Fly fishing in Colorado has always been unique. Colorado’s epic trout fisheries are numerous and plentiful, providing copious opportunities to fish just about wherever you are in the state. The easiest way to quantify all of the water you can find is by looking to the closest nearby city or “town”, a classification which may be a stretch for some of these areas. These four areas are near some of the most popular summer destinations.
Summit County, Colorado, and its surrounding areas offer everything from the fabled South Platte River Drainage to the mighty Colorado River’s headwaters, as well as a large number of lakes and reservoirs that hold trophy sized salmonids. All of these amazing waters are located within an hour’s drive from Breckenridge, and many are within walking distance of your resort or home.
The next area of interest is another extremely popular resort area, Eagle County, Colorado, home of Vail and Beaver Creek. This area is known for its great winter ski conditions and because of its wonderful snowpack; it also plays host to a very healthy trout population due to the year round flows of its rivers. Some of the key waters in this area include: the Eagle River located just outside of Vail proper, the Gypsum Ponds right off of I-70, and the Colorado River after it meets the Eagle River near the edge of the county.
Just upstream from where the Eagle and Colorado Rivers confluence is another trout gold mine. The Colorado River just downstream of the three rivers confluence near Kremmling, CO, boasts some the best float fishing in the state, and is designated as a Gold Medal stretch of river by Trout Unlimited. Regardless of whether you plan to walk and wade into the surging waters of Gore Canyon or if you choose the more leisurely float down the Pumphouse stretch, this location should be on every trout enthusiast’s bucket list.
The final location on our brief list is another Gold Medal designated waterway, and that is the Arkansas River right in Buena Vista, Colorado. The structure of this river is much like Madison River in Montana, a 50 mile long riffle chock full of fiery brown trout. In addition to such an amazing river, this area does not slouch on native and wild cutthroat trout lakes in the high country of the Collegiate Range.