[DIY] Guide to Best Fly Fishing in Colorado

It's no secret that fly-fishers from around the country flock to Colorado each and every year. There's good reason for it, the state features lakes, streams, and rivers that are just filled with opportunities. Typically if you fishing in Colorado you'll be fishing for trout and by trout we mean all different kinds. You'll find brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, and cutthroat trout.

Colorado Gold Medal Waters

Colorado's Gold Medal Waters are well worth checking out. For those who aren't familiar with the designation, Gold Medal Waters are streams and lakes that are able to offer up to 60 pounds worth of trout per one acre. Not only that, but there needs to be at least a dozen trout per acre that are at least 14 inches. So, what does this mean to you? It means there are plenty of fish – and big ones at that. There are three different lakes in the state that are deemed Gold Medal Waters, and 322 miles worth of streams. These waters gets their designation from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission.

Click the links provided below for a map and information about each Colorado Gold Medal Trout Stream and Lake.

  • Animas River
  • Arkansas River
  • Blue River
  • Colorado River
  • Fryingpan River
  • Gore Creek
  • Gunnison River
  • North Delaney Lake
  • North Platte River
  • Rio Grande
  • Roaring Fork River
  • South Platte River
  • Spinney Mountain Reservoir
  • Steamboat Lake

Colorado Fly Fishing Map

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CO - Arkansas River: 38.749317, -105.593475
CO - Arkansas River Tailwater: 38.271359, -104.713839
CO - Bear Creek: 39.653977, -105.287812
CO - Big Laramie River: 40.690269, -105.859108
CO - Big Thompson River: 40.375450, -105.487480
CO - Boulder Creek: 40.013530, -105.293897
Blue River (CO): 39.515694, -106.049652
CO - Cache la Poudre: 40.680752, -105.471006
CO - Clear Creek: 39.746136, -105.438278
CO - Colorado River (Lower): 39.551510, -107.334106
CO - Colorado River (Middle): 40.062569, -106.198654
CO - Colorado River (Upper): 40.248455, -105.869606
CO - Dolores River: 37.721542, -107.886513
CO - Eagle River: 39.481342, -106.358223
CO - Frying Pan River: 39.369473, -106.854187
CO - Gunnison River: 38.610714, -106.510620
CO - Gunnison River (Lower): 38.481049, -107.581291
CO - Gunnison River Gorge: 38.481049, -107.581291
CO - North Platte River: 40.813808, -106.380615
CO - Rio Grand River (Headwaters): 37.685170, -106.350902
CO - Roaring Fork River: 39.415043, -107.222656
CO - San Miguel River: 37.930454, -107.782227
CO - South Platte River, Elevenmile Canyon: 38.971337, -105.365915
CO - South Platte River (blw Spinney): 38.970520, -105.615134
CO - South Platte River, Cheeseman Canyon: 39.243854, -105.236750
CO - South Platte River, Middle Fork: 39.109942, -105.889020
CO - South Platte River, North Fork: 39.420248, -105.534478
CO - Tarryall Creek: 39.264179, -105.669005
CO - Taylor River: 38.784061, -106.631927
CO - Umcompahgre River: 38.245594, -107.758834
