Pagosa Springs boasts that it has some of the best fishing in the entire state. “It is incredibly beautiful.”. But, if it’s prize-winning big fish you are after, this is the place to be. You’ll find walleye, Bluegill, Black Crappie, brown trout, and “huge bass with easy access and consistent bites,” confirms Jerry Wyatt, 42, a weekend warrior from Colorado Springs who brings 37 years experience on the water to the conversation. The three major warm-water bodies — Horsetooth Reservoir, Chatfield Reservoir and Lake Pueblo — are all worthy of our list. Davis points to the smallmouth varieties, a trademark of this and the other warm-water fisheries, as the main draw. This state lake is also famous for ice fishing. If you are into fishing, you'll have plenty of locations to choose from and beautiful views as a bonus. Just when a Colorado summer starts to feel like summer is debatable, but as of Friday the season has officially begun. One of the benefits to this particular southern Colorado tailwater is the ease and accessibility of two major highways bringing you right to Pueblo’s stretch of the Arkansas. He credits the collaborations between CPW and local businesses spanning from 2004 to 2015, which added structures along the river to protect feeding and reproduction. In addition to the Frayser River to Troublesome Creek section near Granby, the Upper Colorado is home to some of the best trout fishing on the West Slope of Colorado. Davis describes Horsetooth as having outstanding smallmouth fishing, offering a break from the bread and butter of trout fishing in colder waters. But if you’re after peace, quiet, and superior fishing conditions, simply head up Highway 24 past Rainbow Falls and cast out your line somewhere along the … Plus, the purchase of a fishing license puts money directly back into CPW, helping to maintain and protect our public lands. The best way to have a successful fall fly fishing trip is to choose the right flies for the time of the year you are heading out. Trout fishing on Eleven Mile Reservoir. “The South Platte is impounded six or seven times from its headwaters and each one of those tailwaters below fishes a little different,” said Rick Davis, a 41-year-old military veteran who has spent the last 10 years guiding out of the South Platte Fly Shop in Woodland Park. The best time to fish is during cloudy days while the water temperature stays optimum. One of the most magnificent areas when it comes to the scenery in Colorado, the Gunnison River also boasts some of the state’s top rainbow and brown trout fishing opportunities. “It’s dope.”. If fishing is for your kiddo, the friendly reindeer that live at the fishing pond can be welcome entertainment. The best thing about fishing the Colorado River is that you can still cast a line from a raft at this time of year. It also provides a comprehensive list of species to expect in each area. I believe everyone has their own unique way of living the dream. Another great thing is that you can go fishing at any time of the year if you are not afraid to stay outside in the cold. To learn more about winter fishing regulations, permits and access, visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website. One of the last free-flowing rivers in the state of Colorado, the Animas River is a unique and rare treasure. Granite boulders provide in-stream structure in the shadow of spruce trees from the upper banks. O’Grady likes to take first-time clients out to the ponds to catch and release bluegills for a fun and easy confidence-builder. Some enthusiasts suggest that winter is one of the best times for fishing in the area, although spring through fall is … Spinney Reservoir is one of the best Gold Medal fisheries in Colorado. Colorado is one of the world’s most legendary fly fishing destinations, with hundreds of miles of pristine waterways, spectacular scenery, species that are native only to Colorado, and secluded waters that are reachable only by boat. Crayfish crankbaits and 4-inch senkos are perfect for fishing near the ramp. “Cheesman Canyon is arguably the most beautiful canyon you are going to hike, much less fish,” said Ross Guillen, 57, owner of the Denver Fly Shop on Colorado Boulevard. See also: Best Trout Fishing Spots in Tennessee Lake Pueblo State Park has shoreline fishing and at any of its small side ponds. Captain Jed Thompson runs the trips in Norther Colorado’s lakes, ponds, and rivers year-round. Catfish are popular in Pueblo as well. NoCo Fishing Outfitters offers guided fishing trips all over Fort Collins area. Some of the best fishing is right in the city of Durango. The South Platte is full of possibilities. Originally from Washington DC, she has found her niche in writing about the state she loves, be it outdoors/lifestyle or investigative. All contents Copyright © 2020 The Denver Post or other copyright holders. Fishing is huge in Colorado, which boasts thousands of miles of rivers and more than 2,000 lakes and reservoirs. So we talked with some of Colorado’s most experienced anglers to bring you 10 of the best fishing spots