The Collegiate Peaks Chapter of Trout Unlimited works in the upper Arkansas River Valley in central Colorado. The chapter has over 300 members. Its projects run from doing habitat restoration and stream access maintenance to advocating for responsible public policies, and working with a variety of agencies on conservation projects. We offer fly fishing classes, a middle school enrichment program called “Stream Explorers”, have a womens’ group called FlyGals, and sponsor youth fishing derbies. Volunteers put in over 3,000 hours/year. The chapter also provides up to $12,000 annually for scholarships.

We are also working on an education facility, the Ecosystem Learning Center (ELC), on the banks of the South Arkansas river.

Take a look at our brochure.

We publish a monthly newsletter. You can read through the newsletter archive, and you can subscribe to it here.

Coming events

International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4)
on Thursday, Apr 13th, 6:00pm
Surf Hotel
Ivy Ballroom, Surf Hotel | April 13, 2023 Doors open at 6:00 PM, Film begins at 7:00 PM Buy tickets at Tickets will be available for purchase at Upriver Fly Shop and if available, at the door on the day of the event. For information about this screening, please contact host at For questions about IF4™ or the presentation email
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July 4th kids fishing derby 2023
on Tuesday, Jul 4th, 8:30am
Frantz Lake
Free fishing derby for children through 13 years old (contestants provide own equipment and bait) Tuesday, July 4th at Frantz Lake, County Road 154, Salida Registration: 8:30 – 9:30 am Derby: 9:45 – 10:45 am Prizes: 11:00 am Free hot dog lunch for contestants and their families
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Moonlight Monday fundraiser
on Monday, Oct 9th, 12:00am
Moonlight Pizza & Brewpub
October 9th is our Monday Moonlight Pizza non-profit day! Are you ready for some pizza, great salad & beer?! Have you visited one of our local restaurants yet this year? 10% of all sales that day will go directly to our TU chapter, which conserves, protects, and restores the cold water fisheries and their watersheds of the upper Arkansas River valley. Now is our chance to support a local business and their employees. You can easily social distance in one of their two spacious outdoor patios, as the tables are spread out at a safe distance. Come out anytime throughout the day or evening, and hopefully we can visit or talk to those TU friends we haven’t seen all summer.…
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For a complete list of events, including all our meetings, check our calendar.

Ways to support our chapter

You can support our chapter by making a straight donation (processed by PayPal):

City Market Community Rewards will donate to our chapter every time you shop at Kroger stores. All you need to do is sign up — click here for instructions.

Latest updates

Latest updates

Established in 1991, the Upper Arkansas River Voluntary Flow Management Program (VFPM) has helped shape river conditions for the past 32 years. Recreation and tourism in Lake, Chaffee and Fremont Counties has benefitted from water management in this reach by the Bureau of Reclamation in partnership with the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District. The most remarkable outcome of the program is that the Arkansas River from Leadville to Canon City is both a Gold Medal trout fishery and a Mecca for rafters and kayakers.

The fishing and boating industries once were in conflict on the river, but have worked together to shape an environment that benefits both, while providing scenic and environmental benefits as well.

A 102-mile stretch of the Arkansas River was declared a Gold Medal fishery by Trout Unlimited in 2014. The criteria for becoming a Gold Medal fishery is the ability to sustain 12 14-inch “quality trout” per acre, and produce 60 pounds of standing stock (fish, plant life and invertebrates) per acre. Gold Medal waters also must be accessible to the public.

The Arkansas River Outfitters Association formed in 1980 and has developed the most successful commercial reach of whitewater in the world. Each year, if conditions are prime, about 200,000 people enjoy the thrill of whitewater rafting.

Two factors have made this unusual dichotomy possible:

  • The creation of the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area in 1989.
  • The establishment of the Voluntary Flow Management Program in 1991.

With the 32th anniversary of the VFPM in 2023, it’s time to take a look back at how the program started, and how it has evolved over the intervening years.

Click below to read the 2023 edition of the VFMP brochure: