Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout
Destination Type
Fishing Style
Dry Fly, Private Waters, Sightfishing, Stillwater, Wading
June - October
Fishing Days
4 - 10+
Why We Go
  • Stay in cabins and fish waters that are made available only to private parties of 6 to 12 to use in exclusivity
  • Fish well managed and highly productive trout streams
  • Historic remodeled cabins have all the modern amenities and comforts of a fine lodge
  • Enjoy meals prepared by a chef in the privacy of your group's cabin
  • Explore the property with a guide on horseback

Hidden within Southern Colorado’s San Juan Mountains is a valley so beautiful that you will marvel at its perfection. With 970 acres, two fully restored historic cabins, a herd of elk and four miles of fabulous fly fishing flowing through it all, it is a place that will inspire all who visit to return again.

Ideally suited to private parties or families of six or more, El Rancho Pinoso radiates understated quality, utter privacy and indescribable beauty. Anglers have exclusive walk and wade access to two remarkable properties including the home waters of El Rancho Pinoso’s Rio Blanco and seven miles of the meandering Weminuche River. With easy wading, great dry fly fishing, and plenty of trout pushing 20 inches, this undiscovered gem is one of the finest and most fairly priced private water venues in the West.

While each of the ranch’s two cabins can take at least six guests, the ranch does not mix groups ensuring each total privacy. Those who prefer not to fish can enjoy guided rides on the property, hike nearby trails, and visit the Pagosa Springs hot springs.

Fishing Program

El Rancho Pinoso’s fishing program is based around two distinct private systems: Rio Blanco and the Weminuche River. All rivers are walk and wade systems that have benefited from extensive stream restoration work. Typically anglers are picked up around 8:00 AM and return to the cabins around 5:00 PM. When fishing the home river, anglers will return to the cabins for lunch.

The Rio Blanco is the home water and the centerpiece of El Rancho Pinoso. The four miles of water is fully restored with numerous deep pools and easy wading. The river is easily crossed in most tailouts and it is dominated by rainbow trout. Many of these fish are in the 16- to 21-inch class with shots at larger fish throughout the day.

The sister property features the Weminuche River, a handsome, fully restored, meandering meadow system with a full seven miles of private water. The river is approximately an hour and twenty minute drive from El Rancho Pinoso and boasts healthy populations of both brown trout and rainbow trout in the 16- to 21-inch class. The Weminuche has exceptional hopper/dry fly structure and has some very large browns.


El Rancho Pinoso has two fully renovated historic log homes on-site. For larger groups, both homes may used (note that this will change the package pricing). For smaller groups one home will suffice. Packages include three meals per day prepared by a private chef. Guests are responsible for bringing their own alcohol.

Most guests will stay in the Cowboy House which comfortably sleeps eight and comes complete with full kitchen, fireplace, washer and dryer, four bedrooms and four bathrooms. For larger parties, the second cabin is available and sleeps seven in four bedrooms. Meals are cooked in the Cowboy house by a private chef.

**Note: Ranch staff members sleep off site or in homes on the other side of the property.

Additional Experiences

The ranch has six horses and a wrangler on-site and riding is included in each package price. The surrounding region also has a wealth of places to explore just a short drive away. To the south in New Mexico, is the historic Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad that embarks from Chama; the charming town of Taos with the still-inhabited, thousand-year-old Taos Pueblo; and Santa Fe, with its long Spanish heritage, its famed adobe architecture, and incredible array of art galleries. To the north is Pagosa Springs, gateway to the alpine splendors of the San Juan Mountains and the Weminuche Wilderness, and home to the famous hot springs and spa. To the west is Durango, a truly authentic Western town, with the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, galleries and museums, and stellar restaurants. Durango also provides access to Mesa Verde National Park, one of the world's great cultural treasures, and the San Juan Skyway, a 235-mile scenic loop through mining towns, ski resorts, and staggering mountain splendor.


Day 1: Arrive El Rancho Pinoso after 4:00 PM. Get settled in and tour the property.

Days 2-5: Five full days of guided fishing on the two Lindner properties.

Day 6: Check out by 11:00 AM and depart for home or points beyond.

Rates & Details

2024 Rates: Per person based on double occupancy

  • 7 night/6 day package: $6,603
  • 6 night/5 day package: $5,653
  • 5 night/4 day package: $4,703
  • 4 night/3 day package: $3,874
  • 3 night/2 day package: $2,853

Included: Accommodations, meals, guided fishing, flies and terminal tackle, horse back riding and tax.

Not Included: Round trip airfare and transportation to the lodge, alcohol, fishing licenses, staff and guide gratuities.

Species: Rainbow, brown and brook trout

Season: June 20 to October 1

Capacity: 12 guests (8 anglers). Exclusive use is available for parties of six or more.

Fly Water Q&A

Who is best suited to this destination? Anglers who enjoy un-pressured walk and wade fishing will love this destination. Groups who are looking for a private getaway will also be very well suited to this destination.

