a lifetime.
The trophy fish residing in our waters don't take vacations, and neither do we. We offer our guide service year-round in order to accommodate you and help you get on those toads. Our float trips are dependent on flow levels, so if you are planning your trip in the late summer call us before setting your dates and check on the flows.
On all of our guided fly-fishing trips we provide transportation, flies and terminal gear, and non-alcoholic beverages. On the full-day trips we will also provide lunch.
Wilderness trips include food, tents, and camping gear.
Finding water to fish in Colorado is easy; doing it legally is a different matter. At Toads we are proud to have public water permits and work with other licensed guides and outfitters permitted through the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service to offer you the most diversified opportunities possible.
The Uncompahgre River is located in the banana belt of western Colorado. Elevation is 6,000 ft. and it runs through the ranchlands of the region. This water produces a very healthy population of trout, including browns, cutthroats, cuttbows, and rainbows. Public and private waters are available in both walk-wade and float-trip formats.
Paco-chu-puk of Ridgeway State park is one of Colorado's premier year-round tailwater fisheries. You have a very real possibility to catch the cutthroat of your life here. We constantly catch monster 26-inch toads here. An incredible population of rainbows, browns, and cuttbows in varied water make this relatively unknown a diamond in the rough, demanding a destination trip in itself. There is also excellent handicap access, and Toads specializes in offering handi-capable trips. As a Purple Heart recipient, Tim knows what it is like to be unable to fish and his shop will help make your trip happen because anglers belong in the water.
The Double Diamond River Ranch was featured in ESPN's On the Rise in September of 2010, and is a working cattle ranch with an intense focus on fish and wildlife habitats. Two lakes, 5 creeks, and a half-mile of river frontage on the Uncompahgre mean you will be pulling fish out of the water until the sun sets. The large biomass of fathead minnows and crawdads grows meat-eating toads of incredible proportions and, when coupled with the bunkhouse that sleeps eight, makes this a great place for overnights as well as corporate events. Toads has exclusive access to one of the most diversified trophy fisheries in western Colorado, and we're making it available to you.
The San Miguel, Delores, and Cimarron fisheries are high country freestone rivers located in some of the prettiest scenery in Colorado. Ranging from 8,000 to 10,000 feet in elevation you aren't quite in heaven, but you'll be close. Laden with cutthroats, rainbows, browns, and brook troutwhat more can you ask for?
Hansen Creek, located in Lake City, Colorado, is mostly private water fishing. Toads has access to a three-mile section of this beautiful high-mountain fishery. Its high elevation sits it almost above tree line, making this a great trip for ambitious, committed, and fit fishers.
The Gunnison Gorge is as infamous as it is renowned because accessing it can be so difficult. To fish these waters, we pack our rafts and camping gear into the base of the Gorge by horseback, while clients and guides follow on foot down the mile-long trail to the river. The trail is relatively easy, and is family friendly. The next 1-3 days are spent alternating between rafting down the class III river and fishing these exquisite waters. With hatches including stoneflies, hoppers, and yellow sallies, fishing here in the summer can be worth your while. If you miss one of the hatches, the fish are still just as abundant and our guides have the knowledge to trick the monsters into striking. Even without the fishing, floating through this NCA Wilderness Area is incredibleadd in the fishing trip of a lifetime and the result is a trip that should top your bucket list.
Most of our waters can be accessed within an hour drive. Our guides will have a company vehicle to transport you to and from whichever location you choose to fish.
It's Colorado. Expect anything.
We pride ourselves on providing unique experiences to each client, so your trip will have different aspects than the next person’s. Most trips will start out by meeting at the shop, located in the Downtown Mercantile building on Main Street. There you will get geared up with your guide and discuss your battle plan. Your guide will drive you in a company vehicle to the water you’ll be fishing. There, you’ll spend the first part of your trip learning the techniques for the water you are on. After you feel competent, we’ll take you to different holes that will “get your toad on.” After your day is over, we’ll take you back to the shop where we’ll gear down, and spend a couple minutes reminiscing. If you are looking to schedule a wilderness trip then a typical trip will start at the shop and head out to the Chukar Trailhead. There we’ll meet up with horse packers who will pack the gear down to the base, and clients and guides will hike down the mile-long trail. At the base, the guides will start getting the boats set up while you fish the areas around the put-in. After the boats are geared up, a typical day will be spent floating and fishing, with the option to pull the boats out to give extended access to a nice hole. If you are on a multi-day trip, you’ll reach your campsite in the evening and get to fish while your guides set up camp and cook a river-gourmet meal. You can swap stories after dark before hitting the sack, and then be ready for the morning. After breakfast the guides will break camp, and you will repeat the previous day’s routine, but on different water, until you get to the pleasure park take-out. There, you can head to the air-conditioned lodge and get a cold drink while the guides get the gear loaded up before you head back to the shop.
