Leave It to Gunnison River Pro to Get Into the Gorge and on the River
by Gus Jarvis
Aug 23, 2012 | 2745 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RIGGED AND READY – At Gunnison River Pro, longtime riverman Chris Mortimer has created gear specifically designed for trips through the Gunnison Gorge. Here, two of Gunnison River Pro’s rafts, fully rigged, were ready to launch from the Ute 2 beach inside the Gunnison Gorge earlier this summer. (Courtesy photo)
RIGGED AND READY – At Gunnison River Pro, longtime riverman Chris Mortimer has created gear specifically designed for trips through the Gunnison Gorge. Here, two of Gunnison River Pro’s rafts, fully rigged, were ready to launch from the Ute 2 beach inside the Gunnison Gorge earlier this summer. (Courtesy photo)
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DELTA – Anyone who’s done it knows, it takes a load of expensive gear and a lot of effort to raft and fish the incomparable waters of the Gunnison Gorge on a multi-day camping trip.

Now gear, effort and pocketbook are no longer roadblocks to epic fishing trips in the Gunnison Gorge, or the lower stretches of the Gunnison River, with longtime river guide Chris Mortimer’s new outfitting business, Gunnison River Pro.

Based out of Delta County, Gunnison River Pro is perfectly situated to provide all of the logistics and gear anglers and outdoor enthusiasts of all types need for a self-guided trip through the Gunnison Gorge. This includes shuttling personal vehicles, packing all camping equipment, loading personal gear, carefully packing all food for meals and then transporting everything by horseback to the remote put-in at Chukar Trail.

“The Gunnison Gorge is one of the finest float fishing trips in the West,” Mortimer says. “The Gorge is also difficult to access and requires a lot of gear and logistics to make a trip happen. Guided trips in the Gorge have become extremely expensive. Our packages are an affordable option and give you extra time on the water.

“All you need to do is hike down to the river and float. We take care of everything else.”

Along with providing everything needed for a float including rafts, frames and all kitchen gear, Gunnison River Pro provides critical information about the rafting equipment, camp kitchen, resources regulations, boating safety, general information about the Gunnison Gorge Wilderness Area, and even recommendations on where to camp.

Mortimer has spent the past 20 years fishing and floating the Gunnison Gorge and is no stranger to the type of gear needed to enjoy one, two or three days on the river. At his shop in Delta County, Mortimer has been hard at work crafting gear that’s specifically designed to the unique logistics that go into a Gunnison Gorge river trip. Everything from the frames – with fishing seats – to the kitchen table has been designed to work with utmost ease on the river.

“Our trips are outfitted with the best gear, specifically designed for the Gorge,” Mortimer says. “After years of observation and thousands of days on the water, I designed and built the dry boxes and frames with the intent of minimizing the amount of horses needed to haul a trip. We use half the horses that other trips use – saving you money.”

Mortimer adds that the intuition that’s gone into his gear has caught the eye of other outfitters in the area and he’s been asked to build gear for them as well.

While most river trips in the Gunnison Gorge cover approximately 14 miles from Chukar Trail to the Bureau of Land Management take-out at the confluence of the North Fork, Mortimer says Gunnison River Pro has options for take-out locations farther downstream that will allow greater flexibility and the ability to extend trips from what once was a maximum of three days to four or five days.

Mortimer emphasized that the recreational resources below the confluence of the North Fork shouldn’t be forgotten. The BLM has painstakingly built a number of camps and put-ins/take-outs that can provide novice boaters great floating waters for fishing as well.

“The lower river has great fishing in a desert environment; the section of river through the Escalante Dominguez Canyon National Conservation Area has a great hike to 1,000-year-old rock art panels,” Mortimer says. “For those that aren't experienced, the lower river is a great place to learn and hone your rafting skills. And they're all accessible for day, and multi-day trips. The BLM has really developed some nice camp spots down there.”

Whether it’s a casual day on the lower Gunnison River or a multi-day float through the Gunny Gorge, Gunnison River Pro will have you fully outfitted with top-of-the-line gear for a trip of a lifetime.

“We are making the logistics of doing a river trip easy for everybody,” he says. “Which means more time on the water.”

To schedule a trip or to find out more information about Gunnison River Pro, visit gunnisonriverpro.com, search for Gunnison River Pro on Facebook or call 970/318-2509.



gjarvis@watchnewspapers.com or @gusgusj

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