ANIMAS RIVER AT DURANGO, CO: 37.279169, -107.880345
ANIMAS RIVER AT SILVERTON, CO.: 37.811108, -107.659228
ANIMAS RIVER AT TALL TIMBER RESORT ABOVE TACOMA,CO: 37.570277, -107.780620
ANIMAS RIVER BELOW SILVERTON, CO: 37.790275, -107.667561
ANIMAS RIVER BLW DURANGO PUMP PLANT NR DURANGO, CO: 37.249264, -107.872583
ANIMAS RIVER NEAR CEDAR HILL, NM: 37.036569, -107.875333
ANTHRACITE CREEK ABOVE MOUTH NEAR SOMERSET: 38.937222, -107.358333
APISHAPA RIVER NEAR FOWLER, CO: 38.108500, -103.967611
ARKANSAS RIVER AT LAMAR, CO: 38.105792, -102.618206
ARKANSAS RIVER AT LAS ANIMAS, CO.: 38.080840, -103.219652
ARKANSAS RIVER AT MOFFAT STREET AT PUEBLO, CO: 38.253614, -104.606085
ARKANSAS RIVER AT PARKDALE, CO.: 38.487219, -105.373604
ARKANSAS RIVER BELOW EMPIRE GULCH NEAR MALTA, CO: 39.163880, -106.320024
ARKANSAS RIVER BELOW GRANITE, CO: 38.994994, -106.220298
ARKANSAS RIVER BELOW JOHN MARTIN RESERVOIR, CO.: 38.066396, -102.932423
ARKANSAS RIVER NEAR AVONDALE, CO.: 38.248058, -104.399136
ARKANSAS RIVER NEAR GRANADA, CO.: 38.095565, -102.310745
ARKANSAS RIVER NEAR LEADVILLE, CO: 39.249000, -106.348111
ARKANSAS RIVER NEAR NATHROP, CO: 38.652219, -106.051126
ARKANSAS RIVER TRIBUTARY ABOVE HWY 227 AT PUEBLO: 38.253889, -104.595833
BEAR CREEK ABOVE BEAR CREEK LAKE NEAR MORRISON, CO: 39.652028, -105.173250
BEAR CREEK ABOVE EVERGREEN, CO: 39.633167, -105.336944
BEAR CREEK NEAR COLORADO SPRINGS, CO: 38.822491, -104.888586
BEAVER CR ABV UPPER BEAVER CEMETERY NR PENROSE, CO: 38.561662, -105.021926
BEAVER CREEK ABOVE HIGHWAY 115 NEAR PENROSE, CO: 38.489166, -104.997483
BEAVER CREEK AT AVON, CO: 39.629708, -106.522810
BEMROSE-HOOSIER DIVERSION NEAR HOOSIER PASS, CO: 39.380544, -106.070853
BENT CANYON CREEK AT MOUTH NEAR TIMPAS, CO: 37.589181, -103.648282
BIG DRY CREEK AT MOUTH NEAR FORT LUPTON, CO: 40.068833, -104.831986
BIG DRY CREEK AT WESTMINSTER, CO: 39.905681, -105.035389
BIG DRY CREEK BELOW C-470 AT HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO: 39.563322, -104.927758
BIG SANDY CREEK NEAR LAMAR, CO.: 38.114176, -102.483802
BIG THOMPSON BL MORAINE PARK NR ESTES PARK, CO: 40.353873, -105.584168
BIG THOMPSON RIVER AT LOVELAND, CO.: 40.378595, -105.061091
BLACK GORE CREEK NEAR MINTURN, CO.: 39.596375, -106.265026
BLUE RIVER AT BLUE RIVER, CO.: 39.455821, -106.031685
BLUE RIVER BELOW DILLON, CO.: 39.625542, -106.066408
BLUE RIVER BELOW GREEN MOUNTAIN RESERVOIR, CO: 39.880264, -106.333918
BLUE RIVER NEAR DILLON, CO: 39.566653, -106.049463
BOBTAIL CREEK NEAR JONES PASS, CO: 39.760264, -105.906401
BOOTH CREEK NEAR MINTURN, CO.: 39.648319, -106.323083
BOULDER CREEK AT MOUTH NEAR LONGMONT, CO: 40.138778, -105.020222
BOULDER CREEK AT NORTH 75TH ST. NEAR BOULDER, CO: 40.051652, -105.178875
CABIN CREEK NEAR FRASER, CO.: 39.985820, -105.745006
CACHE LA POUDRE RIV AB BOXELDER CRK NR TIMNATH, CO: 40.551927, -105.011365
CACHE LA POUDRE RIVER AT FORT COLLINS, CO: 40.588083, -105.069222
CAMP CREEK ABOVE GLEN EYRIE NEAR COLO SPRINGS, CO: 38.907553, -104.903728
CAMP CREEK AT GARDEN OF THE GODS, CO: 38.876936, -104.872754
