Stillwater fly fishing is a love-hate topic in the Rocky Mountains, as many don’t know about its intense dry fly action, or the excitement of rafting or floating through some of Colorado’s world renowned scenery. Fly fishing lakes are a great way to expand your species list while also offering new challenges to your typical mountain entomology and fishing style in general. Lakes are the only places in Colorado that allow you to try for some of Colorado’s lesser sought after species such as Arctic Char, Kokanee Salmon, and some Esox species. Lakes also present new bug life that you won’t typically be seen in most rivers, some of these bugs include Callibaetis, Scuds, and Mysis.
Lakes can also be some of the most abundant fishable waters in Colorado, as you typically don’t encounter issues of property law, which, as most know, can be a challenge without apps such as OnX or other mapping software. Some of the best lakes to fish are found in the high country of the Rocky Mountains, places like the Collegiate Range, Gore Range, and Sawatch Range. In these high alpine environments you will have shots at some truly once in a lifetime fish including, Cutthroat trout reaching the three to five pound range and the crown jewel of trout fishing, the Golden Trout.
For those not willing to hike waders three plus miles up a mountain, Colorado’s reservoirs provide plenty of option. These larger waters can seem daunting and overwhelming for the less initiated angler, but keep in mind that most species will be traveling in schools and with the large amount of available food, you can catch not only quantity, but quality fish. Lake Dillon is one of the most diverse lakes in Colorado with Kokanee Salmon in addition to Arctic Char, two fish that are rare to find in the continental US. Whether you are looking to break away from the crowds or just trying to find a convenient fishing spot after work, Colorado’s stillwater will provide!
Lake Dillon, also known as the Dillon reservoir is a great location for fly fishing. Common catches are brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee salmon and arctic char.