Reeling in the Good Times: 5 Tips for Fly-Fishing in Colorado
Well, it’s o-fish-al! It’s spring, meaning the perfect opportunity for outdoor activities and getting out on the water. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of reeling in a fish, while surrounded by Colorado’s natural beauty. To ensure that your Colorado fly-fishing adventure is a memorable one, we’ve gathered five important things to consider before your next trip.
Choose Your River
The first step in planning a successful fly-fishing trip is deciding which river to fish. Colorado is home to many legendary rivers with renowned fishing options. Two of the most popular are the Upper Colorado and Arkansas River. Both of these rivers are “Gold Medal Waters,” designated by Colorado Parks and Wildlife as premium fishing destinations with world-class cold water trout habitat.
These destinations are highly prized by Coloradoans and visitors alike for their plentiful and large fish, including Colorado’s State Fish, the Greenback Cutthroat Trout! So, don’t be koi, and pick your river wisely! Check out our previous blog post on choosing the best Colorado river for fly fishing.
Hire a Guide
Whether you’re a first-time angler or an experienced one, hiring a guide or booking a guided fly fishing trip is a smart choice that can significantly increase your chances of landing a catch. Guides have already done the hard work for you by prepping all the gear and learning the ins and outs of local rivers; they are able to share their inside knowledge of where the fish are likely to be most plentiful.
Guides can also help you improve your casting and drifting skills with personalized advice and feedback. Lastly, guides love what they do, and will provide wonderful company with their vast knowledge and friendly personalities.
Plan the Length and Type of Trip
Once you’ve decided on your river and guide, it’s time to plan the length and type of trip you want to take. There are many options, from short two-hour walk-and-wade trips to half day float fishing trips to overnight excursions. First, it is important to consider whether you would like to fish from a boat, walk and wade, or experience a combination of both, and then decide on your time frame based on the time you have available and what style of trip suits your group best. Knowing this information will help ensure you get the most out of your fly fishing experience and are prepared to land the big one! Read more about what to expect on a summer guided walk and wade.
Choose the Best Time of the Year
The time of year you choose can also have a significant impact on your experience. Each Colorado fly fishing season has its own unique perks. Spring is a wonderful time to get out, since the fish are actively looking for food before spawning. In the summer, temperatures are warmer, allowing you to stay in the river longer, waiting for the perfect catch. And in the fall, the fish are hungry for food and flies before the waters get colder and the bugs die or leave.
Get Your License
In the state of Colorado, you need a fishing license to catch fish if you’re over the age of 16. If you choose a guided trip, check your trip details to ensure you have your license ahead of time, if necessary.
Planning the perfect fly-fishing trip in Colorado may take some time and effort, but the reward is well worth it. From feeling the cool mountain air on your face to reeling in your first catch, the experience is unforgettable. By considering these five important factors when planning your trip, you’ll be well on your way to a successful and enjoyable adventure.
Written by Madison McLeod, Contributing Member of the Sales and Marketing Team
Edited by Rosa Canales, Marketing Specialist