CASCADE CR ABV CASCADE CR DIVERSION NR ROCKWOOD CO: 37.667278, -107.822625
CASCADE CR BLW CASCADE CR DIVERSION NR ROCKWOOD CO: 37.667000, -107.822250
CASTLE CREEK AT ASPEN, CO: 39.193833, -106.833667
CEMENT CREEK AT SILVERTON, CO: 37.819719, -107.663672
CHERRY CREEK AT DENVER, CO.: 39.742487, -104.999982
CHERRY CREEK BELOW CHERRY CREEK LAKE, CO: 39.653599, -104.863033
CHERRY CREEK NEAR FRANKTOWN, CO.: 39.355823, -104.763309
CHERRY CREEK NEAR PARKER, CO: 39.519156, -104.779698
CHEYENNE CREEK AT EVANS AVE AT COLORADO SPRINGS,CO: 38.790547, -104.864140
CIMARRON RIVER BLW SQUAW CREEK AT CIMARRON, CO: 38.446944, -107.555222
CIMARRON RIVER NEAR CIMARRON, CO: 38.258194, -107.546111
CLEAR CREEK ABV WEST FORK CLEAR CREEK NR EMPIRE CO: 39.751932, -105.661947
CLEAR CREEK AT GOLDEN, CO: 39.753043, -105.235267
CLEAR CREEK NEAR LAWSON, CO: 39.765821, -105.626112
COAL CREEK ABV MCCORMICK DTCH AT CRESTED BUTTE, CO: 38.871556, -106.985297
COCHETOPA CREEK BELOW ROCK CREEK NEAR PARLIN, CO: 38.337222, -106.773611
COLO RIVER BELOW GRAND VALLEY DIV NR PALISADE, CO: 39.098592, -108.355086
COLORADO RIVER AT WINDY GAP, NEAR GRANBY, CO.: 40.108319, -106.004185
COLORADO RIVER BELOW BAKER GULCH NR GRAND LAKE, CO: 40.325818, -105.856679
COLORADO RIVER BELOW GLENWOOD SPRINGS, CO: 39.554982, -107.337554
COLORADO RIVER BL SHADOW MOUNTAIN RESERVOIR, CO.: 40.206652, -105.838901
COLORADO RIVER NEAR CAMEO, CO.: 39.239146, -108.266195
COLORADO RIVER NEAR COLORADO-UTAH STATE LINE: 39.132760, -109.027055
COLORADO RIVER NEAR DOTSERO, CO: 39.644611, -107.078014
COLORADO RIVER NEAR GRANBY, CO: 40.120819, -105.900569
COLORADO RIVER NEAR KREMMLING, CO: 40.036652, -106.440032
CORRAL GULCH NEAR RANGELY, CO: 39.920250, -108.472872
COSTILLA CREEK NEAR GARCIA, CO: 36.989028, -105.532458
COTTONWOOD CREEK AT MOUTH AT PIKEVIEW, CO: 38.927222, -104.814167
COTTONWOOD CREEK AT WOODMEN RD NR COLO SPRINGS, CO: 38.939438, -104.741086
CROSS CREEK NEAR MINTURN, CO: 39.568292, -106.412431
CRYSTAL RIVER ABV AVALANCHE CRK, NEAR REDSTONE, CO: 39.232639, -107.227500
DALLAS CREEK NEAR RIDGWAY, CO: 38.177768, -107.758393
DOLORES RIVER AT BEDROCK, CO: 38.310268, -108.885381
DOLORES RIVER AT DOLORES, CO.: 37.472493, -108.497591
DOLORES RIVER BELOW RICO, CO.: 37.638884, -108.060352
DOLORES RIVER NEAR BEDROCK, CO.: 38.356934, -108.833435
DOLORES RIVER NEAR GATEWAY, CO: 38.668039, -108.965519
DOLORES RIVER NEAR SLICK ROCK, CO: 38.044437, -108.905382
DRY GULCH AT DENVER, CO: 39.734375, -105.039556
DUTCH CR AT PLATTE CANYON DRIVE NEAR LITTLETON, CO: 39.600111, -105.041922
EAGLE R BLW WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT AT AVON, CO: 39.634861, -106.531944
EAGLE RIVER AT RED CLIFF, CO.: 39.508319, -106.366695
EAGLE RIVER BELOW GYPSUM, CO.: 39.649430, -106.953655
EAGLE RIVER BELOW MILK CREEK NEAR WOLCOTT, CO: 39.705000, -106.725833
EAGLE RIVER NEAR MINTURN, CO: 39.553875, -106.402529
EAST FORK EAGLE RIVER NEAR CLIMAX, CO: 39.410265, -106.249747
EAST PLUM CR ABV HASKINS GULCH NR CASTLE ROCK, CO: 39.423000, -104.904611
EAST RIVER AT ALMONT, CO: 38.664437, -106.848095
