When most people think of things to do in Colorado during the winter, they tend to think of skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, etc. While these are all good ways to spend time in the snowy Rocky Mountains, fly fishing is another popular winter activity. Some rivers and spots are better than others in the winter, so here is where we’re fishing in Colorado right now.
The Blue River
Flowing 65 miles from the dam at the Dillon Reservoir right up to where the Colorado River flows through Kremmling, the Blue River is one of the most popular Summit County fishing streams. The amazing thing about the Blue is its ideal location flowing right through the town of Silverthorne. You can park at the Silverthorne outlets, cast a few flies in the morning and grab a burrito bowl from Chipotle at noon. Head to the Blue for some amazing winter Trout fishing. Mysis Shrimp are a good go-to for the Blue this time of year, as are nymphs. Stick to the #20-24 Black beauty, #20-22 natural Pheasant Tails, #20-22 red Tailwater Tiny’s, #20-22 cream or black Bling Midges, #20-22 Juju Zebra Midges, #20-22 Parachute Adams and #20-24 Morgan Midges.
The Eagle River
The Eagle River will offer a bit more solitude than the Blue. If that’s what you are looking for, head down into the lower Vail Valley for the lower Eagle. This 60 mile tributary of the Colorado River is a great spot for a bit of winter fly fishing. Flows are at about 66 cfs and the Trout are still biting! Stick to Midges and Baetis flies during the winter on the Eagle River. Don’t forget to bring your waders!
The South Platte River (below Spinney Reservoir)
The Charlie Meyers Recreation Area, affectionately known as the Dream Stream, is a popular spot on the South Platte River between Colorado Springs and Buena Vista. The 439 mile long South Platte River joins the North Platte River in western Nebraska to form the Platte River, which flows across Nebraska to the Missouri River. You’ll find plenty of Trout on the South Platte and, if you are really lucky, you may catch one of the few remaining Kokanee Salmon in the river. Lean on the Mayer’s Leech, Red San Juan, Baetis, Midges or #14-16 Hares Ear.
Winter fly fishing provides a completely different experience than spring, summer or even fall fly fishing. Make sure you are heading to a river known for year-round fishing, and check up on river conditions and what’s biting to make sure you have all the gear you need.