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Trout fly fishing Colorado's Greenback cutthroat isn't the only reason hundreds of thousands of anglers visit the centennial state. Sure Colorado's famous for some seriously scenic routes, thanks to Rocky mountains, stunning backdrops, and contrasting terrains, but it's the sheer number and size of its water bodies that make Colorado every angler's fantasy. To put this into perspective, you could spend years trout fly fishing Colorado's waters and still be amazed at the hidden treasures only locals know about.
Before scurrying to the nearest river in Colorado with your fly fishing arsenal, here's the lowdown - a buyer beware advisory, if you will, of what to expect on your trip.
Trout Fly Fishing Colorado Tips
- You a license. Aside from difference in license duration (annual, weekly or daily licenses), Colorado also issues different licenses for residents and non-residents, so ensure you get the appropriate one.
- Despite the government owning more than half of the land in Colorado, a ton of it is blocked by private property. Why does this matter? There aren't always clear demarcations between private and public property, so you don't do your research or take a guide, you could be charged with trespassing if you step on private property. One helpful tip is to make sure you don't stray too far from a certified public shore since private owners aren't legally required to put up boundary signs.
- Avid anglers try to provide frequent updates on catch and release regulations, bagging limits, spawning areas, and fish species, so be informed before trout fly fishing Colorado's waters.
Best Rivers and Lakes for Trout Fly Fishing Colorado
Once you're adequately informed on the laws of the land, it's time for the fun part: deciding where to fish. Note that while these waters have been listed for their trout population (some have gold medal trout designations), we don't prioritize one over the other because your mood will usually determine which one's best. So in no particular order of importance, here are the top trout fly fishing Colorado rivers and lakes.
1. Gore Creek
A relative small stream, but contains some of the biggest trouts. Anglers often use it for grand slam competitions due to its wide selection of fishes, but it's available for year round fishing.
2. Frying Pan River
It has a gold medal section (between Ruedi reservoir and the Roaring Fork confluence) where monster trout can be found. It's also surrounded by stunning mountains, so the visuals aren't bad either.
3. South Platte River
You literally can't go wrong fly fishing in any section of this river, and Spring is an especially good time for trophy spawners. Beware though that this is a really popular destination, so unless you're there to make friends or fight off the competition, check out other rivers.
4. North Delaney Lake
It is another gold medal lake, and it contains a healthy population of the ever elusive brown trout. So much so that the wildlife management gets brown trout eggs from them to boost up the state's stock.
Clearly, trout fly fishing Colorado's water can be done in more rivers than those mentioned here. Check out Blue River, Spinney Mountain Reservoir and the Gunnison River for Gold medal waters.
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