in the state. John Kesler, 26, a fishing guide out of Elk Creek marina in Gunnison, grew up in Fort Collins and vouches for the fishing on Horsetooth. Check out our top 3 fall flies to use in Colorado this year. This page focuses on his ice fishing trips but you should check out his profile and see other possibilities throughout the year. It’s where Kesler guides out of Elk Creek Marina, and he is eager to brag about it: “Blue Mesa reservoir is an absolutely phenomenal brown trout fishery. Each part of the state has its fair share of waters that are wonderful for anglers. Fishing also helps cull invasive species while supporting native species in their natural habitat. Located on the Colorado River 5 miles from the town of Granby, the lake is a less-crowded alternative to the tourist traffic of Grand Lake. The Best Fly Fishing Trips In Colorado with Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides . Uncover Colorado - Vacations, Travel & Tourism | Sitemap | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer, Educational Field Trips in Colorado for All Ages, Camping near Palisade, Grand Junction and Fruita, around Mesa County, How to Save Money on Your Colorado Skiing Trip. Nationally recognized for its fly-fishing excellence, Glenwood Springs offers year round fishing on its two rivers, the Roaring Fork and the Colorado. Anglers should have plenty of caddis patterns for summer fishing. O’Grady has plenty of experience with warmer water killing off trout populations in lakes from the inherently decreased oxygen levels, so recommends taking to high lakes like Cottonwood as the days get hotter. Colorado’s largest body of water is located near Gunnison in the Curecanti National Recreation Area and is so named because of its luminous blue water. Fountain Creek is an excellent way to scratch your fishing itch without leaving the Colorado Springs area. With all of the options — from fly fishing to bank fishing, lake fishing to night fishing and more — it can be difficult to zero in on just one spot. The foothills of Littleton are the backdrop for our last warm-water fishing hole. And although many anglers have been fishing all year long, the summer solstice brings long, warm days on the water that are much more attractive to everyone. You’re better off fishing for trout either before dusk or after sunset, even during the full moon when trout are out. As defined in the 2019 CPW fishing brochure, these top-tier fisheries have the best possible conditions and the highest density of larger fish per acre. Georgetown Lake is the first fishing destination on our list that puts you in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. The dream section teems with fish, especially during the spring migration. “There are huge browns and lakers, a really cool chain of lakes, and creeks galore,” Wyatt said. I probably use some variation of this pattern more than any other nymph pattern while fly fishing in Colorado lakes. Around noon you’ll start sharing the river with tubers floating downstream. So we talked with some of Colorado’s most experienced anglers to bring you 10 of the best fishing spots in the state. The South Platte at Cheeseman Canyon in Sedalia is easily the most Instagram-worthy spot on this list. Positioned off of Cottonwood Pass a few miles west of the quaint Cottonwood Hot Springs, this lake is surrounded on all sides by the Collegiate Peaks and a wind-chime-like chorus of rustling aspen leaves. Cherry Creek and Aurora Reservoirs are full of exciting fish, just waiting to be caught. You may think that fishing in Colorado is all about the Rockies, but Aurora proves otherwise. (Be sure to check this season’s Colorado fishing brochure from CPW for catch limits and other rules. If the water is off-color, use green lures or crawdad candy for bass fishing. All rights reserved. Gunnison River Gunnison River does not disappoint when it comes to fishing. With the newest and one of the best Gold Medal Water fly-fishing sections in Colorado, the Animas is a river that should be on your list of places to fish. 9. Fishing. The lake, on both sides of the Rockies, promises a great time of fishing in Colorado. ), Spinney is one of only three of our lakes and reservoirs to earn a gold medal designation from CPW. Eleven Mile also has RV hookups, non-electric camping sites, and backcountry walk-in tent-only camping. You can also find great fishing near the town of Hot Sulphur Springs. If you want to learn more about fishing for trout in Colorado, check out this helpful video: Damsel fly nymphs are active swimmers and trout are happy to search them out along weed bed and drop offs. In 2017, CPW recorded a state record 30-pound, 38-inch flathead catfish out of the reservoir. Northwest Colorado also has fantastic trout fishing. