Colorado is one of America’s best locations to fish for trout but you can also catch a variety of other fish in the state’s well-stocked lakes, rivers and mountain streams. The best places to go fishing in CO and the species found can vary based on the region, with northeastern areas offering excellent trout fishing and reservoirs on the plains well-stocked with walleye. When you decide where to fish, you will find that most spots offer breathtaking mountain and forest views and many sites provide camping, rafting and other outdoor adventures. To learn about good places to fish in Colorado and the types of fish you might expect to catch at each location, continue reading through the information provided below.
Blue Mesa Reservoir
This spot is where to go fishing in Colorado for Kokanee salmon, particularly in the fall, as it is the biggest Kokanee fishery in the country. Blue Mesa Reservoir is also where to fish in the largest body of water in Colorado, with 90 miles of shoreline encircling Kokanee salmon, yellow perch, northern pike and several types of trout. This is a good place to fish in CO for trout species including:
Fishing spots for these trout include from a boat and fly fishing from the shore, which can be good if you find an area with fresh water flowing in from a tributary or drainage.
One of the best places to go fishing in the winter is the Iola Basin at Blue Mesa because it provides excellent ice fishing conditions. Ice fishermen enjoying these best locations to fish need valid CO fishing licenses and must obey seasonal laws for bag and possession limits. Note that ice fishing places and shelters must be removed daily and ice fishing holes must not exceed 10 inches in diameter.
Gore Creek is a good place to fish that is also easy to locate. This Colorado fishing place can be found right off I-70 in Vail and has been designated as a Gold Medal spot by the Colorado Wildlife Commission. Gold Medal streams are known for producing large trout, many trophy-sized, at a rate of 60 pounds of trout per acre.
Gore Creek is where to go fishing if visitors need natural escapes from the expensive slopes, loud traffic and pretentious lifestyles of Vail and is a highly recommended spot. This CO fishing location is surrounded by thick brush and trees in many areas, but it is worth the hike as the mountain views are spectacular.It is considered one of the best fishing places to catch:
- Brown trout
There are public access points to the best locations to fish although this location is a true mountain stream that is both rocky and narrow. Experienced anglers visiting this good place to fish should wear waders.
Chatfield State Park
Among Littleton’s places to go fishing is the reservoir at Chatfield State Park, a 1,355-acre storage reservoir in a lovely natural state park setting. It is a good place to fish for smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, channel catfish and trophy walleye, all of which are stocked on a regular basis each year. Note that its fishing places sometimes offer more challenging fishing experiences, as the reservoir has a large population of gizzard shad providing ample forage food for sport fish.
One of CO’s best locations to fish year-round, Chatfield State Park is easily accessed from Denver, Boulder, Aurora and Colorado Springs. This fishing place offers two boat ramps, picnic areas, restrooms and a marina. Other recreational offerings include canoe and kayak rentals, a swimming beach, model airplane field, hiking trails and camping.
San Juan River
This stretch of river runs through Pagosa Springs, one of Colorado’s best locations to fish for several reasons. It is where to go fishing year-round, and offers spring rafting and summer tubing. It is one of the good places to fish for trout, which is stocked several times each summer. The river’s fishing places have been enhanced several times with additional fish habitat areas. The downtown area of the river is particularly kid-friendly and a great place for families to fish together.
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One of the best locations to fish in the Pagosa Springs area, Echo Lake is located high on a Rocky Mountain pass,situated in a spruce forest. It is one of the best spots for fishing in CO for a rustic experience coupled with a wide variety of fish species.
This relatively shallow body of water is where to fish for:
- Rainbow trout
- Largemouth bass
- Yellow perch
- Green sunfish
- Channel catfish
Anglers are not restricted on where to go fishing because there are easily accessible spots located around the entire lake. The Echo Lake Campground includes 11 RV camping sites and seven tent camping sites to turn a fishing trip into a multi-day excursion.
John Martin Reservoir State Park
One of southeastern Colorado’s great fishing places is John Martin Reservoir State Park in Hasty because it is known for providing an uncrowded fishing, boating or camping experience in mild year-round weather. Boat ramps provide you easy access to the best locations to fish away from the shore in the reservoir known as “A Sapphire on the Plains.” There are also ample good places to fish from the shore.
This is where to fish in CO if you are visiting the southeast specifically to find:
In addition to being one of the state’s greatest fishing places, it is a bird watcher’s paradise, with almost 400 species documented in Bent County, including bald eagles that nest during the winter. It is also a good place to see threatened and endangered birds, including least tern and piping plover.