Colorado Flyfishing Rivers

Colorado Flyfishing Rivers are some of the finest in the world. Join us to experience world class fishing and scenery.

The Frying Pan

frying pan view Located near Basalt "The Pan" is a popular tailwater where trout grow large. They can also be very picky so bring your best game. The tailwater below Ruedi Reservoir Dam holds the biggest fish and runs all the way down to it's confluence with the Roaring Fork at Basalt.

The largest trout are found in the first quarter mile below the dam where they can feast on the mysis shrimp being sent out from the reservoir. Immediately below the dam is the popular hole called the "toilet bowl". It is not uncommon for the hole to be occupied by large trout as well as other anglers.

If you prefer some elbow room just walk downstream and you will have plenty of opportunity to catch some big trout. My favorite time of year on the Frying Pan is early winter during a strong BWO hatch. Ideal place for fly fishing in Colorado and on of the best Colorado flyfishing rivers.

The Roaring Fork

frying pan viewThe Roaring fork is a long and diverse river that holds something for every angler. Solitude can be found in the upper section which is located in the White River National Forest.

This section holds a good population of wild brown and rainbow trout. The middle section has some great pocket water and summer hatches. The pocket water is best waded and fished thoroughly. You might be surprised at the size of some of the fish in the middle section.

Once the Roaring Fork meets the Frying Pan at Basalt the river gains volume. This is a good area for year round flyfishing opportunities. It also has some great summer hatches. After the confluence with the Crystal River the Roaring Fork takes on a different tone.

This lower river has deep holes and some really large brown trout. We have just begun to explore this river and it is fantastic. This is one of the great Colorado Flyfishing Rivers. For more information check out The Complete FlyFishing Guide to the Roaring Fork Valley. This covers the Frying Pan, Roaring Fork and the Crystal Rivers.

Colorado River

The Colorado is a long river but it is worth exploring for some great fly fishing in Colorado. A good chunk of the river is private and difficult to access but it can be floated in sections.

There is good access upriver from Kremmling that is ideal for wading. After Kremmling the river becomes difficult to access before it joins highway 6 and paralells Glenwood Canyon. This can be a very productive stretch of water.

A large portion of the river runs along Interstate 70 and it is imperatiive that you do not walk on the interstate. It can be very dangerous! If you do not mind a little noise from the highway there are some giant trout lurking in this river. For more information check out Fly Fishing the Colorado River: An Angler's Guide. This book covers a ton of ground in great detail. Another necessity is the The Colorado River Fishing Map and Floaters Guide .

The Arkansas

frying pan viewThis is caddis haven. The Arkansas is a long river. Beginning near Leadville it flows through Buena Vista and Coaldale before taking a turn east through Pueblo and on to Kansas.

After Bueno Vista the fishing is amazing. The Mother's Day Caddis hatch is one of the biggest you will ever see. An Arkansas River guide once told me that fishing caddis flies begins after runoff and ends in November.

The average fish caught will be 12"-15" but bigger fish are very common as well. There are hundreds of miles to explore on the Arkansas River and a good chance at having big days on dry flies. This is one of the funnest Colorado flyfishing rivers.

My favorite stretch is the Royal Gorge. Besides being very scenic it is also one of the most productive areas on this river. Great choice for fly fishing in Colorado.

The South Platte

kokanee salmonOne of the finest rivers in Colorado the South Platte holds trophy trout in some amazing scenery. Below Spinney Mountain Reservoir there is the Dream Stream.

This winding, open meadow stream is one of the most amazing places I have ever fished. Besides the potential for huge trout there is nothing to catch on your backcast. You must keep a low profile here to prevent spooking fish.

The Dream Stream eventually enters Elevenmile Canyon Reservoir where it empties into Elevenmile Canyon. This is an awesome stretch of river however it gets some pressure and the fish are schooled. Bring your A game.

After the canyon the river is stocked with rainbows and has a population of small brown trout before it enters Cheesman Reservoir. After the reservoir the river winds through Cheesman Canyon.

This canyon holds some nice trophy trout. Bring a box of small flies and some light tippet if you want to fool these wary fish. This river is a great destination for fly fishing in Colorado. I reccomend it for the experienced and those who are ready for the challenge. This is one of the more popular Colorado Flyfishing Rivers.

Yampa River

The Yampa river near Steamboat Springs is an impressive river to fish. It has a solid trout population and great access. In fact you can park your vehicle in town and walk right to the river!

The Yampa is a tailwater and the closer you get to the reservoir the bigger and more selective the fish become. This is an excellent year round fishery and one of the best Colorado Flyfishing Rivers.

Taylor River

Taylor BowThe Taylor river can be divided into two sections. The river above Taylor Park Reservoir is a small stream with a good population of small trout and some nice pocket water.

The river below the reservoir is a world class tailwater. Immediately below the reservoir, the "Hog Trough", is the most popular stretch of water. It can get a little crowded and for good reason.

Some of the biggest fish in the state live there feeding on mysis shrimp and a variety of other insects. This is a good place for year round fishing but be prepared for frigid conditions if you chance it in the winter.

When the crowd seems a little thick head downstream towards Almont and you will find beautiful pocket water and deep green holes that fish great through the spring, summer and fall.

Gunnison River

black canyon sceneThe Gunnison River begins in Almont at the confluence of the Taylor and the East River. This upper stretch makes it's way from Almont through the town of Gunnison and eventually into Blue Mesa Reservoir.

The Upper Gunnison has a strong population of wild brown trout and is host to the biggest run of Kokanee Salmon in the state. After Blue Mesa the river runs into the Black Canyon where it runs through a series of reservoirs.

The Black Canyon has some monster trout that can be taken during June when the giant salmon flies fill the air. This is quite a spectacle. The only driving access is at the East Portal. Otherwise, plan on a steep hike.

After the canyon the river enters the Gunnison Gorge. This also has a big Salmon Fly hatch and before whirling disease held some truly giant rainbows. The Gunnison Gorge is a great place for year round action and big fish. The Black Canyon is one of our favorite Colorado Flyfishing Rivers.

Rio Grande River

You might think of the Rio Grande as a muddy river flowing through dusty cowboy country but in Colorado it is a great trout river. The Rio Grande flows through one of the most scenic areas in the state.

The river is best float fished in the early summer during the salmon fly hatch but it can be great for wade fisherman most of the year. I think the best stretch for big fish is between Creede and South Fork.

Just drive along highway 149 and look for an empty pullout and some deep green pools. The Rio Grande has some strong hatches and some great Gold Medal water. This is also a great area for small stream action.

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