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get outdoor news sent straight to your inbox. The reservoir is closed to fishing when it is frozen over (usually November 15th to April 15th), and it usually fishes just as well from the shore as it does from a boat. The water levels are lower so you’ll have to watch out for some shallow spots, but for the most part you’ll be able to skip the waders and access the entire river on a boat instead of just one side on your own two feet. An edition of The Denver Post. Spinney Reservoir – Trophy Fly Fishing. Top Colorado Fishing Charters & Tours: See reviews and photos of fishing charters & tours in Colorado, United States on Tripadvisor. “ They assisted us with mountain biking, fishing , shopping, dining and more. This river provides some of the best fishing opportunities in Colorado. One of the most popular places to fish in Colorado is Gore Creek, unfortunately, this does mean it can receive a lot of traffic during busy periods. Join them, or continue vying for one of river’s oversized rainbow trout. Did you see it? You can fish from shore or take a boat out. Fishing resorts colorado ken s 10 best gling resorts in colorado colorado cabins cabin vacations colorado lakeside lodging 10 fantastic fishing spots in coloradoColorado Lakeside LodgingTop 11 Fly Fishing Lodges Hideaway ReportThe 10 Best Colorado Fishing Resorts Oct 2020 With S Tripadvisor9 Best Places For Fishing In Colorado Trips To DiscoverLuxury Colorado Fly Fishing Ranch … It is one of the best fishing places near Denver and accommodates large groups of anglers who come to the river to fish each year. There’s also a lot of yellow perch,” he said. The mighty Colorado River is one of the best fisheries that Colorado has to offer. If you want to find those big trout, try streamers that imitate sculpins. The stretch between Byers Canyon and Kremmling is one of our favorite areas to fish in Colorado and offers plenty of shore access to the Colorado River. Located between Grand Lake and Winter Park, Lake Granby is the third-largest body of water in Colorado, according to colorado.com. Access is easy via public parks, as Gore Creek runs right through the busy town of Vail. “I caught a 12½-inch one last year!” Bonus: It is also a popular beach and swimming hole. The newest addition to Colorado’s Gold Medal rivers is a section of the Upper Colorado, between Canyon Creek and Rock Creek. Whether you fish on ice, with a rod and reel, or with a fly-fishing rod, Colorado is one of the top places in the country for anglers. PHOTOS: There was a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event in the sky above Colorado Monday night. Reservoirs in the plains are renowned for walleye. There are three boat launches and the Lake Granby Yacht Club here. The cool water at 9,550 feet keeps the lake at the perfect temperatures to maintain its stock throughout summer. 5. Get there early enough in the morning, and the fishing through downtown Steamboat Springs will make it worth your efforts, according to Guillen. Best Streams (and Lakes) for Colorado Fly Fishing When it comes to fly fishing, Colorado streams range from easy to find to a near-vertical hike down one of the steepest canyons in the country. Sign up for our weekly entertainment and outdoors emails to get news and weekend plans sent right to your inbox. Multiple upgrades over the years have substantially revamped this stream, according to O’Grady. Here’s why, Western fashion, cannabis and plant love: Colorado trends that went big in 2020, Celestial event not seen since 1226 happening this month with amazing conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. And if you’re lucky, you may spot pronghorns, elk and more. Slim, sparse damsel #10-14 nymphs in olive seem to work the best. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed for any commercial purpose. I’d love to just go out there in the wilderness and cast my rod for a relaxing day of fly fishing.. I’m sure men and women alike would appreciate getting to come back to nature – and if you ask me you’ll only get to experience the best fly fishing in Colorado! Photo: How D.I.A.’s Murals Feed Conspiracy Theorist, 10 Wonderful Winter Vacation Spots in Colorado, Quick Guide to the Best Neighborhoods in Denver, Comfy Cabins to Rent near Boulder, Lyons and Nederland. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), Colorado is home to about 35 different freshwater species in 1,300 lakes and reservoirs as well as 6,000 miles of streams, so there is something for every angler. Sport anglers even maintain a fishing report website to help you choose your winter lake of choice. “That is the gold-medal stream of the Platte River where it meets the reservoirs, and where people normally catch the biggest fish of their lives.”. #18 Best Value of 20 Fishing Resorts in Colorado “ He created a great agenda which included all dinner reservations, spa, fishing , snowmobiling, and the awesome hot springs! The area around the lake is popular with hikers in summer and snowmobilers in winter. Six free, socially distanced, in-person Christmas wonderlands to check out in Denver this month, A day at Denver's new cult-favorite bakery in Highland that sells out within two hours. Davis said there are “lots of trout and always a chance of catching a trophy.”. 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