Enter now to win a fly fishing vacation!
Denver, CO – Access to 2,000 natural lakes, 800 reservoirs and 9,500 miles of streams—including 321 miles of Gold Medal Trout Waters— makes Colorado a prime fishing destination. Enjoy remote access to stunning streams with mountain views, hire knowledgeable local guides to share their secrets, and discover a holiday or weekend getaway that encourages a balance of ease and adventure. Anglers in every season are sure to find success on Colorado waters. Whether from the dock or shore, a pontoon or raft, or with your feet firmly planted on the river bed, fishing in Colorado promises challenge, reward and inspiration.
Win a Fly Fishing Getaway
Win a fishing getaway with Black Canyon Anglers/Gunnison River Farms. Includes a 2-night stay, dinners for 2, and a 3-hour intro to fly-fishing. Enter before June 22, 2015 at 11pm: http://gvwy.io/l0p81i
When casting in Colorado, what you reel in is limited only by how many hours you spend on the water. What you find on the end of your line may include rainbow, cutthroat, brown, brook or lake trout; splake, kokanee salmon, grayling, mountain whitefish, wiper, walleye, saugeye, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill, green sunfish, channel catfish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, white and rock bass, northern pike, or tiger muskie. Catch-and-release fishing is supported on Colorado waters. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) fishing regulations outline what you can and can’t take, how you can take it, and how you can help preserve Colorado waters for future fishing. Remember to pick up your fishing license, available at one of over 700 licensed vendors statewide.
Get Your Feet Wet
For a little “how to” before you hit the waters, learn from seasoned pros at one of Colorado’s fly shops, fishing stores, Colorado Parks and Wildlife classes or outfitters. Many local outfitters and guest ranches offer classes; at the Bucking Rainbow Fly Fishing Clinic in Steamboat Springs you can learn casting, entomology, knots and how to read streams. Angler's Covey in Colorado Springs offers free basic fly-fishing classes, women’s classes and guided instruction. Land a net-full of information at Colorado’s 19 State Fish Hatcheries, as most locations offer fish feeding, exhibits and tours. Knowledgeable hatchery technicians are responsible for the aquaculture of 56 strains of fish, raising and stocking over 90 million fish every year, and contributing to preservation of threatened and endangered species.
Big Fish Stories on the Gunnison
With more fish than people, the rivers, streams, ponds and lakes of Delta County present some of the finest fishing on the Western Slope of the Rockies. It’s the quantity and variety, escape from the crowds, diverse fish species and strong fly hatches that make the area exceptional. For an all-in-one fishing experience, stay in cabins at the beautiful Gunnison River Farms, a 1000-acre paradise, and enjoy white-water rafting and 3.5 miles of private river fishing in the stunning Gunnison River Gorge with on-site hosts, Black Canyon Anglers.
From guest ranches to private stretches of river, Colorado offers a wide array of options for secluded fishing trips. For solitude in a historic setting, book a mile and a half of river on private ranches with the South Park Fly Fishing Program. For an even more secluded fishing adventure, visit Lake City— the most remote county in the lower 48—which offers seasonal fishing for sportsmen of all levels. When summer sunshine hits the shoreline, Big Blue Creek offers serene learning opportunities, while Lake Fork puts anglers’ skills to the test and offers up rainbow trout as a memorable prize. At the remarkable Rainbow Trout Ranch, bring your catch of the day to the chef for your very own river-to-table meal, and ask for recipes to take home!
Cast and Camp:
Pitch a tent, pack your cooler and grab your fishing pole. Colorado has 42 State Parks and many of them offer campsites near the shoreline. Chatfield State Park and Lake Pueblo State Park are featured on “America’s Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots.” Just outside Denver, Aurora Reservoir was named “The Best Park for Fishing” by Westword in 2012. In Ridgway State Park, fish the productive tailwater of the Uncompahgre River set against a backdrop of stunning peaks and vast wilderness.
During Huck Finn Fishing Days in Ridgway, budding anglers embrace the spirit of the fictional hero, enjoying free fishing and demos for kids. In August, the Family Fly Fishing Festival with Team USA will take place at the historic Camp Hale, hosted at Nova Guides Lodge – fly fishing, fly tying, etymology, fish art and more fly fun for the whole family. Check out the list of 10 Places to Fish with the Family and 101 Places to Take a Kid Fishing.
Luxury on the Line
Visit the recently opened Fishing Camp on the Tarryall River—the newest Broadmoor Wilderness Experience Property – where guided fishing on five miles of pristine, private waters is complimented by sunrise cowboy coffee and campfires under clear, starry skies. Head to Dunton River Camp for “glamping” in beautiful tents nestled into woods 30 feet above the river and enjoy some of the best fly-fishing in North America on the West Fork of the Dolores.
Females Gone Fishin’
On July 29, sign up for the “Women Only Discover Fly Fishing Class” with Angler's Covey in Colorado Springs. Before your trip, check in with the Colorado Women Fly Fishers to see if they have any upcoming trips planned or to meet other fly fisherwomen.
Lakes and Reservoirs
Surrounding Pueblo and Salida in the south-central section of the state are numerous scenic, small lakes above 10,000 feet. These pristine gems require some hiking, but reward your effort with excellent fishing for cutthroat, rainbow and brook trout. Near Walden in north-central Colorado, three separate bodies of water comprise the Delaney Butte Lakes, each showcasing a different opportunity for Colorado fishing. At Vallecito Lake in southwestern Colorado, rent a pontoon, stock the cooler and spend the day casting for rainbow and brown trout, and northern pike. Spinney Mountain State Park is Colorado’s most famous trophy fishery and Steamboat Lake State Park offers top Gold Medal trout fishing. In the northeast, Jackson Lake State Park is a popular spot for anglers. In Grand Junction, follow the Lake of the Woods Trail to Bull Creek and Bull Basin for fabulous fishing in serene pools.
Tie your Fly
From tying lures to reading streams and cooking your catch, Colorado guides offer seasoned expertise and artisan fishing products. In Salida, Hayden Mellsop offers hand-tied flies and a wealth of knowledge soon available in his book of reflective essays about fly-fishing. In Wheat Ridge, Doug Borer offers fly tying and bamboo rod crafting classes. RIGS outdoor shop in Ridgeway will teach you how to tie the perfect fly, and in Pueblo the guys at the Steel City Anglers offer classes, locally and regionally made products, and guided tours on the beautiful Arkansas River.
Whether casting for the biggest catch or looking for a place to slip silently into a stream and enjoy some solo time, Colorado is an angler’s paradise. A lifetime casting in Colorado would hardly be enough to experience it all, but rest assured that any place you go, any number of times you come back, you’ll head home with much more than what’s on the end of your line.