Royal Gorge Anglers, CO

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Outfitter in Canon City, Colorado

Royal Gorge Anglers, CO


Royal Gorge Anglers have serviced anglers on the Arkansas River for over 25 years. Offering guided fly fishing on over 13 watersheds, this guide service provides fish-catching expertise on a serious amount of area; however, its bread and butter is the mighty Arkansas. The true stars within this operation are its guides. With an average of 13 years of experience on the waters of Colorado, this guide crew can offer some serious on-the-water instruction to even the most seasoned of anglers.

Date Range

Royal Gorge Anglers operate as a full-service operation 12 months a year. Due to the extremely temperate weather, and variety of tailwater options within a short distance of Canon City, our guides see some of their best productivity even in the winter months. We guarantee there is a great option for any angler through our service 365 days a year!

What is Provided to Customer

Royal Gorge Anglers offers a wide variety of high-end Orvis gear for clients. All gear is included in a guided adventure. Royal Gorge Anglers includes the following for clients for their day on the water: Orvis fly rod/reel outfits, Orvis bootfoot waders, Orvis wet wading gear, all flies, and all terminal tackle.

Region/Terrain Where You Fish

Royal Gorge Anglers, located in the banana belt of Colorado at around 6,000 ft. elevation, offers not only the some of the finest river and stream fishing in Colorado, but also gold-medal stillwater fishing within an hour of the fly shop. While the guides here focus on the magnificent hatches and wild brown trout of the Arkansas River, they are also tried-and-true experts on world famous fisheries such as the South Platte and the South Park Reservoirs. The guide staff approaches these fisheries in a variety of mindsets, taking advantage of floating, walk wading, and/or running skiffs depending on the watershed and its conditions. As icing on the cake, Royal Gorge Anglers also offers a variety of trophy predator trips within close proximity of Canon City. From native cutthroat trout to 50" tiger musky, and high gradient freestone rivers to world-class still water; Royal Gorge Anglers and their staff have Southern Colorado on lock down!

Typical Weather by Season

Colorado weather is highly variable; clients should expect anything. However, Canon City and the surrounding “banana belt” experiences over 300 days of sunny weather and very temperate conditions even in the winter. In fact, one of the most magnificent fisheries in the state, the Arkansas tailwater, regularly averages 50-degree weather from November through February. The following is what anglers can expect seasonally for the region:

March-April: 60-70 degrees/spring wind/spring rain showers
May-June: 75-85 degrees/calm
July-September 15: 80 degrees/scattered monsoon showers
September 15-November: 50-70 degrees/calm
December-February: 30-55 degrees/light snow/calm


Sample of Typical Itinerary

Itineraries depend entirely on customer demands and expectations; however, Royal Gorge Anglers strives to offer the premium on-the-water time based on seasonal conditions. Generally, half-day walk/wade and float trips run 5 hours and begin at 8am from the fly shop. Full-day walk/wade and float trips run 9-10 hours and begin at 8am from the fly shop. The guide service suggests departure time changes during the hotter months due to increased water temperature and direct sunlight. In those cases, Royal Gorge Anglers most often suggests half-day trips with departure times from the fly shop at 6am, or evening trips with departures at 4pm.


Species You Fish for by Season

Species and hatch timelines focus on individual drainages. Although there are many waters including small streams, reservoirs and some hidden gems that Royal Gorge Anglers takes advantage of throughout the year, these are the focused and more well-known waters:

Arkansas River
The Arkansas River is known as one of the most prolific hatch-producing rivers in the world. With the famed caddis hatch in the spring, dry-fly fishing bumps to productivity levels unseen by any other watershed. Throughout the summer, this river experiences strong mayfly influence with great days on BWOs, PMDs and red quills; with a nice touch of stonefly and salmonfly activity in the post-runoff stage. Throughout the fall we encourage anglers to focus on streamer activity, with great chances for large brown trout against the thousands of cut banks. The winter months on the Arkansas offer a serenity that is truly enjoyable with great stonefly nymph and caddis larvae activity, even on the cold days. Trout populations in the Arkansas are unmatched by any river in Colorado with a true average of over 3,000 fish per mile. Sustained as a strong brown trout fishery, there is still a great rainbow trout niche on this freestone. Anglers should look to catch fish at an average size range of 14"-17" with the occasional fish over 20."

