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Rough and Tumbling Creek

Rough and Tumbling Creek 
is south of Fairplay and 8 miles off Highway 285. It is part of the upper South Fork of the South Platte headwater drainage and is located just outside of the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness area. As Rough and Tumbling Creek leaves the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness area it flows into a private ranch for a couple of miles, then just below this is a section of public land, about 1.5 miles, that can be accessed with a 4-wheel drive vehicle. This is a small section and it would not take very many anglers to feel crowded, but it is out of the way you feel like you have the entire area to yourself.


Rough and Tumbling Creek 

Accessibility: The Forest Service roads to get to this area are in moderate condition and 4-wheel drive and moderate off-road driving skill are needed. Little hiking is required, but some minor bushwhacking going to the beaver ponds.


Distance: 89.7 miles from Colorado Springs / 2 Hours

Season: Summer and Fall

Fly patterns: Hopper patterns, Elk Hair Caddis, Amy’s Ant, Yellow Humpies, Beadhead droppers.

Fish species: Brown Trout 

Fishing Regulations: Standard Colorado

Rough and Tumbling Brown



 "After seeing the water, I was a little surprised to not catch more that just a few brook trout. This is perfect habitat for brook trout to flourish. But after landing several brown trout between 8-12 inches it became clear that the Browns were eating more than just a few hoppers." David Leinweber


Techniques & Tips: Don't fish a hole too long. Some beaver ponds seemed void of trout while others have plenty. Look for undercut banks. Be stealthy - the fish are easily spooked. 

Camping: Is allowed, but there are really only three spots so plan on going during the week or arriving early enough to claim your spot.

Kids: Yes.

Additional Information: This is a fairly remote area, so be prepared to see nobody else around (especially during the week) except the occasional rancher and plan accordingly. 

Suggested Products: 

National Geographic Map

Leadville/Fairplay #110

Colorado Atlas & Gazetteer


(Click to Purchase)

(Click to Purchase)


Directions - 89.7 miles - 2 Hours

  1. From Angler's Covey head west on US 24 W/Cimarron St, go 74.8 miles
  2. Turn right at US-24 W/US-285 S go 18.3 miles
  3. Turn left at Forest Service RD 431, (Buffalo Springs Campground) go 3.3 miles
  4. Turn right at Forest Service RD 432, go 1.2 miles
  5. Turn left on Forest Service RD 430, go 2.2 miles


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This Fall

Fri-Sun 7am-6pm,

Mon-Thurs 9am-6pm


During the Winter

EVERYDAY 9am-6pm 


During the Summer

EVERYDAY 6am-6pm