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While ice fishing is also a thing in Colorado, fly fishing seems to be gaining popularity season after season. Ice begins to break in the waters here in February and opens the fly fishing season.
Thanks to the gentle snow runoffs, the waters aren’t difficult to fish in. In most areas of Colorado, February and March are exciting times for trout fishing on the 9000 miles.
So what can you catch in Colorado? You can’t expect the ‘big’ water fly fishing experience in the Centennial State. It isn’t where to expect the steelhead catches of the northwest.
Neither are the river sprawling nor having wide mouths like what you see in the Big Sky area.
Most if not all the rivers and streams have their sources at the top part of the Continental Divide.
Thanks to their flow and temperatures of snowmelt, you can go after a variety of trout.
The major trout species here are brook, cutthroat, lake, and brown trout.
Others that can make you have a good time are mountain whitefish, kokanee salmon, wiper, northern pike, and largemouth bass.
Colorado has gone a step further to identify 322 miles that are set aside as Gold Medal Waters.
What do you think Gold Medal Waters are?
These are rivers, streams, and lakes that have trout thriving to over 60 pounds of these fish per acre.
They include Steamboat Lake, Spinney Mountain Reservoir, South Platte River, Roaring Fork River, Rio Grande, North Platte River, North Delaney Lake, Gunnison River, Gore Creek, Fryingpan River, Colorado River, Blue River, Arkansas River, and Animas River.
The pristine opportunities in this state put Colorado in its own league.
You can explore the Front Range and the Rocky Mountains and not miss a spot to wet your lines.
Such an area is home to rivers and reservoirs that harbor large fish that love to hide in the underwater structures.
Here is a scoop of the best areas to fly fish in Colorado.
There is no particular order of mention so don’t assume that the last on the list isn’t the best.
Anyone who wants to access Colorado water bodies and is 16 years and above should obtain a valid fishing license.
This applies to both residents and non-residents.
However, persons between 16 and 17 years will only pay $8 according to the recent changes in the licensing costs by the state department.
We cannot fail to insist on anglers checking the fishing reports in the state to know the nature of the water, the behavior of fish, the hatches happening, and other basics that an angler needs to be aware of before leaving for your desired spot.
It is not everywhere in Colorado where you find signs put up by private landowners to notify oncoming anglers.
Research prior to your visit the legal places to fly fish to avoid trespassing and its repercussions.
Also, educate yourself on the fishing regulations in Colorado as they aren’t similar to other states.
Know the bag limits, catch and release zones, and types of lures and flies to use.
FAQ’s – Questions on Fly Fishing in Colorado
Q) What is the bag limit for trout in Colorado? A) The possession and bag limit for trout in Colorado is four fish. None of them should exceed 16 inches. However, each area in the state has its own regulations that you should adhere to.
Q) Which trout species are native to Colorado? A) There are three cutthroat trout species that are native to Colorado. The Rio Grande, Greenback, and Colorado.
Q) What are some of the trout flies that I shouldn’t leave behind when coming to Colorado? A) Pack terrestrials, midges, damsels, crayfish, shrimp, stoneflies, mayflies, sculpins, and caddis.
Q) Where are some of the places that I can fish salmon in Colorado? A) Head to Williams Fork Reservoir, Lake Granby, Blue Mesa Reservoir, Green Mountain Reservoir, and Wolford Mountain Reservoir for kokanee salmon.
Q) Can one use live bait to fish in Colorado? A) You are forbidden from using live bait at elevations above 7,000 feet in all waterways west and east of the Continental Divide apart from the Navajo Reservoir.
Wrap Up on the Best Fly Fishing in Colorado
Colorado boasts prized waters with world-class fishing experiences.
We have put up this informative article describing a few areas and listing others that you can explore and have a fantastic time fishing.
After applying for your fishing license and grabbing a collection of flies that we have recommended, get your tackle gear together.
This can be a daunting task if you don’t know what to choose.
We have a special section with buyer’s guides of gear, equipment, and apparel that will suit your needs.
You can now head out and explore Colorado all set.
We haven’t exhausted the waterways in this state but mentioned the best that we can recommend.
If we missed your favorite and others, share with us in the comments.
Let us also know where in Colorado you have fished, what gear you packed, and your overall experience.