We can find cuttbows, cutthroats, rainbows, brook trout, and browns year-round, so what you really want to know is when our hatches are. Our major hatches include the stonefly, caddis, mayfly, yellow sally, and hopper hatches. The dates for these will vary depending on the weather that year, so if you are looking to catch one of these call the shop and see when the best time would be for that year.
We suggest clients bring their own fishing gear if possible; if not, we can rent gear and weather-appropriate clothing. For our hot months, this would be lightweight breathable clothing that dries quickly. For winter fishing you’ll want to layer your clothing. Choose warm clothing that is breathable, and a waterproof shell. Your trip will be most enjoyable if you are comfortable and can focus on fishing. Some items you might want to throw in your bag:
- polarized sunglasses
- sunscreen and bug repellent
- a hat
- comfortable shoes that won’t slip off.
* If you have questions, just call.
Q. Why are you named after a frog?
A. In truth, we did not name our shop after an amphibian. Toad is a word used to describe an excessively large fish or animal. So when we say “Get your toad on!” we aren’t referring to finding the actual animal; we are talking about hooking that fish of a lifetime.
Q. Where can I find lodging?
A. We would recommend the Bunkhouse, a private cabin at the Double Diamond River Ranch, because it will give your trip an extra edge. Rates and photos can be found at doublediamondriverranch.com. If you have your heart set on lodging in town, we recommend Hampton Inn, and there are also a large number of other hotels available.
Q. What is the closest airport?
A. You have several airport options: in town there is Montrose Regional Airport; about an hour away is Grand Junction Airport; a 90-minute drive will take you from Gunnison Airport into town; and there is also Telluride Airport, which is about an hour away.
Q. How much should I tip my guide?
A. We like to tell clients to tip their guide according to the trip they received. A good base rate is 20%, which you can adjust if you had an amazing trip, or if there was something you thought was missing. In either case, let us know here at the shop.
Overall: 5.0 / 5 based on 5 reviews
5 of 5 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
a really great day -
By: reeler from montrose, co
tim kenney of Toad's guide service in Montrose is a very accomplished fisherman who teaches as he guides--We caught some very good fish and learned a great deal about fishing. Cannot go wrong with Tim at Toads Ron Call Montrose, CO
Above and Beyond -
By: ILTrouter56 from Northeast Illinois
Line up some fishing time with Tim at Toads Guide Shop when you find yourself in Montrose, Colorado. Tim’s operation is the best I have experienced in my travels. It’s true what Tim says on Toads Guide Shop website about his fly fishing education during his travels and finally becoming a guide. Those experiences have made him an excellent guide. He is customer focused and thinks outside the box to accommodate his clientele and puts them onto big fish. My wife booked a half day with Tim for my Father’s Day gift. We rolled into Montrose in above seasonal temperatures and contacted Tim about our trip. We stopped in the shop to discuss our plans. I had intended to fish with my son in a child pack on my back as we done for the last two years, but Tim had another idea. I loved the way he broached the topic as being a parent too. He suggested his daughter could watch our son either at their place or the location we would be fishing. We decided to have his daughter watch our son where we were fishing. After that hurdle, we got into details on skill level, equipment and time. On the morning of the trip, we met at the shop, and met his daughter, who introduced herself in the best customer-oriented manner, which impressed me beyond belief. We jumped in the shop’s truck, which had a car sit for our son, and headed off. We arrived and geared up at the Uncompahgre River. My wife jumped in her rental waders, which were reasonably priced. Tim slipped into the river and showed us the bugs that we would match to begin fishing since there was no surface activity. Within minutes of reaching the stream reach we were fishing, Tim had my wife hooked into a toad! My wife was awed at the size, which is tough since she landed a 24-inch, 5 pound cutt when in Jackson Hole. Even with warm temperatures and little sub-surface activity, Tim used a few tricks to get the fish active. During our half day, Tim kept us in fish, which we will remember for many years. The same goes for my son who keeps talking about Tim’s daughter and their adventures together. Tim went above and beyond for us to create a memorable adventure for our entire family.
