Broadacres Ranch Colorado: The fabled Rio Grande lies at the heart of Western lore, as it runs through nearly 1,900 miles of rugged landscape on its journey to the Gulf of Mexico, and has thus inspired countless novels and epic films. There is another Rio Grande, however, fabled among fly fishers. This is the Rio Grande of Broadacres Ranch, which is full of tackle-busting trout and is the stuff of anglers’ dreams. Just outside of the historic mining town of Creede, Colorado, Broadacres Ranch is one of the premier fly fishing resorts in the West, and claims an 18-year history as a top-rated Orvis-Endorsed Lodge.
Located in a beautiful broad valley at 8,900’ in the San Juan Mountains, Broadacres Ranch was established in 1892 and is approximately 600 acres of meadows and riparian woodland stradding both sides of the Rio Grande about 5 miles southwest of Creede. For decades, the ranch has worked hard to enhance its naturally-productive trout habitat to be the best possible, and the results have been spectacular. As a result, large river, small stream and stillwater trout fishing are excellent on the ranch itself, with almost endless access to additional public fishing in the surrounding territory. Broadacres Ranch has only had four custodians in its almost 130-year history, creating a remarkable continuity of careful stewardship of the land.
The Rio Grande itself is a 50- to 75-foot wide river here that flows through approximately 1.2 channel miles of the ranch. Abundant natural rocks have been supplemented with professionally-engineered rock structures throughout this stretch, creating almost perfect habitat for rainbow and brown trout that run 13 to well over 20 inches in length. An amazing insect population, including the famed giant stoneflies (salmonflies), keep the Rio’s trout fat and strong.
For a change of fishing pace, Shallow Creek is a Rio Grande tributary that runs for over a mile on the ranch. This is a small stream from 8 to 12 feet in width, and has been enhanced with dozens of mouth-watering pools to test the most discriminating small stream angler. The home largely of wild 9- to 16-inch brown trout, Shallow Creek makes for a full day of fishing for those who work it carefully. Between the Rio Grande itself and Shallow Creek, approximately 2.5 channel miles of enhanced stream fishery are available on the Broadacres property.
Finally, two large lakes and three trophy trout ponds round out the amazing fly fishing options at Broadacres Ranch. Browns, rainbows, cutthroats and cuttbows, up to several pounds, inhabit these ponds and are especially susceptible to midge patterns during the evening rise.
The fishing alone makes Broadacres Ranch a true gem, but it is also a full-featured luxury guest ranch. Its manicured grounds surround seven guest cabins, a fly shop, office, barn, laundry, equipment shop, and manager’s house, creating an atmosphere of “relaxed elegance.” All of the guest cabins, having been renovated recently and updgraded in excellent condition, have kitchens and can be operational year-round. The ranch’s large Bensonwood timberframe lodge is truly exceptional, and features a full commercial kitchen, great room, bar, and indoor and outdoor seating, all overlooking the lovely Rio Grande.
Over the decades, the Broadacres Ranch has grown an excellent reputation in both the guest ranch and fly fishing worlds. For any who desire to continue the operation as a fly fishing and guest ranch resort, this reputation will prove as valuable as the silver mines that caused the region to prosper when Creede was settled. The ranch currently holds USFS permits for floating and back country fishing. If a new owner wanted to operate a commercial hunting and fishing business, these USFS permits could be applied for. Broadacres also receives much sought after landowner deer and/or elk hunting permits annually from Colorado Parks and Wildlife for hunting on the ranch and National Forest (Unit 76). Fishing and hunting business has been the mainstay here, but other possibilities for the ranch could be operation as a corporate retreat, family retreat, or creative smart development. No conservation easements presently encumber any of the property.
Recreational opportunities are rich in the Creede area. Many miles of trails for horseback riding on the ranch and the adjoining Rio Grande National Forest to the north. Horseback riding was part of the ranch’s history and could be reinstated by using the currently available stalls. OHV riding is also popular, as is snowmobiling in the winter. Elk, moose, and mule deer range through the ranch, and big game hunting on the National Forest land is excellent. Hiking and mountain biking trails and groomed cross-country ski trails are all accessible from the ranch, and downhill skiers will find some of the deepest powder in the nation at Wolf Creek Ski Area, only about 45 minutes away. In the summer months, golfers will enjoy teeing up on the lovely 18-hole Rio Grande Golf Club only 25 minutes downriver at South Fork.
Creede is a classic mining town and features historic buildings, shops, restaurants, and the renowned Creede Repertory Theatre, with its remarkable talent of actors and and actresses performing every summer. Creede and Mineral County have a municipal airstrip (C24) with self-serve gas and Jet A fuel available, making Broadacres Ranch conveniently accessible year-round.
Not everyone is interested in building a property into something magnificent from the ground up. At Broadacres Ranch, that work has already been done. The fisheries improvements, grounds, cabins and lodge have already made it into a first-class resort. Those who have a passion for outstanding fly fishing in a place that is “turn-key” ready for family and guests, will find plenty to capture their hearts among the waters of Broadacres Ranch.