If you plan to float clear to Del Norte, be aware there is an irrigation diversion dam about 1/4 to 1/2 mile upsteam of Del Norte. It has been a number of years since I did this float, but I believe the drop on the downstream side of the dam is at least 12 feet. Take out above the dam on river right. You will have to portage your boat and equipment downstream about 200 yds to get back into the river. When I float that stretch now, I put in at the Coler wildlife area above South Fork and float down to Hanna Road ( I believe it is also called CO RD 17). There is a great put-in at Coler. The take-out at Hanna is just below the bridge, river right. Last time I floated the Rio, I fished a black wooly booger and trailed a black slump buster behind it. The fishing was fantastic.
Reply by: Rip Lip Posted: 7/15/2017 10:43:15 AM Points: 138
Great river. You might look in to floating some sections closer to South Fork. From South Fork down to Del Norte, the river is about the same anyway. However, I've never floated below CR-19 and there looks to be some beautiful country/ ranches between SF and Del Norte. There are a few outfitters in South Fork, and I'd imagine someone who rents boats. Not much help there, sorry. Lots of different sections to fish, so put some thought in to how long you want to be on the water each day. Can probably do 2 miles per hour if you don't stop a bunch. Can also do a section in the morning and a different section in the afternoon/ evening. There are a lot of good access points, boat ramps in and around South Fork. Lots of willing fish in there and I'd imagine the dry fly action is still pretty good right now.