Catch Tim's Toads! -
By: PaulS37 from North Carolina
Top 1000 Contributor
My Son and I scheduled a multi-day trip down the Gunnison Gorge in June. We had a couple free days prior to our Gunnison trip and I came upon Toad's Guide Shop in Montrose, CO online while looking for info on the Uncompahgre River since my Son always had a desire to fish there. After emailing and speaking with Tim Kenney, the owner, several times I arranged for us to stay at Tim's Double Diamond River Ranch (DDRR) for the 2 nights before our Gunnison trip and to do a day of guided fishing on the Uncompahgre with one of Tim's "best" guides. Upon our arrival in Montrose Tim just had us meet him at the DDRR. If you are looking for all the comforts of a modern motel, this ain't it but, if you're looking for a "man cave" with no phone, no TV, no A/C, away from traffic, noise, city lights, etc., this is the place to stay. It's rustic, full of antlers, pelts, nostalgic rods, lures, knives, a claw foot tub, and an old but, fully equiped kitchen. You can sit out on the front porch after dark and see more stars than you ever thought possible, read one of the books or magazines placed in the converted shed, or walk 50 feet or so to one of the private streams or lakes stocked with trout and cast a line. 100 yards puts you in the Uncompahgre River after you chase away the wild turkeys near the river bank. The next morning Tim's best guide arrived at 7:30 AM to take us to the Paco-chu-puk area of the Uncompahgre. Tim's best guide was Tim! After parking in the day area of the park below Ridgeway Dam, Tim lead us to the river where he quickly put us on to many a great Cutthroat trout. I think he knows them by name and address (hole). We hop-scotched around the river to the "best" holes and had a great day catching many a 17-24" Cutthroat along with some Rainbows. Tim is very enthusiastic and obviously enjoys what he does. He knows how to get you on the fish, get the fish to start eating, and even took some video with his camera. I highly recommend Tim and hope to visit him and the "Unc" again.
Top 3 Fishing Trip! -
By: jbones from Houston, TX, USA
I went fishing with Tim Kenney at Toads Guide Shop last Saturday. We recently bought a home in the Montrose Area. Since I am going to be there more I want to really learn about fly fishing. I went into his store to look at buying my own waders and wade boots. He went out of his way to help me learn about equipment and fishing! I think I spent 2-3 hours just talking to him. BUT IT GETS BETTER.... I hired him to guide me on a trip Saturday morning we went to Paco-chu-puk. We caught amazing fish probably 35-40 Cutthroat and Rainbow's. i would say 10-12 were 18-25''. Tim was so fun. I had a blast he is my guy now everytime I comeup we will use him. He knows his stuff and is very will to teach you. He loves what he does and it shows!! If you want to have a great time and truely learn how to fish there is no other choise best guide I have every had on any kind of trip! Thanks Tim see you soon.
toads the name fits -
By: crashizzy from franklin tx
I was in montrose on buisness a month ago w my son who was just out of his first year of college. We called toads guide service out of the phone book and spoke to james and set up an afternoon of fly fishing for the next day. Bottom line is that neither my son or I had ever fly fished and frankly given that it was a last minute trip I hope that we might catch a fish or two. Wrong, within 20 minutes of meeting Tim Kenny both of us had caught multiple trout on fly and finished the afternoon with both of us catching several 20" plus trout. I lost a 24"+ fish after it went down river w Tim in tow. It was right out of the river runs through it. Needless to say I didn't drown Tim and my son and I had the best afternoon fishing ever. It was so good I came home and w the mrs permission canceled a 4th of july trip to the coast to fish. And she and I went back to colorado to fish w Tim. Again my wife had never fly fished or white water rafted. Not anymore Toads and Tim provided for both. We took a great afternoon raft trip w Tim's daughter who was great and fished the next day w Tim. Within 15 minutes my wife had hooked and landed her first trout on a fly and within 30 minutes both of us landed 20+" cuthrouts. We ended the day w 30+ fish w most being over 20". Both of us are hooked on fly fishing and are saving and planning for a trip down the black cannon of the gunnison w Toads. Toad's the name fits big fish. Toad's and Tim Kenny is the only name I'll give when recommending western Colorado fishing.