Colorado is probably one of the best states in the U.S. to fly fish in. It has everything from high alpine lakes and streams, to low elevation warm water fisheries. There are also many areas that are very easily accessed, making it a favorite place among anglers of all fly fishing skill levels. The list of places to fish here can be endless, but we'll mention a few of our favorites. Click the links on the left, to see some of our favorite places to fish in this state.
The South Platte River is probably among the best and most well known of all the rivers in Colorado. It starts high in the mountains surrounding the now famous South Park area, as numerous creeks and springs drain eastward. The river cuts down through Eleven Mile, Cheesman and Waterton Canyons, before it enters the Denver area. The best quality trout water can be found in the tail waters below Spinney Mountain Reservoir( known as The Dream Stream), Eleven Mile and Cheesman Canyon Reservoirs. The fish in these sections are as smart as they come. They see lots of pressure, and are not easily fooled. One of the closest sections of the river to fish that is easily accessible by car, is the small town of Deckers which is located less than 60 miles from downtown Denver. This makes it a very popular place for weekend warriors. There is plenty of public access here, as well as a variety of camping and picnicking areas.
Approximately 66 miles in length, Clear Creek is a tributary of the South Platte River, and can be reached from Denver in less than 40 minutes. Clear Creek flows through Clear Creek Canyon directly west of Golden, and descends through a long gorge to emerge on the Colorado Eastern Plains, where it then joins the South Platte. Clear Creek begins near the continental divide near Loveland Pass, northwest of Grays Peak in western Clear Creek County. It descends eastward through Clear Creek Canyon past the towns of Silver Plume, Georgetown, and Idaho Springs - all which have abundant public access that is fairly well marked. Within the canyon that it shares with I-70, it receives numerous smaller tributary creeks that descend from the rugged mountains on either side. Brown trout are the predominant species in Clear Creek but don't be surprised if you hook rainbows, brook, and the occasional cutthroat trout as well. Fly fishing here is a great option if you are short on time and visiting The Mile High City.
The Blue River runs north from the dam at Dillon Reservoir near Silverthorne, to its confluence with the Colorado River near Kremmling. When you visit the Blue you are in "fourteener country." Colorado has 54 peaks that soar to 14,000 feet and above. Quandary Peak, 14,265 feet, is the highest point in Colorado's Tenmile Range, where the headwaters of the Blue River begin. The Gold Metal water section runs from the dam in Silverthorne to the town of Kremmling. The river here acts like a typical tailwater through Silverthorne and more like a free stone river below town. As you drive from the Dillon Dam toward Green Mountain Reservoir, there are numerous turnouts and fishing access points along the road. Be careful though, as not all of these are open to the public, and they are usually very well marked. Camping and picnicking areas are also available. Below Green Mountain, the access is very limited. From Denver, the Blue River can be reached in the town of Silverthorne, 66 miles west of Denver on I-70.
September through November is a unique season for the Blue River. During this time, brown trout push out of the Colorado River into the Lower Blue and from Green Mountain Reservoir into the Upper Blue. Fly anglers get a chance to target large and aggressive brown trout on the move. During this time the Blue River can offer a variety of amazing fishing situations - dries, nymphs and streamers can all be productive throughout the fall.
The Colorado River is an amazing place to experience all the beauty that Colorado has to offer - including great opportunities to target big brown and rainbow trout in the fall. The river starts high in Rocky Mountain National Park and is Colorado's largest watershed drainage. From deep canyons, to panoramic meadows and majestic peaks, the Colorado River is a great river to explore. The Upper Colorado River traverses from Windy Gap Reservoir, just west of the town of Granby, to the confluence of the Blue River near Kremmling. This section is Gold Metal water and closely follows Highway 40 - making it a fairly easy road trip. Major public access points include Hot Sulphur Springs, Buyers Canyon and the small town of Parshall. In the fall, midges, baetis, egg patterns and scuds can all be effective - but if you are looking to trigger the wrath of a big brown, don't underestimate streamers and mouse patterns, especially at dusk.