EAST RIVER BELOW CEMENT CREEK NR CRESTED BUTTE, CO: 38.784160, -106.870874
EF ARKANSAS R AT US HIGHWAY 24, NR LEADVILLE, CO.: 39.272489, -106.306413
ELK CREEK AT UPPER STATION, NEAR FRASER, CO: 39.889431, -105.832510
ELK RIVER NEAR MILNER, CO.: 40.514698, -106.953941
ELKHEAD CREEK ABOVE LONG GULCH, NEAR HAYDEN, CO: 40.591639, -107.320893
ELKHEAD CREEK NEAR CRAIG, CO: 40.531083, -107.436174
ELLIOTT CREEK FEEDER CANAL TO GREEN MTN RES, CO: 39.873725, -106.330597
FIRST CR BEL BUCKLEY RD, AT ROCKY MTN ARSENAL, CO: 39.808042, -104.793862
FISH CR AT UPPER STA NR STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO: 40.474978, -106.786993
FOUNTAIN CR BLW JANITELL RD BLW COLO. SPRINGS, CO: 38.803049, -104.795807
FOUNTAIN CREEK AT CASCADE, CO: 38.897083, -104.971778
FOUNTAIN CREEK AT COLORADO SPRINGS, CO: 38.816382, -104.822752
FOUNTAIN CREEK AT PUEBLO, CO.: 38.287780, -104.601085
FOUNTAIN CREEK AT SECURITY, CO: 38.729440, -104.733861
FOUNTAIN CREEK NEAR COLORADO SPRINGS, CO.: 38.854714, -104.878031
FOUNTAIN CREEK NEAR FOUNTAIN, CO.: 38.601665, -104.670250
FOUNTAIN CREEK NEAR PINON, CO: 38.429444, -104.598056
FOURMILE CANYON CREEK NEAR SUNSHINE, CO: 40.057611, -105.348778
FOURMILE CREEK AT LOGAN MILL ROAD NEAR CRISMAN, CO: 40.042028, -105.364917
FOURMILE CREEK AT ORODELL, CO: 40.018667, -105.326250
FOURMILE CREEK BELOW CRIPPLE CREEK NEAR VICTOR, CO: 38.663881, -105.228041
FRASER RIVER AT TABERNASH, CO: 39.990333, -105.829778
FRASER RIVER AT UPPER STA, NEAR WINTER PARK, CO.: 39.845820, -105.751951
FRASER RIVER AT WINTER PARK, CO.: 39.899987, -105.776674
FRASER RIVER BLW CROOKED CR AT TABERNASH CO: 40.006892, -105.848272
FRYINGPAN RIVER NEAR RUEDI, CO.: 39.365541, -106.825595
GALE DITCH FROM ROCK CR NR FORT CARSON, CO: 38.705826, -104.844696
GORE CREEK ABV RED SANDSTONE CREEK AT VAIL, CO: 39.641097, -106.394752
GORE CREEK AT MOUTH NEAR MINTURN, CO: 39.609430, -106.447808
GORE CREEK AT UPPER STATION, NEAR MINTURN, CO.: 39.625819, -106.278082
GRAND LAKE OUTLET BLW CHIPMUNK LN AT GRAND LK, CO: 40.246111, -105.828833
GUNNISON RIVER AT DELTA, CO: 38.753039, -108.078403
GUNNISON RIVER BELOW GUNNISON TUNNEL, CO: 38.529153, -107.648947
GUNNISON RIVER NEAR GRAND JUNCTION, CO.: 38.983316, -108.450645
GUNNISON RIVER NEAR GUNNISON, CO.: 38.541936, -106.949766
HALFMOON CR BL HALFMOON DIVERSION NR LEADVILLE, CO: 39.185722, -106.383361
HALFMOON CREEK NEAR MALTA, CO: 39.172213, -106.389193
HARVARD GULCH AT COLORADO BLVD. AT DENVER, CO: 39.669203, -104.942508
HARVARD GULCH AT HARVARD PARK AT DENVER, CO: 39.671722, -104.977028
HELL CREEK ABV NF NORTH PLATTE RIVER NR WALDEN, CO: 40.732722, -106.425044
HOMESTAKE CREEK AT GOLD PARK, CO.: 39.405543, -106.433362
HUERFANO RIVER NEAR BOONE, CO.: 38.225002, -104.260800
HUNTER CREEK AT ASPEN, CO: 39.196889, -106.818917
HUNTER CREEK NEAR ASPEN, CO: 39.205820, -106.797538
JIMMY CAMP CREEK AT FOUNTAIN, CO.: 38.684441, -104.688583
JOE WRIGHT CREEK ABOVE JOE WRIGHT RESERVOIR, CO: 40.539982, -105.882790
JOE WRIGHT CREEK BELOW JOE WRIGHT RESERVOIR, CO: 40.561926, -105.863900
KEYSTONE GULCH NEAR DILLON, CO.: 39.594431, -105.972516
