Anglers can fish for rainbow trout in a cool Rocky Mountain stream or troll for walleye on a sunny plains reservoir. With more than 6,000 miles of rivers and some 1,300 lakes and reservoirs, Colorado is an angler’s paradise. This year’s guide features interesting and informative articles geared toward helping you make the most of your time on the water. The 2019 issue includes articles on bass-fishing rigs, perch hot spots, and backcountry adventure for brookies and cutts. From rivers to reservoirs and graylings to tigers, you’ll find all the tips and tricks you need to make the most of your Colorado fishing season.
While the biblical Garden of Eden is said to have been located in modern day Iraq, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, in my mind, western Colorado’s piscine paradise is undoubtedly the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River. The Lake Fork, which is located south of Gunnison along Highway 149 near Lake City, is the least known of the Gunnison River’s major tributaries. This comparatively uncrowded trout stream is surrounded by stunning scenery, has big fish potential, and angles particularly well in the springtime. It is a local favorite and where many area guides prefer to fish on their infrequent days off; I’m not sure a trout stream can receive a more glowing endorsement than that.
A recent survey by Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists found rainbow trout thriving in the Arkansas River near Salida offering a hopeful sign for wildlife conservation efforts aimed at overcoming whirling disease, which decimated trout populations in Colorado after its discovery in the 1980s. Read more
Our fly-fishing series has walked you through the basics of picking fly-fishing gear and making the correct fly selection. So now it’s time to put it all together and learn some basic casting techniques. In this segment, Howard Horton, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Angler Outreach Coordinator, demonstrates basic casting techniques that you can practice and perfect in the backyard and then use on the majority of Colorado’s waters.
Picking the right flies for your first fishing trip can be an intimidating experience. And while most local fly fishing shops will be happy to guide you through your first purchase, there’s something to be said about being an informed buyer. Howard Horton, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Angler Outreach Coordinator, takes the mystery out of filling your fly box by revealing a combination of flies that will work in a range of waters, from Colorado’s mountain streams to the reservoirs. Howard discusses basic fly selections, including dry flies, nymphs and streamers – walking you through setups like the dry-dropper that are sure to increase your confidence and success on your next outdoor fishing adventure.
Between great local fishing supply stores and a number of low-cost fly fishing outfits available online, there’s never been a better time to take up fly fishing. Howard Horton, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Angler Outreach Coordinator, dispels the myths that prevent many from trying fly fishing. Learning to fly fish does not have to be expensive or intimidating. Howard walks through gear selection and rod setup, showing you exactly what you’ll need to get out on the water without breaking the bank.
Next Lesson – Part II: Fly Selection for Colorado
Now that you’ve got the basics on gear selection it’s time to pick some flies. Watch Part II: Fly Selection for Colorado to guarantee a great fly selection for your next fishing adventure.
The 2018 Colorado Outdoors Fishing Guide is now available! With more than 9,000 miles of rivers and some 2,000 lakes and reservoirs, Colorado is an angler’s paradise.
This year’s guide features interesting and informative articles geared toward helping you make the most of your time on the water. The 2018 issue includes tips to help you catch more fish during the summer months. Learn about a fly that will catch fish anywhere in Colorado. From rivers to reservoirs and brown trout to walleyes, you’ll find tips and tricks to make the most of your fishing season. Read more
In the early 80s, for a group of gangly, basketball-loving young men in Golden, Colo., Pat Sanner was The Guy. He had the backyard basketball court, the basement sports cave, close access to a park for football and a mom who tolerated our group better than most. Sanner was genetically wired for sports: His father was Lynn Sanner, the sports director for KBTV (now KUSA) and host of “The Broncos with Red Miller,” the weekly Denver Broncos recap. I never met Lynn; Pat had lost his father right around the time my family moved to Golden, but you could see the impact the father had on the son. Read more
Every outdoorsman has their specialty. Whatever the pursuit, there is somebody passionate enough to fill that niche. For me, that niche is backcountry fly fishing. I’m fortunate that I live in Colorado, where miles and miles of backcountry wilderness sit at my backdoor. For years I’ve explored rivers and lakes without names and no permanent address on topographic maps. Some are seasonal ponds or creeks only to be found during runoff, and I suppose others are ones the cartographer just never got around to naming, so they sit patiently waiting for the weary fly fisherman to come along and unlock their secrets. These waters can be either quite rewarding, painfully stubborn or barren of any life form. However, most tend to be quite willing to relinquish a few fish. At altitude, these fish have a short growing season, which means they are quite occupied with filling their gut with as many invertebrate vittles as possible. This is excellent news for the angler, but certain strategies can enhance success and even the quality of fish one might land. Although most backcountry fish have rarely — if ever — seen a fly, they can still be extremely spooky at the slightest disturbance. The following are guidelines I follow trip after trip that have treated me well over the years. Read more
Chironomids work well for large trout. Photo by Jerry Neal/CPW.
The cliché holds there are only two things in life that you can count on: death and taxes. Yet, if you’re an angler in Colorado, there are actually three. The third is that you can catch a lot of fish on chironomids.
What is a chironomid you ask? While it sounds like an evil character from a science-fiction movie, chironomids (pronounced “KYRO-nomids”) are actually members of the Chironomidae midge family. Midges are tiny flies that resemble gnats or mosquitos. They are the most prevalent aquatic insects in Colorado, making up more than 50 percent of a fish’s diet in some waters. While tricky to pronounce, fishing with chironomids is quite easy. Read more
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