While we welcome other premier guide services of Colorado to bring their guests to stay at the ranch, the North Fork Ranch Guide Service (CO outfitter #2616) is always available to you for fishing while staying at the North Fork Ranch. Take a day to fish the legendary river at the ranch, but also let them take you to explore other premier private waters in the valley. Or let them take you to explore public water in the South Platte River drainage.
Only 45 minutes from Denver, the North Fork Ranch is located on the North Fork of the South Platte River, a major tributary of the famed South Platte River. We are located near the town of Shawnee, Colorado. The ranch is situated within striking distance of the popular tailwaters of the South Platte River as well as countless miles of tributaries of the South Platte River. Whether you are exploring the South Platte drainage on your own, or you are allowing our premier guides to show you into an unforgettable fly fishing experience, the North Fork Ranch is your perfect location.
North Fork of the South Platte River
The North Fork of the South Platte River is a tributary of the South Platte River. It runs for about 50 miles where is meets up with the South Platte River about 20 miles from Denver. The majority is this river runs through private property. The flows are accentuated by water from Robert's Tunnel creating a unique fishery.
The North Fork Ranch is one of the most exclusive pieces of private water in Colorado. This private water fishery is guided fly fishing only and is alive with trout. One cast might produce a fourteen inch brown trout. The next might be a three pound rainbow. This water is known for BIG fish. Trout over 10 pounds have been caught at the North Fork Ranch. This river caters to all skill levels from first time fly fisherman to experts looking for big fish.
Our guests also fish other private properties within 5 to 10 minutes of the ranch including the legendary Boxwood Gulch Ranch, Long Meadow Ranch and Rowdy Trout Ranch.
South Platte River
A Gold Medal western trout river, the South Platte River flows through seven dams between South Park and Denver. The South Fork of the South Platte and the Middle Fork of the South Platte meet about 15 miles outside of Fairplay, Colorado. The higher reaches in South Park are home to endless miles of meandering small creeks. The South Platte is primarily known for the tailwaters, Cheeseman Canyon, Elevenmile Canyon, and the Dream Stream. All located around an hour from the ranch.
Fishing opportunities range from technical tailwater fishing, to small backcountry creek fishing with dry/dropper rigs. There are also a host of back country lakes and high mountain reservoirs holding a great variety of trout, an even an occasional northern pike.
We also have other private water opportunities on the Middle Fork of the South Platte River. You can take a guide or fish this water on your own.
A tributary of the South Platte River that drains the north and central parts of South Park. There are sections of public water above and below Tarryall Reservoir. Average fish might be smaller, but they are more opportunistic. Dry/Dropper fishing. Located about an hour from the ranch.
We have many private water opportunities on Tarryall Creek. You can take a guide or fish this water on your own.
Wherever your angling adventures take you, you will find yourself back at the Ranch much as the day started, enjoying delicious food and telling fish tales in the lodge before retreating to the comforts of your private room or cabin for a restful night. The comforts of the Ranch make it easy to call home- at least while you're here.
Begin your day at North Fork Ranch & Fishing Lodge.
Catch up with your fellow fisherman & join us for a cup of coffee inside Wildhorse Lodge while your guides rig your rods. You are always welcome for breakfast at 7:30 a.m. (advanced reservations required)
Meet your guides at the guide shed to gear up for the day. Everything you will need for the day is included. Orvis waders, boots, rod, reel, flies & terminal tackle.
Enjoy a hot & hearty lunch, lots of variety, sandwiches, soup of the day, fresh salads & a scrumptious desert. Weather pending, lunch is served river side or in our 1200ft log Wildhorse Lodge. Even on a chilly day our 1910 pot belly stove is sure to help.
Time to tell fish stories and make arrangements for your next trip!
Enjoy a half day fly fishing trip with four hours on the water. 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. or 1 - 5 p.m. (lunch not included but can be arranged)
Drive five minutes to enjoy a full day fly fishing trip at Long Meadow Ranch. Start and end times are the same. We still drive back to the North Fork Ranch for the legendary lunch.
Start with an early breakfast at the ranch. Drive about an hour to the Dream Stream (Charlie Meyer SWA), a tailwater section of the South Platte River. Fish the morning on this classic tailwater. Break for a lunch sent with us by the staff at the ranch. Fish the afternoon in the many meanders of the Middle Fork of the South Platte with a dry dropper rig. The guides will have you back to the ranch in time for dinner.
Walk from breakfast, coffee still in hand, to your waders draped over the deck of your cabin. You are fishing the North Fork Ranch today!
We offer Guided Fly Fishing, Hiking, Massage, Gourmet Home Cooked Meals, Target Shooting, Bow and Arrow Shooting, Trail Rides, Champagne Brunch, Campfires, Fly-Fishing Classes, Horsemanship Clinics, Mountain Man Story Time, Game Nights, Square and Line Dancing, Riverside Lunches, Hayrides and Sing Alongs. All on site!
We offer Zip-Line Tours, White Water Rafting, Breckenridge Trips and more!
Lodging options include everything from one-bedroom suites to three-bedroom family units with cathedral ceilings, sitting areas, and stone fireplaces. Suites and cabins include private baths and cozy pillow-top beds in king, queen and twin size configurations. Each cabin is uniquely decorated and all share wonderful views of the wilderness surrounding the ranch. It’s like being at home… but better — just relax, grab an appetizer and a glass of wine, put your feet up and let us take care of all the details.
Wildhorse Lodge – a small lodge with 5 suite style rooms: perfect for couples, singles, or families with adult children.
Stonehenge Mansion – our largest accommodation sleeps 12: a six-bedroom, three-bath lodge, with three large common areas, each with wood-burning fireplaces – great for a family reunion, families traveling together or large families, and perfect for corporate groups or retreats.
Klondike Cabin – A true log cabin with a common sitting area and impressive large rock fireplace. Perfect Colorado lodging for families with younger kids, this cabin is just across from the pool. Gather ‘round the fireplace in the evening and share stories about your day!
Homestead Cabin – Great for larger families visiting our Colorado Dude Ranch: this cabin sleeps up to 9 people. Older kids can sleep separate from the adult area with plenty of privacy for all. You can all come together in the common area for games, snacks and socializing around the stone fireplace and coffee bar or enjoy the views from any of the multiple porches.
We fish the North Fork Ranch Spring Summer and Fall. Winter fishing depends on the flows and is not available every winter.
The North Fork Ranch is home to a variety of Trout. Primarily larger than your average Rainbow Trout. We also see Brown Trout, Cutthroat Trout, and the rare but occasional Brook Trout.
The North Fork Ranch Guide Service has their guide shed located at the ranch. All equipment is available and included in the cost of a guide trip. This includes a rod and reel, waders and boot, flies and terminal tackle. Of course all anglers are welcome to bring your own equipment.
All anglers should be prepared for the variable weather of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
This is a list of items to bring with you while fishing at the ranch.
A list of suggestions for anglers bringing their own equipment.
The North Fork Ranch Guide Service does provide daily rentals of all the above equipment. We do recommend you bring your own flies and terminal tackle if you are not fishing with a guide. We can provide a list of fly shops on the way to the ranch.