Fly Fishing Colorado for Beginner

Fly Fishing in Colorado

Fly fishing in Colorado is just a threeling experience and anglers intensely come to the region to catch different types of fish in the flowing rivers and lakes. The charming mountain brings crystal clear water to the rivers and the drowning winter melts the snow to portray the beauty of spring in the ever-glowing Colorado. The water of Colorado naturally the home of some of the most beautiful trout’s you will ever find. Anglers come from different parts of the country and even worldwide to encounter the most appealing fishing experience they can ever explore.

Fly fishing in Colorado is always a dream for every fly fisherman, and you can easily have an excellent fishing trip in Colorado if you know the right place to stay and cast your flies. There are numerous travel destinations throughout the region, and you can stay on private ranches throughout Colorado and have some of the best days of your life.

Fly Fishing Colorado: Perfect Place to Catch Trout

The Gunnison River, which flows between the memorizing clips of the Telluride Mountain, will be one of the best destinations for you to explore during your fly-fishing trip in Colorado. Reaching and exploring the fishing opportunities in this destination will be difficult due to the steep canyon walls and the fast-moving water of the Gunnison River. If you take the challenge, you can catch some trophy-sized trout because there are not many anglers casting their flies in this location.

The everlasting canyon walls standing in front of you will remind you of the ancient formation of the river where you will be casting your flies to catch some beautiful creatures given birth by mother nature. The sun’s blinding rays slowly faded away, and you could see stars twinkling in the sky. If you want to submit your soul to the blessings of the dark, you can set up camp just on the river bank and experience the most beautiful night you have ever seen.

However, you will mostly get the chance to hook up with a trout in Colorado, especially in the early morning and just before sunset. Therefore, if you spend a wonderful night in the woods and start casting your lures early in the morning, that will not be a bad experience for you.

The Blue Mesa Reservoir is another perfect place for you to catch some beautiful brown, rainbow, and even brook trout. This reservoir grew after a dam was built on the Gunnison River in 1965. The deepest part of the reservoir is the best place to catch trophy-sized trout, and you can cast your flies anywhere along the 96-mile shoreline. This reservoir is not far from the Gunnison River; you just have to go 9 miles west from the river, and the reservoir is right in front of you. The entire reservoir is around 29 miles and allows you to enjoy windsurfing, water-skiing or even set up a camp to enjoy the landscape.

The Durango Treasure is always something special for visitors to Colorado, and as an angler, you will not be disappointed if you cast some flies in the mighty Animas River. The ever-breathing beauty of southwestern Colorado always charms visitors coming from around the world, and if you are one of them, I am sure you will also end up having some of the best days of your life. If you are not comfortable catching trout in public water, you must try private property, where there are many opportunities to explore fly fishing. The private waters are full of brown, rainbow, and cutter head trout, and the chances of catching such beautiful fish are much higher when you are casting your flies in the private ponds. The hospitality of the ranch owner will amaze you, and you can pass a pleasant time in the nature surrounding the Animas River.

Some Other Good Places to Catch Trout in Colorado

When selecting the best fishing spot for catching trout, you will have a lot of options to choose from. There are a lot of fishing spots where you can cast your flies in Colorado, ranging from public lakes and reservoirs to privately owned resorts and ranches.

If you plan to catch trout in public lakes, you may have some difficulty hooking up because public lakes and rivers are vast in size and difficult to cover. Find the best fishing spot where you can score some amazing trout. I have also found some incredible privately owned fly-fishing spots where you can easily score trophy-size trout with little effort. So, let us dive into the information about some popular public and private fishing spots in Colorado.

Public Fishing Spots

No.PlaceLocationTroutOpen for FishingRegulation
1Eleven Mile ReservoirHartsel, Colorado8- to 15-poundOnly in SpringVery Strict
2Spinney Mountain ReservoirPark County, ColoradoRainbow, Brown, CutterheadApril to OctoberVery Strict
3Delaney Butte LakesWest Walden ColoradoLarge to MediumApril to JuneStrict
4South Platte RiverDenver, ColoradoLarge Rainbow, Brown, CutterheadYear AroundStrict
5Rio Grande RiverSouth Fork, ColoradoLarge to MediumJune into OctoberStrict

Private Water for Fly Fishing in Colorado

In Colorado, you have a lot of opportunities to go fishing in privately owned water where the population of specifically grown and maintained trout species is best for fly fishing, plus you will have all the fishing and water to yourself. These private fishing areas are good for anglers who want to spend some quality time in nature while fishing. One of the best destinations for finding private water in Colorado is to contact Expedition Outside. You can book your reservation in advance and choose your favourite fishing spots through their affiliation. Here is a list of some fantastic private river fishing spots in Colorado that you can book through Expedition-Outside with all the necessary services during your stay.

