The Colorado River: The Colorado River runs through The Rocky Mountain National Park. It offers many opportunities for fly fishing. The scenery from spring straight through to fall is sure not to disappoint any angler, and the fishing opportunities are incredible. The Colorado River can be accessed through several public access points including Paul Gilbert, Breeze Unit, and Sunset Ranch. Large populations of Trout can be found as the river winds her way downstream. Fishing regulations in The Rocky Mountain National Park are dynamic, and current regulations should be consulted before fishing. Certain areas of the park are catch and release only, while others allow no fishing at all. No live bait or worms are allowed in any area of the National Park System in Colorado, which makes the park system a perfect setting for fly fishing.
Taylor River: Many believe this particular river has some of the biggest Rainbow Trout in Colorado. They are not the easiest of fish to catch, however. They seem to have gotten wise to the ways of the average fly fisherman. But there are still great fish that can be had on the Taylor River. In fact, several Colorado state record catch-and-release Rainbows have come from this river. It's well worth taking the time to learn what these fish want in order to catch yourself some good-sized Trout. If you're near Gunnison County, Colorado near the Continental Divide, you won't want to miss the Taylor River If you're looking for a great mountain stream to fish! This beauty will bring you right to the heart of the Central Rockies.
South Platte River: The fish in the South Platte can be difficult to catch, but they still hold their curiosity for different looking lures. Try thinking outside of the box when mending your line here. Give these Trout something they haven't seen a hundred times and chances are you will come up with some good fish. The South Platte, near Denver, has been termed by some at the premier fly fishery in the state. Both Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout in this river have been known to be larger than in many other rivers in Colorado, but it will take a wily angler to bring in one of these elusive beasts.
Los Pinos River: This river runs through the Weminuche Wilderness Area and is subject to some special regulations. Fishing here is subject to a two-fish bag limit and only flies and lures are allowed. There are over 50 miles of stream here open to the public. Tribal lands are also opened to permitted non-tribal members. Rainbows, Brooks, Browns, and Cutthroat are all known to lurk in the waters of the Pine, or the Los Pinos. It is said that, in areas where the water is more swift, the Trout seem to be less particular and tend to strike at anything passing by that looks like a meal. The Los Pinos is definitely one to add to your list of stops in Colorado.
The Gunnison River: This particular location may be best floated with a reputable outfitter. Some of the best water here is below the Blue Mesa Reservoir. An angler can hike it, but the terrain is incredibly difficult and not recommended for any but the most experienced hikers. Once the Black Canyon begins, two dams create some excellent tail water-type of fishing. It is not recommended to attempt to float this section of the river alone, but it is unparalleled for its fishing and incredible scenery.
There are dozens of other incredible places to fly fish in Colorado, but don't forget to visit the Colorado State Parks and Wildlife Website to get a license. Anyone over the age of 16 must have a valid Colorado license. The pristine terrain of Colorado and the opportunities for big fish cannot be stressed enough. While one can surely find these opportunities on his or her own, it may be best to hire an outfitter or guide on the first few trips. These individuals will give you invaluable information about the area, fishing techniques, and a wealth of other things. Guides will also have the ability to take you on some great trips on private lands to which you would otherwise not have access!
Colorado, undoubtedly, has some of the best fly fishing opportunities of any state. Plan your trips and take care to know where you are going and how you will get there, and you will have a great time fly fishing Colorado. A few things to remember are: If you're over 16, you will need a fishing license. Always check the regulations for the spot you wish you fish. For some you may get a "second line" permit, while in other areas that is not allowed at all. Especially when you are fishing in an area within the National Parks system in Colorado, you should make sure that you can keep the fish you catch in any specific area, as this can change from year to year or even from season to season.