Fall is one of the best times of year to go fly fishing in Colorado. Colder air temperatures lower the water temperature to the perfect range of 42 to 44 °F and Brown and Brook trout are spawning from September to December, making them extremely aggressive and creating plenty of successful days on the water. Here’s where you need to fly fish in Colorado for a successful fall fishing season.
The Lower Eagle River
The Lower Eagle River runs from Eagle to Gypsum, Colorado, and has some of the best trout water. There is plenty of public water to explore including sections of the Lower Eagle River in the town of Eagle by the fairgrounds, or downstream at Gypsum Ponds State Wildlife Area, or the BLM access below Gypsum. Standard fall flies that imitate Blue Winged Olive mayflies, large stoneflies, eggs, and streamers will work well here in the fall.
The Gunnison River
The Lower Gunnison River gives you miles and miles of hike-in access below Blue Mesa Reservoir. This is some of the most rugged and beautiful country in the west. Although it will take a steep hike, it is well worth it to access the Black Canyon and Gunnison Gorge for a change to end up with the place to yourself. For a shorter, easier-access trip, the Gunnison above the Blue Mesa Reservoir has amazing fall fishing, easier access, and the best chances of catching freshwater Kokanee Salmon. The lower portion of the Gunnison and Gorge can be easily accessed near Delta, Colorado.
The Upper Colorado River
The Upper Colorado River is a great place to float fish in the fall thanks to its reliable water levels. The drift boat angler will have a wide variety of water features and fishing opportunities on the remote upper section. The lower sections from Grizzly Creek to Rifle start to cool down during this time of year and when the cold weather strikes the upper valleys, the fish are eager to bite. Check out AVA’s Upper Colorado Half-Day Walk & Wade or Full-Day Fly Flying Float for an exciting fly fishing trip on the Colorado River.
The Platte River
Image courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management
Making the journey up to the North Platte River is well worth your time. With many meandering tributaries in North Park, Colorado, you will find some small streams that are known for producing huge Brown Trout. Late fall can include harsh weather in this part of Colorado, but when the sun comes out and the wind dies down, the fly fishing is incredible. Please be sure to consult a map as much of the North Platte River in Colorado flows over private land. The South Platte River also offers amazing fly fishing in the fall with Gold Medal fishing sections and Cheeseman Dam, a local’s favorite fly fishing section.
The Arkansas River
Image courtesy of Colorado Trout Unlimited
The Arkansas River is a great late-fall fly fishing river. Located in Colorado’s “Banana Belt,” the area enjoys warmer weather than its surroundings. Nearby towns include Buena Vista, Salida and Canon City. As temperatures drop in other areas, many people flock to the Arkansas River to enjoy its warmer weather, dry fly fishing and eager Brown Trout.
Fly fishing in the fall in Colorado can be unpredictable. But when stormy weather gives way to brighter days, fly fisherman are rewarded with large and bountiful fish. Come check out one of these rivers for some great, fall fly fishing and see why it’s all the rage.
About the Author
Tiffany is the only member of the Colorado
Fish & Wildlife Envelopes club. She
loves to read and write and spends
most of her time drawing fish.