PlaceLocationWater AreaRainbow TroutOther Fish
Animas Springs River RanchDurango, ColoradoOne Mile500 brute Rainbows100 Brown Trout
The Bardin RanchDurango, Colorado7,000 FeetYesYes
Bear Creek RetreatEvergreen, Colorado521 FeetYesYes
Diger Mountain RanchDurango, Colorado2,200 FeetYesYes
The Dry Fly RetreatDurango, Colorado4600 feetYesYes
High Hilton RanchDelta, Colorado1.32 MilesYesYes
The Hidden GemSouth Fork, Colorado2700 FeetYesYes
The Massive HoleDurango, Colorado1,000 FeetYesYes

Select Your Equipment Like Pros

Well, you are in the heaven of fly fishing, and now you need to gear up with all the fishing equipment and start stepping into the water to cast your flies for the most beautiful fish gifted by nature. Here in Colorado, it’s not hard to catch trout or other native fish, but you’ll need to use your best fly-fishing skills to make some impressive catches.

Fly Fishing Rod and Reel

It is wise to bring a couple of top-quality fly-fishing rods and reels along with you during the trip to keep yourself safe. I believe you already have some top-quality fly rods and reels, and if not, get one from the online store. You will find hundreds of reviews on the best fly-fishing rods and reels. Just go through some review articles and order the one you think is the best.

From my experience, I have found the Redington Fly Fishing Field Kit to be a complete package that provides me with the performance I need. Though the Redington fly fishing kit is much more expensive, I bought one for my trout fishing during a trip to Alaska and Colorado. If you do not want to spend a lot of money on fly gear, check out the Wakeman Fly Kit or the Martin Complete Fly Combo for your next fly-fishing trip.

Selecting the Best Flies

Flies are the most important thing you need to pick very carefully during your trip to Colorado, as your chance of catching different types of trout or native species like salmon will largely depend on which flies you are throwing at them. Also, the choice of flies depends on the time and place. This is because trout and other native species eat the insects and flies that are plentiful in their ecosystem. For example, if you are casting your baits in the lower section of the Gunnison River near the Gunnison National Park, then your first target should be to lure the rainbow trout, as this place is famous for catching trophy rainbows. In between March and May, nymphs, midge larvae, and caddisfly larvae are largely hanging around throughout the ecosystem of the Gunnison River. Besides, in this part of Colorado, the blue-winged olives hatch in large numbers during the summer season.

Therefore, you have to pick and throw imitation flies that could replicate this insect, and if you do it properly, catching some large to medium-sized trout will not be that difficult. I have seen many anglers catch trout frequently throughout the Gunnison using dry flies like the Adams Dry Fly, Blue Wing Olive, and Elk Hair Caddis. Also, I have caught brown, rainbow, and cutter head trout many times using the Rubber Leg Nymph, Zebra Midge Nymph, and olive-colored Woolly Bugger.

So do not hesitate to purchase and keep a bunch of artificial flies in your fishing backpack. You will find tackle boxes specifically designed to organize artificial flies, and I suggest you pick one or two tackle boxes filled with numerous flies of different kinds and store them in the pouch of your fishing tackle bag.

Keep a Couple of Different Fly-Fishing Equipment

Another import is fly fishing equipment, and most of the time, anglers do not focus too much on it, but believe me, if you keep several types of fishing lines, that could save your back during your trip to Colorado.

Most of the time, anglers only focus on the floating fishing line, which is used extensively in fly fishing, but keeping double-tapered, front-tapered, and sinking lines could eventually expand your opportunity to catch some of the best trout in Colorado. During your trip, if you find that you are not finding trout to hook up using a floating line, you can try sinking lines with streamer bait to catch fish in unclear and dirty water.

Another benefit of using streamer bait and sinking line is that the large trout need more protein to survive, and when you throw something that replicates large insects or crayfish, the chances of hooking trophy-sized trout increase dramatically. Besides, you can cover a large portion of the water using streamers, which also increases your chance of catching some amazing trout during your trip.

I have also experienced some good catches in Colorado using sinking fishing lines with streamer baits. As a result, my advice to you is to bring all necessary fishing equipment that will increase your chances of catching various types of fish during your trip to Colorado.

Always remember that you need to prepare and implement different fly-fishing tactics to end up catching your favorite fish. Do not just cast your flies but cast them cleverly so that no opportunity remains unchecked. To become a successful fly angler, you must gradually master all the skills and implement them accordingly during your trip.

Final Word

Fly fishing in Colorado is one of the most amazing tasks you can ever explore, and the natural beauty of the drowning winter is like a gem you have never discovered. The stony river bed, along with the crystal-clear, flowing water, is in the best condition to catch some amazing trout. Besides, you may not get used to fly fishing on the first day if you are new, but I can assure you that you will have a wonderful time during your fishing tour in Colorado. But whenever you go fishing always make sure that you have kept all the necessary equipment with you, as you will not get any additional service along the way.

Besides, if you go fishing in private water, the host can provide a guide and any other related services that you may need. Therefore, make sure you get prepared while on a trip to Colorado and reserve your resort or campaign sports in advance. Also, try to follow all the regulations and instructions issued by the state authority during your stay in Colorado, and I believe you will have an amazing outing there.