Colorado

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Fishing in Colorado

With over 12,000 miles of streams and 2,500 lakes, it’s no surprise that Colorado is home to incredible fishing. Of all theRocky Mountain State’s waters, 322 miles are designated Gold Medal fisheries, offering up Trout fishing like nowhere else. Colorado fishing lets you make the most of the diverse terrain as you battle it out with some exciting fish against some of the most stunning backdrops imaginable.

Where to Go

Most fishing is concentrated  in the center and west of the state, with dry plains extending to the east. From the Rockies to the Rio Grande National Forest and beyond, there are plenty of places to cast a line in Colorado. 
 

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood

Where better to start your fishing journey than in Colorado’s economic center? The metropolis that these three cities make up is also home to incredible fishing. Aurora itself is the epicenter for fishing in the heart of the state, with numerous reservoirs full of Walleye, Crappie, Perch, Catfish, Bass, Trout, and more. Plenty of state records were landed in these waters, so come here to try and write your name into the history books!
 

Northern Colorado

The north of this stunning state provides the gateway to the Rockies. As the canyons start opening up, there are plenty of luscious forests and rivers winding their way down from the towering mountains. Fish the “Big T” or any of the reservoirs and rivers out of Fort Collins, or head to the national forests and discover the riches of the North Platter River further west for some trophy-sized Brown Trout.
 

Colorado Springs

In the heart of the state, Colorado Springs is central Colorado’s doorway to the Rocky Mountains. Dwarfed by the monstrous mountains, it’s also a great base from which to explore. Head up to Pikes Peak and discover winding creeks and open reservoirs, while Manitou Lakes isn’t too far away to get you maxing out your limit of Trout.
 

Southwestern Colorado

The quiet corner of this pretty square state is not to be overlooked when it comes to fishing. Across the Rio Grande and San Juan National Forests, there are plenty of hidden gems for you to discover. Explore the 126 miles of the Animas River out of Durango and head up to Vallecito Lake, where you’ll come up against oversized Pike, Walleye, and Bass in pristine surroundings.
 

The Rocky Mountains

It’s difficult to do justice to the Rocky Mountains’ fishery without spending at least a few weeks there. From Glenwood Springs and Aspen in the northwest to Gunnison in the south, there’s barely a town that will leave you fishless. 
 
The waters can resemble the mountains in places, making it difficult to navigate without a sturdy kayak or on foot, but the rivers open up into lakes in other places, giving you the chance to fish at your leisure. Brook, Rainbow, and Brown Trout make the pick of the fishing here, with Kokanee Salmon only adding to the fun!
 

When to Go

Colorado is also famous for its winter sports, and there’s no need to put away your rod and reel when the snow hits. Ice fishing is a way of life in winter, with avid anglers making their way to a number of the state’s rich reservoirs to land a warming treat to take home.
 
The peak season for fishing in Colorado, however, is summer. Come between May and September for the pick of the fishing in local rivers and lakes. The largest Kokanee Salmon Run in the US takes place here in fall, so the fishing really is year-round! 

Need to Know

Wherever you head in Colorado, you’ll need a fishing license to reel in your favorite species. Pick up yours online, by phone, or in person at any registered seller before heading on your adventure. 
 
You should also be aware of catch limits for your target fish. These restrictions change from month-to-month, so it’s always good to go with an experienced, informed guide. 
 
With such a diverse range of fishing on offer, fishing guides in Colorado can help you in any way you’d like. From inner-city fishing to fly fishing on the remote rivers, all the way to ice fishing in winter, there’s something for you in the Rocky Mountain State. Come fishing in Colorado and see for yourself! 
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Colorado Fishing Seasons

Don’t let the cold get the better of you, as there’s plenty of ice fishing opportunities to keep you warm and entertained. Head to any frozen reservoir or lake and get your fish on for Walleye, Perch, and many more.
The boats may still not be able to get out, but plenty of guides are willing to take you fishing on the ice. Explore the riches of the lakes from the Blue Mesa to the Horseshoe or Ruedi Reservoirs and get your fish on.
As the snow starts to melt, the streams pick up pace as they rush down the Rockies into the towns and out of Colorado. Come and take advantage of the spawning season for many-a-prized Trout. 
You’ll notice more and more charters offering their services once April kicks in as the spring season is well and truly underway. From the cities to the remote mountains, there’s plenty of fish to be caught.
Summer is almost here, meaning peak season is just around the corner. Get out on the water at the best time of year, as you go up against delicious Trout, Walleye, Perch, Catfish, Bass, and many more.
Whether you’re looking to escape the city, or just want a few hours on the water nearby, summer has it all for you. Spinning action takes over from the fly in summer, with more fish than ever on offer.
Combine your fishing trip with a vacation and take advantage of the numerous lodges in the wilderness, or set up camp in some of the cities’ parks and reservoirs. Get your fish on and teach the kids a new skill in summer.
With the kids still home, why not make the most of summer vacation by experiencing the great outdoors? The whole of Colorado comes alive, and for good reason too. Get your fill of anything from Crappie to monster Walleye.
As fall kicks in, it’s Trout season in Colorado. Get your fish on along the mountain streams and wade, row, kayak, or fly fish from the shore to land Brown, Lake, Cutthroat, and Rainbow Trout in huge numbers.
In addition to the productive Trout, October also heralds in North America’s largest Kokanee Salmon run in Colorado. Come to the Rockies and experience some of the best fishing the state has to offer. 
This is a state with no defined fishing season, so getting on the water in November provides just as much action as ever. Get your fish on for a range of creatures as you try fly fishing, spinning, or whatever method you prefer.
There’s no need to look back wistfully at a successful fishing year – it’s not over yet! As the weather changes, different fish come to the fore, giving you a different kind of fishing experience to end the year on a high. 

Colorado Fishing Calendar

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Top Fishing Techniques in Colorado

  1. Fly Fishing
  2. Ice Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Colorado

Brown Trout

Brown Trout

Bass (Largemouth)

Bass (Largemouth)

Walleye

Walleye

Crappie

Crappie

Catfish

Catfish

Perch (Yellow)

Perch (Yellow)

Bass (Smallmouth)

Bass (Smallmouth)

Brook Trout

Brook Trout