Runoff is here: What’s new on the river?

Time to visit Rancho in Bond

Michael Salomone
Special to te Daily
The Colorado River is starting to roll, so this seems like a good time of year to head up to Bond for some fishing. (Special to the Daily)

Spring run off has begun, pushing river rats out of their dens and onto the water.

The Eagle and Colorado rivers are both open for floating. With a demand for water time increasing across the state, it is a good idea to visit with one of the busiest river locations around, Rancho del Rio on the Colorado River to see what’s new.

I reached out to Lauren Quinn at Rancho del Rio. She was kind enough to answer a few questions about river usage, boat ramp etiquette and the immense amount of water related activities that are available along the Colorado River and more specifically Rancho, as the locals lovingly call it.

Who is Rancho del Rio? Give your full names. Current Owners & Operators: Lauren Quinn, Jim Ingram & Otto Andl

Where is Rancho located? 4199 Trough Rd. Bond, Colorado 80423 Four miles up Trough Road from State Bridge off of Highway 131. Our property looks up at Yarmony Mountain and is located directly on the Colorado River. Our slogan “Rancho Del Rio- Not Your Usual Resort” could not be a more perfect description! In operation since 1935, Rancho has worn several hats, a music venue, campground and major put in & take out for the Upper Colorado River.

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The trout are hopping up in Bond. (Special to the Daily)

Why is Rancho such a special place? Rancho is a gathering place for folks who love the river. Rafters, fisherman, campers and musicians all love the laid-back vibe of Rancho. We are increasingly becoming a popular campground as well with all the improvements to the sites & online reservations available. Under new management since 2018. We have it all! And if we don’t have it out here- you probably don’t need it! (like cell service- which we still don’t have!!!)

What do you have to offer guests? We have cabin rentals, a campground, shuttles for the commercial fishing/ raft companies and the general public, a raft company with ducky and raft rentals, gift shop, a food truck, bbq stand, general store with liquor and beer, ice, firewood and snacks. We also have an event venue with a ceremony area and wedding tent available.

What’s new at Rancho and on the river? In 2018 the new owners Lauren, Jim and Otto took the reins from previous owner Jeff Gibson who’d owned & operated Rancho Del Rio for over 30 years.

Music venues, are they coming back? As long as COVID regulations allow, we will have a few music events at rancho this summer following all local state & county regulations. Stay tuned and follow us on facebook for more info on events.

What to look for/expect from summer? We are hoping for plenty of water in the Colorado River!

This is a little slice of heaven, no? (Special to the Daily)

We are also looking forward to having visitors back from all over the world and welcoming back our locals! We expect to be quite busy this summer with lodging. Popular weekends are filling up fast! Book soon.

What water sports have you seen trending/growing? Fly fishing is taking on a life of its own up here & is more popular than ever! Kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding are still getting lots of attention. After May 15 give the Colorado River Center(at Rancho) a call to book duckies & rafts and guided raft trips as well.

Where are the new “river rats” coming from, local, Colorado or farther away? Most locals know how busy it is up here and to come out during the week for peace & quiet. If you come out on weekends get on the water early! Weekdays are the best time to spot the plentiful wildlife along the river- the Trough Road “wildlife kingdom” as we like to call it!

What are the rules for the boat ramp at Rancho, any boat ramp tips? Most important rule is four wheel drive only! Our old timey boat ramp is gravel & takes a major beating all summer. If you don’t have four wheel drive- carry your boat to the water. We also ask that you be quick. Don’t rig your boat on the ramp. Please rig in the parking lot. Small crafts may rig on the grassy area next to the ramp.

Personal Flotation Devices on the river! Always wear your PFD on the river- no matter what! It can save your life. It may seem calm out there but you never know what is lurking right below the surface. Rocks, strainers (logs in the river) and other hazards are all over this section of river. Things can change in an instant out there!

Michael Salomone moved to the Eagle River valley in 1992. He began guiding fly-fishing professionally in 2002. His freelance writing has been published in numerous magazines and websites including; Southwest Fly Fishing, Fly Rod & Reel, Eastern Fly Fishing, On the Fly mag, FlyLords, the Pointing Dog Journal, Upland Almanac, the Echo website, Vail Valley Anglers and more. He lives on the bank of the Eagle River with his wife, Lori; two daughters, Emily and Ella; and a brace of yellow labrador retrievers.

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