LAKE CREEK NEAR EDWARDS, CO: 39.647486, -106.609200
LAKE FORK AT GATEVIEW, CO.: 38.298883, -107.230056
LAKE FORK BLW LAKE SAN CRISTOBAL NR LAKE CITY, CO: 37.984361, -107.292097
LAKE FORK SAN MIGUEL RV ABV TROUT LAKE NR OPHIR CO: 37.817833, -107.879111
LAKEWOOD GULCH AT DENVER, CO: 39.735194, -105.031361
LAST CHANCE CREEK NEAR NORRIE, CO: 39.343889, -106.656528
LEAVENWORTH CREEK AT MOUTH NEAR GEORGETOWN, CO: 39.687210, -105.700282
LEE GULCH AT LITTLETON, CO: 39.596111, -105.016028
LEFT HAND CREEK AT HOVER ROAD NEAR LONGMONT, CO: 40.134278, -105.130819
LENA GULCH AT LAKEWOOD, CO: 39.740403, -105.148833
LIME CREEK NEAR THOMASVILLE, CO: 39.360411, -106.685244
LINCOLN CREEK BELOW GRIZZLY RESERVOIR NR ASPEN, CO: 39.080236, -106.616583
LITTLE DRY CREEK ABOVE ENGLEWOOD, CO: 39.649154, -104.978871
LITTLE DRY CREEK AT WESTMINSTER, CO: 39.826553, -105.040064
LITTLE DRY CREEK NR ARAPAHOE RD AT CENTENNIAL, CO: 39.593736, -104.906500
LITTLE FOUNTAIN CREEK NEAR FOUNTAIN, CO: 38.642650, -104.748383
LITTLE OWL CREEK NEAR NUNN, CO: 40.805250, -104.762194
LITTLE SNAKE RIVER NEAR LILY, CO: 40.549017, -108.424322
LITTLE SNAKE RIVER NEAR SLATER, CO: 40.999410, -107.143388
LOCKWOOD CANYON CREEK NEAR THATCHER, CO: 37.492793, -103.828011
LOS PINOS RIVER AT LA BOCA, CO.: 37.009448, -107.599500
LOS PINOS RIVER NEAR IGNACIO, CO: 37.166111, -107.582500
LOST CANYON CREEK NEAR DOLORES, CO.: 37.446105, -108.469256
LOUTSENHIZER ARROYO AT HWY 50 NEAR OLATHE CO: 38.657207, -107.992289
LYTLE DITCH AT FT. CARSON, CO: 38.605274, -104.868310
MANCOS RIVER AT ANITAS FLAT BELOW MANCOS, CO: 37.252496, -108.357862
MANCOS RIVER NEAR TOWAOC, CO.: 37.027494, -108.741484
MCCULLOUGH-SP-CRYS-DIVERSION NEAR HOOSIER PASS, CO: 39.380822, -106.071130
MCELMO CREEK ABOVE TRAIL CANYON NEAR CORTEZ, CO: 37.326660, -108.700653
MCELMO CREEK NEAR COLORADO-UTAH STATE LINE: 37.324160, -109.015666
MERRIAMS L. FOUNTAIN DITCH AT FT. CARSON, CO: 38.662496, -104.796085
MERRIAMS ROCK CREEK DITCH AT FT. CARSON, CO: 38.676940, -104.789418
MICHIGAN RIVER NEAR CAMERON PASS, CO: 40.496094, -105.865012
MIDDLE CREEK NEAR MINTURN, CO.: 39.645819, -106.382251
MINERAL CREEK AT SILVERTON, CO: 37.802774, -107.672839
MONTE CRISTO DIVERSION NEAR HOOSIER PASS, CO: 39.380822, -106.071408
MONUMENT C AB N.GATE BLVD AT USAF ACADEMY, CO.: 39.031028, -104.846611
MONUMENT CR ABV WOODMEN RD AT COLORADO SPRINGS, CO: 38.933882, -104.817199
MONUMENT CREEK AT BIJOU ST. AT COLO. SPRINGS, CO: 38.837215, -104.829419
MONUMENT CREEK AT PIKEVIEW, CO.: 38.917771, -104.818588
MUD CREEK AT STATE HIGHWAY 32, NEAR CORTEZ, CO.: 37.312772, -108.661207
MUDDY CREEK ABOVE ANTELOPE CREEK NR. KREMMLING, CO: 40.202484, -106.422534
MUDDY CRK BLW WOLFORD MTN RESER. NR KREMMLING, CO: 40.108596, -106.413921
N FK CACHE LA POUDRE R BLW HALLIGAN RES NR VA DALE: 40.878316, -105.338041
NORTH CLEAR CREEK ABOVE MOUTH NR BLACK HAWK, CO: 39.748877, -105.399716
NORTH CUNNINGHAM CREEK CONDUIT BYPASS NR NORRIE,CO: 39.335962, -106.544212
NORTH FK GUNNISON RIVER ABOVE MOUTH NR LAZEAR, CO: 38.785167, -107.833417
NORTH FORK CACHE LA POUDRE RIVER AT LIVERMORE, CO: 40.787482, -105.252205
