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
Bellvue Watson Fish Hatchery. All photos by © Doug Skinner.
When I was a kid, it felt as if every adult I encountered would ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I still remember being puzzled and somewhat annoyed by the question. How is a 10-year old supposed to know what they want to be when they grow up? But now, I rarely hear anyone ask that question anymore. I suspect that the question has become less common as a result of a continually evolving job market. Heck, many of the jobs we hold today were not even thought of when we were children. And for millennials and generation Z, the pace of change only seems to be accelerating. Today, the question almost seems silly. Read more
Early spring is an ideal time to catch lake trout (Mackinaw). Photo by Jerry Neal/CPW.
If you’re a fisherman, there’s no better time to fish Colorado’s lakes and reservoirs than early spring. Not only is it a great time of year to shake off your cabin fever, but many trophy sized rainbow, cutthroat, cutbow and brown trout are caught in those first days and weeks after ice-out. If those weren’t enough reasons to make you want to grab your fishing rod and tackle box, spring is also the best time to catch lake trout (aka Mackinaw) — a species that can reach upwards of 50 pounds in Colorado.
Although many of Colorado’s lakes and reservoirs offer excellent fishing, the following waters provide exceptional fishing opportunities this spring: Read more
Early spring is a great time of year to catch lake trout (Mackinaw). Photo by Jerry Neal/CPW.
If you’re a fisherman, there’s no better time to fish Colorado’s lakes and reservoirs than early spring. Not only is it a great time of year to shake off your cabin fever, but many trophy sized rainbow, cutthroat, cutbow and brown trout are caught in those first days and weeks after ice-out. If those weren’t enough reasons to make you want to grab your fishing rod and tackle box, spring is also prime-time to catch lake trout (aka Mackinaw) — a species that can reach upwards of 50 pounds.
Although many of Colorado’s lakes and reservoirs offer excellent fishing, the following waters provide exceptional fishing opportunities this spring:
NOTE: Some of these locations have slot limits and catch-and-release restrictions. Be sure to read the Colorado Fishing Regulations brochure before fishing any of these waters. Depending on weather conditions, ice-melt varies at high-altitude lakes and reservoirs. Call Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s area offices for the latest conditions. Always play it safe and never venture out on late-season ice.
Delaney Buttes Lakes
Caryn Feil displays a Delaney Buttes brown trout.
Nestled in the sagebrush flats of North Park, 10 miles west of Walden, the Delaney Buttes State Wildlife Area is a sure bet for ice-out trout. The area consists of three separate lakes—North Delaney, South Delaney and East Delaney. The south and east lakes boast large rainbows, Snake River cutthroat and hybrid cutbows. North Delaney, the largest of the three lakes, is managed as a trophy brown trout fishery. It’s the most challenging of the three lakes to fish and can humble even the most skilled anglers. However, the rewards can be great for those willing to put in the time and dedication. Bruiser browns in the double-digit weight class roam this Gold Medal Water. All three Delaney Buttes Lakes are restricted to fishing with flies and lures only. Woolly Buggers, olive scuds and chironomids are excellent fly choices here. Kastmasters and Rapalas (in various colors) and crayfish imitation jigs/lures are always good bets to tempt North Delaney’s browns. Read more
A Fly Fishing Team USA competitor on Clear Creek. Photo by Wayne D. Lewis/CPW.
Ron Belak. Photo by Wayne D. Lewis/CPW
If you want a reliable source of fly-fishing information in the Evergreen area, Ron Belak is much better than most. He is the editor of “The Evergreen Trout,” the newsletter of the Evergreen chapter of Trout Unlimited, and I would bet that Belak knows the waters around this Foothills town better than 99.9 percent of the residents. “These waters are my laboratory, where I try out new flies and techniques,” said Belak.
Belak is also a frequent contributer to Colorado Outdoors magazine, of which I am the editor. He recently pitched an article about a Fly Fishing Team USA competition that took place Aug. 8-9. His article will run in the upcoming 2015 Fishing Guide edition of Colorado Outdoors. During the competition, Belak’s primary duty was to function as a judge (actually referred to as a controller) and secondarily as a photographer and writer. I decided it was a great opportunity to capture some images for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife photo library and for this blog.
Ice is the great equalizer. The frozen surface of a lake is an open court, a level playing field that allows otherwise shore-bound anglers to delve into a lake’s sweet spots, which were accessible only by boat in open water. Anglers that waited on the sidelines for the playing field to solidify, now march into the game waving ice augers, dragging sleds and toting plastic buckets bristling with short fishing rods. Read more