The Arkansas Tailwater
The Arkansas tailwater below Pueblo Reservoir has turned into one of the most magnificent fisheries in the Southern Rockies. Known for its winter fishing, the tailwater offers anglers shots at two-foot-long trout 12 months a year, and many times on a dry fly. With prolific midge and BWO hatches during the winter months, and tremendous PMD, BWO and trico action in the summer, there is always a topwater selection. Add in the strong population of large rainbow, cuttbow, and brown trout, and this fishery pushes for one of the best variety fisheries in the state!

South Platte River- Charlie Meyers SWA
The South Platte River below Spinney Mountain Reservoir in the Charlie Meyers State Wildlife Area is one of the most famed tailwater fisheries in the state of Colorado. Located about 2 hours southwest of Denver in the area known as South Park, this relatively short meadow stretch of the Platte is a year-round fishery and produces some of the largest trout in the state during annual spring (rainbow and cutthroat trout) and fall (brown trout and kokanee salmon) spawning runs out of Elevenmile Reservoir. The resident fish are no joke either, consistently reaching sizes over 18 inches. This is an amazing stretch to fish when the action is good, but it is also fairly technical water and can be a real challenge at times, even for a fairly experienced angler. This fishery offers the angler great nymphing throughout the spring and fall and a tremendous trico hatch in the late summer, with some great terrestrial and caddis activity sprinkled in between.

Spinney Reservoir
Spinney Reservoir has become one of the premier stillwater locations in the Rocky Mountains. Not only trophy fish into the double-digit range can be possible, but also a higher average size range than any other reservoir in the state. Nestled in the heart of South Park, this gold-medal fishery not only has extremely productive trout fishing but also some of the best views of the beautiful Collegiate Peaks Range. Focusing on the early summer callibaetis hatches with emergers and dries can offer anglers days of over 100 fish to the boat. Damsel and chironomid activity on both ends of the callibaetis activity offers great productivity, and the odd streamer thrown in can get anglers into the fish of a lifetime. Spinney holds strong rainbow trout numbers into the mid 20" size range, but there are also some giant browns to be had, and even a few pike for the predator hunter.


What Should Customers Bring?

While most guides on staff at Royal Gorge Anglers carry more than enough extra gear to make your experience perfect, we suggest that clients have the following on hand for their trip: appropriate undergarments for wading (based on season), waterproof rain jacket, UPF 40 sunscreen, polarized sunglasses, fishing hat (sun coverage), sun gloves/winter fishing gloves, guide staff gratuity.

Fly Shop

Our Fly Shop

Come experience a top-notch fly-fishing experience with the oldest flyshop and guide service in Southern Colorado. Royal Gorge Anglers specializes in designing unique guided adventures for all skill levels! Explore backcountry creeks, high mountain lakes, trophy reservoirs, world famous tailwaters or our gold medal fishery, the Arkansas River with the most experienced guides in the Southern Rockies. The flyshop offers a unique shopping experience for all outdoor lifestyle enthusiasts, carrying a wide variety sporting gear and outdoor clothing from only the finest industry brands. Need some flies on your way up the river, we offer over 900 different unique patterns to our region.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What type of shore lunches do your guides prepare?
A. The guide staff at Royal Gorge Anglers prides itself not only with its on-the-water capability, but also its culinary pursuits. It is their pleasure to offer clients requested dietary compliments, but also to think outside the traditional boxed lunch. Typical lunches consist of steak, cheeseburgers, hearty chipotle chicken wraps, etc; and a variety of snacks including fine cheeses, fruit, and granola.

Q. What is a typical gratuity for your guide staff?
A. Guide gratuity is always left up to the discretion of the client based on the overall satisfaction from the trip. However, it is typical to see the clients’ average gratuity at around 25% of total trip cost, or $75-100 per full day/per guide.

Q. Do you offer lodging packages with your guided adventures?
A. In fact we own and operate an angler’s lodge on the Arkansas River. The lodge is extremely comfortable with a common kitchen and large living area with a beautiful rock fireplace. We offer both single and double suites as well as entire lodge rentals. Booked with a guided trip, clients receive discounts on lodging at a seasonal rate.


