Lower Green River Fishing – Browns Park to Green River State Park

green river near vernal utah

The Lower Green River extends from Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge in Northwestern Colorado nearly 300 miles to its confluence with the Colorado River in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park.

While not as popular as Utah’s Upper Green River for fishing, the lower section of the Green River offers a diverse fishery with the opportunity to catch a variety of game fish including Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Northern Pike, Pikeminnows, and Bass.

There are several distinct fisheries on the Lower Green River. The following map provides access points and locations along the lower Green to provide reference for where each fishery begins and ends. It’s also a useful map for planning your next fishing trip on the lower green.

lower green river fishing map

Below is more detailed information on the different sections of the lower green and what type of fishing you can expect along each section. There are Google Map links embedded to help you research each location referenced.

Swinging Bridge to Gates of Lodore

Fishing along the Lower Green is best from Swinging Bridge through Gates of Lodore down through Jones Hole Campground. You’ll still find some good trout fishing along this stretch. The further downstream you go, the warmer the water gets, and the fewer trout you’re going to find.

gates of lodore on the green river

Gates of Lodore offers a scenic view of the Green River. Many of the rafting trips along the lower green put in at Gates of Lodore.

Gates of Lodore to Echo Park

A fun float run that offers great fishing and equisite scenery is the stretch from Gates of Lodore to Echo Park. This stretch of the river is for intermediate to advanced rafters with experience maneuvering Class II to Class IV rapids. There are few spots where you can relax and do a little trout fishing.

Echo Park Campground just downstream from the confluence of the Green and Yampa Rivers is a favorite fishing spot for anglers—myself included—and a top rated campground. It’s accessible from boat or road (HWY 156). You’ll find trout, bass, and pike in these waters along with some exotic native species including Colorado pikeminnow, humpback chub, bonytail chub, and razorback sucker. All native species are endangered and must be released.

Echo Park to Spit Mountain

From Echo Park the Green River runs 26 miles passing Seacliff Campground, Jones Hole, and Rainbow Park through Dinosaur National Monument to Spit Mountain. There is good fishing and great scenery here as well. You’ll continue to catch trout and the occasional pike, as well as some smallmouth bass. One of the more noteworthy spots along this section of the river is Jones Hole Campground.

rainbow park campground on the lower green river

Rainbow Park Campground offers relaxing bank fishing and scenic views of Mitten Park Fault.

Jones Hole Creek—just uphill from Jones Hole Campground—is a unique fishery along the Lower Green that really offers some fabulous fishing. It’s only about 4 miles long but is a popular fly fishing destination for browns and rainbows. There is a trail that runs along almost the entire length of the creek.

Jones Hole to Ouray

Downstream from Jones Hole Creek passing Rainbow Park and Spit Mountain through Jensen and on to Ouray trout populations dwindle and most of what you’ll be pulling out of the river are channel cats, smallmouth bass, and an occasional pike.

angler fly fishing for trout in jones hole creek on the green river

4-mile long Jones Hole creek on the Green River offers fly fishing for small rainbow and brown trout.

A few anglers have reported fishing for Northern Pike is most productive just downstream from Jensen at the Steward Lake canals and mouth of Ashley Creek. Most Northern Pike will be found from Jensen upstream through Dinosaur National Monument. If you want to target pike, fish larger plugs, spinners, and spoons.

Downstream from Ouray the next major access point is Sandwash. Just before Sandwash there is a put-in/take-out location the west (right) side of the river at Four Mile Wash.

Desolation and Grays Canyon

Desolation and Grays Canyon runs 83 miles from Sandwash to Swasey Boat Ramp. Most anglers float this stretch of the lower Green to experience the scenery and rapids. Not the best stretch of the Green to fish if you’re an avid angler. Expect to catch some channel cats, the occassional chub, and exotic species—predominantly red shiners, shand shiners, flathead minnows, and some carp.

desolation canyon green river

Rafting Desolation Canyon down from Sandwash; photo credit: BLM/Bob Wick.

If you want to do any fly fishing along this stretch of the Green River there’s an opportunity at Range Creek where you’ll find some small trout.

Green River State Park to Mineral Bottom Boat Ramp

The last stretch of the Lower Green before it enters the Colorado River runs from Green River State Park 58 miles through Labyrinth Canyon before arriving at Mineral Bottom Boat Ramp. It then continues an additional 62 miles through Stillwater Canyon and Canyonlands National Park before joining the Colorado River.

You’ll find fish here but nothing spectacular. Most adventurers float this stretch of the Green for the scenery and experience rather than the fishing. The species you’ll find include Colorado pikeminnow, humback chub, razorback sucker, and bonytail chub—as well as catfish.