DATES (2 Trips to choose from):
Thursday PM -Sunday PM, either September 8-11 or 17-20
On this exciting and purposeful adventure, we will be fly fishing on rafts, wade fishing and camping for three day in one of the world's most haunting and productive fisheries in the world, The Black Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado. Along the way, we will integrate the experience of fly fishing and rafting the canyon with group discussions about the insights we have that can be applied, beyond the walls of the canyon, to our everyday lives. In addition to fly fishing the little-known Gold Medal waters of the Gunnison River, you will be encouraged to explore and share where you are in your life and how your experiences and lessons learned within the walls of this rarefied canyon might lend themselves to living more in the moment when returning to our everyday lives. Amidst sheer cliffs as high as 2200 feet, and sections that are in the shadows for over 95% of the day, the canyon's austere nature is a perfect backdrop for tapping into the natural cadence of the river and the wisdom it has to offer.
This section of the Gunnison River, just North of the town of Montrose Colorado, has a large population of big and energetic rainbow and brown trout that test the skills of any angler. Fish sizes average 14-16 inches with much larger catches as well. Fishing in the canyon is strickly catch and release. All levels of angler are welcome; each person's particular level of angling adds a rich dimension to our collective experiences and group discussions.
A lot of what we will be doing, while fishing, is noticing how it is process, awareness and staying in the moment that gets us to the result. Stress is often a result of thinking about the past or worrying about the future.... Quite simply, the goal is to bring mindfulness practices derived from fly fishing in this sublime canyon, and take those insights with us beyond its walls... Besides fly fishing and rafting, we will use some simple exercises (see below) to help connect the dots between our in-the-moment fishing process and everyday life. The river never lies! It always shares its reflective wisdom provided we are willing to have the awareness to notice what is really going on.
Our facilitator is Fish for Wellness founder, John Dietsch. John is a fly fishing guide, teacher and author of the book Graced by Waters, who has written and presented about the transformational qualities of fly fishing for over 30 years. John will lead us in cultivating mindfulness and gratitude, through the process of fly fishing, both within and without the cliffs of the Black Canyon. For more on John's background and books see the links below.
We will be floating down the Gunnison and fishing with the experienced guides and oarsmen from Gunnison River Rats. Outfitters Jim Hancock and Mike Haas have been leading fly fishing expeditions into the canyon for more than forty years. In addition to navigating us through the canyon, they will also set up and break camp as well as cook us up delicious meals (sorry all fishing is catch and release)! They also know where the big fish live and feed!! While they are happy to share fly patterns or a loaner rod, guests are encouraged to bring their own flies, gear and tackle (exceptions can be made upon written request). For more information, see GRR's link below.
•Journaling (including a short preliminary assignment)
•AM group meditation
• Conscious fly fishing
•Short group discussions about staying present
•Sharing around the campfire circle at the end of the day
• We highly recommend that guests consider arriving in the Delta/Hotchkiss/Paonia area Thursday afternoon. The pricing includes minimalist small cabins the first night at Pleasure Park with communal bathrooms nearby at our rendezvous/take-out point called Pleasure Park (see links below). Higher end accommodations are available in town (10 min drive) for an additional cost. Breakfast burritos are available at the Park Friday morning and departure time to the put-in will be at approximately 8:30 AM. You will park your car at the Park for the weekend and then be transported (about a two hour drive) to the top of the trail leading down into the Black Canyon. For out-of-towners, we recommend flying into Aspen, Telluride or Montrose the afternoon of the 22rd (Montrose, Aspen and Grand Junction are the closest airports, while Hotchkiss, Delta and Paonia are the closest towns to Pleasure Park).
- $3250 per person (two anglers assigned to an experienced guide/oarsman per boat). If you are single you will have your own tent. Proceeds go to Fish for Wellness and its scholarship programs.
- Includes all meals, non-alcoholic beverages, water, drinks, and camp accommodations provided, inc. hot breakfasts and dinners
An easy 1.5 mile gentle downhill hike is required at the outset of the trip.
A more detailed list of do's and don'ts will be sent upon signing up
** All participants over the age of 15 must purchase a 3-day CO fishing license.
CO Fishing License: https://cpw.state.co.us/buyapply/Pages/Fishing.aspx
Gunnison River Rats: http://www.gunnisonriverrats.com
John Dietsch: http://www.gracedbywaters.com
Pleasure Park Camping: 19708722525
To make a deposit & save a seat please call John at 310 415-9232
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you”
A river flows because of its tributaries., just as a nonprofit grows due to its contributors. Whether it is donations or volunteering, we can do more together than we can do alone.
There are many ways to join us and support our mission. Contact us to find out more about volunteer opportunities, donations, fundraising events, and ways that you can get our message out to your friends and family. And don't forget to sign up for our newsletter on the confluence of fly fishing and wellness.
Fish for Wellness qualifies as a 501(c)3 through a fiscal sponsorship with Fish for Change. For more information please call us at 310 415 9231 or email email@example.com