About COLORADO Sportfishing
Nestled amidst the majestic Rocky Mountains, Colorado is a treasure trove for anglers. With its vast expanse of rivers, streams, reservoirs, and alpine lakes, the state offers unparalleled freshwater fishing experiences. From the thrill of fly fishing for trout in crystalline mountain streams to the excitement of reeling in a hefty bass from a sprawling reservoir, Colorado's diverse aquatic habitats cater to every angler's fantasy. The state's commitment to conservation and fishery enhancement ensures that these waters remain teeming with fish, promising a rewarding experience for both novice and seasoned anglers.
What to Catch
- Trout (Rainbow, Brown, Brook, Cutthroat) - Colorado's streams and rivers are a haven for trout enthusiasts. The state boasts some of the best fly fishing spots in North America, with the Frying Pan River and the Gunnison River being particularly renowned.
- Bass (Largemouth & Smallmouth) - The warmer waters of Colorado's reservoirs, such as Boyd Lake and Cherry Creek Reservoir, are home to thriving populations of both largemouth and smallmouth bass. These aggressive fish are known for their spirited fights, making them a favourite among sport anglers.
- Walleye - A prized catch in Colorado, walleye are especially abundant in the state's larger reservoirs. Jumbo Reservoir and Pueblo Reservoir are two prime locations where anglers often report impressive catches.
- Kokanee Salmon - These landlocked salmon offer a unique fishing experience. The Blue Mesa Reservoir is a hotspot for kokanee, especially during their fall spawning run.
- Northern Pike - These toothy predators can be found in many of Colorado's cooler waters. Spinney Mountain Reservoir is particularly known for its trophy-sized pike.
- Yellow Perch - A popular target during the ice fishing season, yellow perch can be found in abundance in locations like Tarryall Reservoir.
Colorado's fishing scene is exclusively freshwater, with its myriad of rivers, streams, and lakes fed by the snowmelt from the towering Rockies. The state's diverse topography, ranging from high-altitude alpine settings to sprawling plains, ensures a varied and rich fishing environment.
When to Go Fishing in Colorado
The fishing season in Colorado varies depending on the species and location:
- Spring (April to June): As winter's grip loosens, rivers swell with snowmelt, making it an ideal time for river fishing. Trout, especially, become more active, feeding aggressively in preparation for the spawning season.
- Summer (July to August): The warm months see high-altitude lakes thawing, opening up a plethora of fishing opportunities. This is also the peak season for bass, which are most active during these warmer months.
- Fall (September to November): As temperatures drop, fish feed voraciously to build up reserves for the winter. This is an excellent time for anglers, with the added bonus of Colorado's stunning fall foliage as a backdrop.
- Winter (December to March): The state transforms into a winter wonderland, and many lakes freeze over, heralding the ice fishing season. Trout and yellow perch are particularly popular targets during this time.
Colorado Fishing Limits
To ensure sustainable fishing practices, Colorado has implemented specific fishing regulations. These regulations, which include bag and possession limits, vary depending on the species and location. Anglers are strongly advised to consult the Colorado Fishing Brochure for up-to-date information.
Colorado Fishing Licenses
All anglers aged 16 and older must possess a valid Colorado fishing license. These licenses are essential for the state's conservation efforts. They can be conveniently purchased online, at Colorado Parks and Wildlife offices, or from various licensed agents scattered across the state.
Colorado Regions for Sportfishing
Overview: This iconic mountain range offers some of the most scenic fishing spots in the world. High-altitude lakes and streams teem with trout, providing a serene fishing experience.
Main Species: Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout.
Notable Locations: Gunnison River, Roaring Fork River, Blue River, Frying Pan River.
Overview: The vast plains of eastern Colorado, though contrasting starkly with the Rockies, offer their own unique fishing experiences. Several reservoirs dot this landscape, providing habitat for a variety of fish.
Main Species: Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Catfish.
Notable Locations: Jumbo Reservoir, North Sterling Reservoir, Jackson Lake.
Overview: Located west of the Continental Divide, this region boasts diverse aquatic habitats, from large reservoirs to meandering rivers.
Main Species: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Kokanee Salmon.
Notable Locations: Colorado River, Flaming Gorge Reservoir, Grand Mesa lakes.
Overview: This region, nestled against the eastern Rockies, offers a mix of urban and wilderness fishing spots. From city parks to secluded mountain streams, the Front Range caters to all.
Main Species: Trout, Bass, Bluegill.
Notable Locations: Cherry Creek Reservoir, Boyd Lake, South Platte River, Boulder Creek.