If you need a break from all the usual winter activities and agonizingly long lift lines, I have the perfect activity for you. Winter fly fishing is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of ski country USA. I know, you’re thinking, “I’m going to freeze!” But I will cover everything you need to know. From how to stay warm, to how to best locate fish in the water, to the best rivers to fish on! Now just listen up and I’m going to tell you all about the best places to fly fish in the winter in Colorado!
Alright, first off were going to cover some basics about staying warm and all that good important stuff. Most importantly, SLEEP IN! On those sunny winter days, late-morning to mid-afternoon is going to be the best time to fish! Days when it is snowing or overcast out with little to no wind, the best time to get out there is actually, ALL DAY! Now lets go into staying warm!
1. Dress in layers
Wear multiple wool or synthetic layers, bottom and top. Never wear cotton, cotton pulls heat away from the body once it is wet. Make sure to bring a warm hat, a face mask and a good pair of fishing gloves (on top of your normal fly fishing gear).
2. Make sure to bring something to snack on
Keeping food in your stomach keeps it working and those muscles moving to keep your core warm. Everybody likes something different but something as simple as a PBJ can go a long way. Some even bring a small portable grill to cook up some meats if the fishing is slow!
3. Bring a thermos full of your favorite hot beverage
A hand towel will prove to be surprisingly nice when you’re out on in the cold. Dry your hands up or just remove the slime from your fingers after fastening bait or handling fish. Drying off your hands after they get wet is a life saver, and helps keeping your gloves dry taking them on and off.
You can get chemical hand warmers and most gas stations or stores in Colorado during the winter, they will make you very happy on the water.
6. Set up your fly rods at the house
This will save your fingers in the beginning from getting to cold and lowering morale
7. Take a break!
If your feet start to get cold or your hands, hop out of the water and move around. Get that core temperature back up! You could even sit in your car with the heater on.
Now we know about staying warm, But what about where to fish?!
Lets dive straight in. In the winter you can go to a lot of spots that are either fished out or too busy in the summer. Obviously the cold weather tends to push people away. So one of the best spots is going to The South Platte River. There is also a couple fishing spots here on this river. There is Deckers which is a really beautiful spot to fish. Also Eleven Mile canyon, with steep canyon walls the beautiful river meanders right through the canyon and forest. My personal favorite is going to be the Blue River below the Green Mountain Reservoir (also referred too as the Lower Blue River). It’s a gorgeous stretch of water with more beautiful small canyons the river wanders through until coming out into the plains.
So in turn, I would highly recommend a winter fly fishing trip here in Colorado. It is one of the most peaceful serene and beautiful activities you could do. Staying warm also isn’t as difficult as you would expect it to be, and lets be honest and soon as you hook into that first fish you wont feel the cold anymore! Remember to stay warm out there, bring snacks, hot drinks, and most of all, have fun!!