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Fishing Guide to the Rivers and Lakes of Central Colorado

Be it casting or fly fishing, mountain fishing for trout in high altitude lakes or streams is a fisherman’s paradise. Here is our guide to some of the best fishing lake and river locations in Colorado.

Upper Blue River:

The Blue River travels through the heart of Breckenridge. After the high- spring flows, it settles into a fun and easily-fished river. Anglers enjoy generous Blue Wing Olive hatches. By mid-summer, the Green Drakes will have come out in the thousands. Fish the Stair Steps just north of town. The steps, a series of drop ponds, were created by the city for trout during low flows. This spot is great for beginners and still fun for experienced anglers. Park near the recreation center and walk down.

Lower Blue River:

The Lower Blue River starts after Dillon Reservoir and flows through the town of Silverthorne. According to, it is the most popular tail water in the area. Trout gather below the dam and feed on huge amounts of Mysis shrimp, growing more than 2 feet in length. This is a great place to catch large, high-mountain trout. During the summer, the whole river fishes well. In the winter, avoid frozen water by fishing within five miles of the dam. You can park at one of the many river access points, throughout the town of Silverthorne. This is a great location to start for Colorado river fishing.

Montgomery Reservoir:

Located at the base of Hoosier Pass, Montgomery Reservoir is remarkably beautiful colorado fishing lake. Bring your family and a camera. According to the DOW’s hatchery system, Montgomery is stocked with an average of 20,000 rainbow trout each year. Catch fish on flies, lures and bobbers. Most anglers recommend the pillway below the dam, but you can bank fish the entire shoreline of the reservoir as well.

Fishing Guide to Colorado Streams and High Mountain Lakes:

Lose the crowds by leaving the big water and finding a stream or small lake. This requires some exploring and maybe a little hiking, but it is worth it. Fish the lakes with small trout lures and the streams with worms and flies. The area surrounding Breckenridge is littered with small and rarely-fished water. You may also want to try Lower and Upper Mohawk Lake, McCulloch Gulch and the Blue Lakes. These mountain lakes are a beautiful location for Colorado lake fishing.

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Northwest Colorado Gold metal hot spots Blue River:

This water flows out of Dillon Reservoir and boasts fantastic rainbow and brown trout fishing. Fly- and lure fishing only. Located on Highway 9 at the Frisco-Silverthorne Exit off Interstate 70 (Gold Metal)

Frying pan and Roaring Fork Rivers:

These Rivers offer some of the finest fly and lure fishing for trout in the United States and great spot for Colorado river fishing. Catch-and- release sections on the Frying pan River below Ruedi Reservoir provide an opportunity to catch rainbow trout up to 10 pounds! The Roaring Fork River offers the best mountain whitefish angling in the state. Take Interstate 70 to Glenwood Springs, then Highway 82 to Basalt and Aspen ( Gold Metal)

Rifle Gap Reservoir:

This reservoir supports a large population of rainbow trout, but is known for the best yellow perch and walleye fishing. Boats are allowed and camping is available. A State Parks Pass is required. Location: From Rifle, 4 miles north on Highway 325. Anglers should take note of this mercury warning issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Stagecoach Reservoir:

Big rainbows, 2 pounds and up, are the rule, not the exception. Stagecoach also boasts of a healthy population of northern pike. A State Parks Pass is required. Seven miles east of Oak Creek, 15 miles south of Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Lake:

At the base of majestic Hahn’s Peak, Steamboat Lake is known for its fine rainbow trout fishing. Boats are permitted. A State Parks Pass is required. From Steamboat Springs, west 2 miles on Highway 40 to County Road 129, turn north for 26 miles to the entrance (Gold Metal)

Trappers Lake:

This Lake holds the largest population of native Colorado River cutthroat trout in the world and a great place to start your Colorado lake fishing trip! As the second largest natural lake in Colorado, this pristine body of water is located within the Flattops Wilderness Area, but is only a quarter-mile hike from the end of the road. Hand-propelled craft may be rented. From Buford, 24 miles east on Highway 132

Wolford Mountain Reservoir:

Wolford Mountain Reservoir has gained a reputation for producing 16-inch rainbow trout. The area features 48 full-service campsites with electricity (fee required), picnic tables, shelters, fire grates, water, restrooms, trash removal, dump station, a concrete boat ramp and two group-use sites. Located 6.5 miles northwest of Kremmling on U.S. Highway 40.

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