3 Great Places to Fly Fish in Colorado

Colorado might not be what first comes to mind when you hear the words ‘fly fishing’ (that would probably be Texas), but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great angling location. There are stories of old sea wolves who started off on one of Colorado’s rivers with nothing but an oversized chopstick and a few meters of cheap line…

If you’re in Colorado and wanting to land your big catch, there are plenty of spots to fly fish in Colorado and some great ones to choose from: lakes, parks, rivers and reservoirs… It wasn’t easy picking any of them over the others, but here are 3 great places you can go to for a neat Colorado fly fishing experience.

Gunnison River
Some consider this to be one of the best angling locations in all of the U.S. It’s a haven for just about every fly fisher out there, from those looking to fill their freezers with trout to those more interested in taking pictures of them holding an oversized member of the species. This ‘Gold Medal’ river is known for its large fish – although this has made net fishing popular, there is no shortage of fly fishermen as well. The locals with a knack for business took note of the river’s popularity, as there are many organized boat trips(some quite pricey) that take you on a proper angling expedition.

Blue Mesa Reservoir
Colorado’s largest body of water also doubles-up as a top fly fishing destination. Since it’s adjacent to Gunnison River, one could argue that choosing between the two mostly comes down to preference. Blue Mesa is known for hosting a species of salmon called the Kokanee, among many other fish; any salmon is a hot commodity come cooking time, and many skilled anglers use the lake to stock up on this delicious fish regularly(keep in mind, though, that there is a daily limit of 10 fish you are allowed to ‘bag’). Due to the size of the specimens, the surface is also brimming with trophy fly fishers, although many of these fish – especially salmon – are known to give anglers a run for their money.

Steamboat Lake
Like Gunnison River and the Blue Mesa Reservoir, Steamboat Lake State Park is another Gold Medal-rated body of water. Now would probably be a good time to mention what this designation means: simply put, Gold Medal waters are those that provide the most trout-catching opportunities. Steamboat Lake Park has an edge over its competition, however – the lake’s 1,000-plus acres, with places like Hahn’s Peak, are home to some amazing natural sights, making it a great place for camping. In terms of fish availability, Steamboat Lake is certainly no slouch – like Blue Mesa’s salmon, Steamboat trout are known for their fighting spirit. Because of the lake’s size as well as the nature that surrounds it, it’s popular both for fly fishing on the banks and from a boat or other floatation devices. While there, you can also visit the nearby Pearl Lake for a dip or a stroll around it – it sure is beautiful, but it doesn’t quite have its neighbor’s angling opportunities.