Overall: 5.0/5 starsShow Rating Distribution 5.0 / 5 based on 17 reviews

5 stars 5-star:
4 stars 4-star:
3 stars 3-star:
2 stars 2-star:
1 star 1-star:

17 of 17 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Good day on the Arkie - 4/11/2014
    By: from Woodland Park, CO 80863, USA

    Though I have bought tackle from Royal gorge for years, this was the first guide trip I had booked. Taylor was very helpful in scheduling and then rescheduling this trip. Abe was our guide and he did a great job of taking care of his clients. He taught us about the areas we fished, about knots and tackle, and gave us friendly tips to help us be more successful in creating good drifts. I have recommended Royal Gorge for years, but I would definitely book with Abe again. He worked hard for his clients and went out his way to share insights and knowledge about the Arkie. Thanks, Guys!

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    BWO's in the spring - 4/4/2014
    By: from Colorado Springs, CO

    Took my first guide trip ever and had Abe as my guide. I'd asked for a learning experience and RGA delivered big time. Abe was patient and a wealth of knowledge. He improved my casting and we fished a variety of techniques - nymphs with an indicator, nymphs with no indicator and two hours of dries during an amazing bwo hatch. While learning was the focus, I also caught plenty of fish. I would recommend this service to anyone who wants to have an awesome time fishing a Colorado freestone treasure. RGA is a class outfit.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Arkansas River Pueblo, CO - 2/26/2014
    By: from Louisville, KY, USA

    Fished with Abe on Tuesday 02/18. Had a great time. Landed a few over 20". Fishing # 24 & 26 WD40's and the like. Long leaders to 8X. Had to deal with 50 MPH wind gusts to make things interesting. Abe did good work as I returned on my own on the 19th and was highly successful. Great operation and great guides.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Satisified Client - 10/25/2013

    Larry Kingsey was an excellent and experienced guide/instructor. My fishing trip was an educational and learning event.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Years of Excellence - 10/7/2013
    By: from Arkansas River, United States

    This is the best fly fishing guide service in the Rocky Mountains if not North America. I have taken numerous trips with the Royal Gorge Anglers staff, and am continually impressed with not only the fishing, but their professionalism and knowledge! I have fished with 4 different guides, all of which have worked for the company over 15 year; a true testament to their commitment to excellence. We have mostly focused on the Arkansas River, but I have also experienced the largest trout of my life on the South Platte with Royal Gorge Anglers. I can't say enough good things about this operation!!!

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Fishing Education - 9/2/2013
    By: from colorado

    Had a great time getting "educated" by Larry re: the many nuances of fly fishing. His knowledge of all aspects was phenomenal and we had a great day. Thanks.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Royal Gorge w/Abe - 4/27/2013
    By: from Colorado Springs, CO, USA

    Had a great day with my 14 year old son and Abe. Great teacher and showed us a ton of great water to return back and fish on our own.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Can't Stop Smiling - 4/16/2013
    By: from Boulder, CO, USA

    First time fly fishing - interviewed several area guides and all roads kept leading back to Taylor/Royal Gorge Anglers. Taylor took the time to listen and answer my questions and then matched me up with Jerry. I couldn't have asked for a better instructor and guide! Jerry has a wealth of knowledge, loads of patience, great sense of humor and is also a pretty darn good cook! I spent 9 hours learning, laughing and was so stoked that I didn't want to go home! I highly recommend Taylor, Bill and Jerry - its great to do business with nice guys that have a passion for sharing what they love to do!

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    What a Day - 4/16/2013
    By: from Lakewood, CO, USA

    Taylor is one of the best I've ever fished with and I highly recommend anyone to contact him.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Dream Stream - 11/7/2012
    By: from DFW, TX

    Late season trip to the S. PLatte with Clint. Caught 2 of the 3 biggest brown trout of my life (pic). Clint worked his butt off finding fish and teaching me to sight fish to these Browns. As always, a great gig with SoCo. I am now a regular at the Royal Gorge Shop.....

Royal Gorge Anglers
Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Outfitter
Taylor Edrington
49311 W. US HWY 50
Canon City, CO 81212
719 269 3474

Need travel insurance?
Get a quote on travel protection here.