Where is the lodge? The lodge is located in the mountains about forty-five minutes southeast of Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

How do I get there? Guests may either fly into Durango, CO and rent a car to drive to the lodge (about an hour and a half drive), and those with private aircraft can fly into Pagosa Springs. The lodge can provide a shuttle with advance notice.

When should I go? Runoff has finished by the end of June most years. From then through October it’s a spectacular place. The warm temperatures can significantly affect fishing in August through early September, we recommend early to mid-July or late September to early October.

How will I fish? Guests will fish two anglers per guide, and all sections are walk and wade only. The access to the river is very easy and the river is very easy to wade.

Is there wade fishing? This venue provides wade fishing only.

Where will I fish? Anglers will fish on the Rio Blanco primarily but will also likely access the sister property, Weminuche (Weh-mih-nooch) Valley Ranch, to fish the Weminuche River. There are miles of private water access and the guests may fish a different section each day. Guests have access to seven miles of easy-to-wade water and 10 miles of private water between the two rivers. Some guests may also fish the Piedra River at Notch Ranch, a third smaller property.

Most fishing is done with a dry fly and one dropper although at certain times of year the nymph dropper may not be used.

How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds? Access to the Rio Blanco is only minutes away, the Weminuche River takes about an hour and a half to access.

What type(s) of fish will I catch? Anglers will catch rainbow and brown trout primarily.

How many fish will I catch? Anglers should plan on catching between 10 and 15 fish per day, although this will vary based on fishing method and conditions.

Will I see other anglers? The only other anglers you will see are other members of your party. All sections of the Rio Blanco and Weminuche River that you will fish run through private property.

What are the guides like? Guides are dedicated and very knowledgeable for this specific fishing program.

What are the physical demands? Guests should plan on walk and wade fishing all day, meaning they will be on their feet for much of the day. This is some of the most mellow wading, however, and the guides can drive guests right to the river so there is limited walking and no hiking required.

Are there any special skills required? There are no special skills required.

Does the lodge provide equipment? The lodge can provide any equipment needed – guests should let the lodge know in advance if they need to rent boots or waders. Guides will provide rods, reels, terminal tackle and flies.

What is your favorite setup for the trip? A 9-foot 4-weight rod will get the job done on all rivers.

What are the top flies? Flies will vary throughout the season and anglers should inquire about what patterns will be best for their specific dates.

What are the options if water conditions become challenging? Anglers will fish in rain or snow, however in the event that there is low water and high temperatures, anglers will stop fishing around noon or whenever the water temperature reaches 65 degrees. Typically when this happens guests will get on the water earlier in the morning and will not have the opportunity to fish in the evening. This is for the safety of the fish, as they cannot survive being handled once water temperatures increase.

If guests arrive during runoff, they will fish the banks with nymphs or will have access to the pond on site.

What is a typical day like? Guests will have a warm breakfast served at 7:00 AM and will be picked up by the guides at 8:00 AM. Guests will fish until about 4:30 PM and will be taken back to the cabins at 5:00 PM. Appetizers will be served at 6:30 PM followed by dinner.

What is the general vibe, atmosphere and style of the lodge? The cabins are comfortable and spacious, and due to the private nature of this location, will have whatever vibe each group brings. The cabins are well outfitted with a full kitchen, washer and dryer, internet and various room configurations. Guests will feel as if they are in a home away from home.

Is there an on-site owner, manager or other point-person at the lodge? The Ranch Manager, Dave Leibson, is around the property during the day, and guests will be on their own in the evenings.

Where do we eat, and what are the meals like? Meals will be served in the larger of the two cabins for breakfast and dinner. Meals are thoughtfully prepared by a professional chef and dietary restrictions will be accommodated with advance notice.

What is the alcohol policy? Alcoholic beverages and mixers are not included in the package rate. On their way from the airport, guests will need to pick up all beverages they would like to have while onsite other than water, orange juice, milk and coffee.

Where do we stay, and what are the accommodations like? Guests stay in a spacious, historic cabin that is in many ways like a fine rental home. It has a variety of different room configurations, specifically two bedrooms with Queen beds, one bedroom with a King bed and another with four twin beds. The cabins are completely modernized with full kitchens, washer and dryer, telephone and internet access.

Is there internet and/or cell service? The cell service in this area is not very good, but the cabins have reliable Wifi as well as a telephone.

Are there other activities? The ranch is located in a beautiful valley in the mountains, and guests will have the option to go horseback riding, hiking, visit the hot springs in Pagosa Springs or just spend time relaxing at the cabin.

Are there any other expenses? Guests should plan on gratuities, purchase of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for their stay, fishing licenses, and Durango airport shuttle fee or car rental.

Do I need a visa? A visa is not needed for this destination.

Are there any health concerns, dangers or annoyances? Weather in the Rockies can be unpredictable and guests should plan for cool evenings, hot days and rain. In June and October snow is a possibility and evening temperatures may drop below freezing in June, September and October.

Guests should also be aware that this destination sits at about 8,300 feet in elevation. An oxygen tank can be provided for guests who have difficulty breathing.

Tell us about yourself and we'll reach out to plan the details of your trip