NORTH FORK GUNNISON RIVER BELOW PAONIA, CO: 38.857500, -107.621944
NORTH FORK GUNNISON RIVER NEAR SOMERSET, CO.: 38.925823, -107.434221
NORTH PLATTE RIVER NEAR NORTHGATE, CO: 40.936639, -106.339194
OHIO CREEK ABOVE MOUTH NR GUNNISON, CO: 38.587770, -106.931432
PICEANCE CREEK AT WHITE RIVER, CO: 40.078026, -108.236475
PICEANCE CREEK BL RYAN GULCH, NR RIO BLANCO, CO.: 39.921083, -108.297588
PIEDRA RIVER NEAR ARBOLES, CO.: 37.088338, -107.397826
PINEY RIVER BELOW PINEY LAKE, NEAR MINTURN, CO.: 39.708042, -106.426697
PINEY RIVER NEAR STATE BRIDGE, CO: 39.795722, -106.574347
PLATEAU CREEK NEAR CAMEO, CO: 39.183611, -108.268333
PLUM CREEK AT TITAN ROAD NEAR LOUVIERS, CO: 39.507369, -105.024467
PLUM CREEK NEAR SEDALIA, CO.: 39.438322, -104.983039
PURGATOIRE RIVER AT MADRID, CO.: 37.129465, -104.639989
PURGATOIRE RIVER AT ROCK CROSSING NR TIMPAS, CO.: 37.618347, -103.593557
PURGATOIRE RIVER BELOW TRINIDAD LAKE, CO.: 37.143908, -104.547764
PURGATOIRE RIVER NEAR LAS ANIMAS, CO: 38.034222, -103.201417
PURGATOIRE RIVER NEAR THATCHER, CO.: 37.356406, -103.900238
RANCH CREEK BLW MEADOW CR NR TABERNASH, CO: 39.999006, -105.828094
RANCH CREEK NEAR FRASER, CO.: 39.949987, -105.765563
RED CREEK ABOVE SALT CANYON AT FORT CARSON, CO: 38.478972, -104.940556
RED ROCK CANYON CREEK AT MOUTH NR THATCHER, CO.: 37.515293, -103.725507
RIPLEY DITCH FROM L. FOUNTAIN CR AT FT. CARSON, CO: 38.679716, -104.851363
ROARING FORK RIVER AB DIFFICULT C NR ASPEN, CO.: 39.141100, -106.774204
ROARING FORK RIVER ABV LOST MAN CR NEAR ASPEN, CO: 39.119361, -106.623917
ROARING FORK RIVER AT GLENWOOD SPRINGS, CO.: 39.543593, -107.329498
ROARING FORK RIVER NEAR ASPEN, CO.: 39.179988, -106.801983
ROARING FORK RIVER NEAR EMMA, CO: 39.373317, -107.083937
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distance: 222.1 miles
WILD HORSE CREEK ABOVE HOLLY, CO
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distance: 215 miles
SAN JUAN RIVER AT FOUR CORNERS, CO
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distance: 212.4 miles
ARKANSAS RIVER NEAR GRANADA, CO.
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distance: 203.1 miles
BIG SANDY CREEK NEAR LAMAR, CO.
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distance: 202.1 miles
MANCOS RIVER NEAR TOWAOC, CO.
415 markers
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Get the DIY Fly Fishing App to get turn-by-turn directions to access points shown on the map above and real-time stream flow conditions.

Because Colorado is such a diverse state where fishing is concerned, it is usually divided into different regions, which contain a selection of Gold Medal waters. Here’s a look at some of the top regions.

Northwest Colorado

In the northwest of Colorado, you have lakes, rivers, and reservoirs to choose from. This region is home to five different Gold Medal water winners. One of the most popular rivers is the Colorado River, which flows through Rocky Mountain National Park. This river is especially incredible as you’ll be able to take in breathtaking scenery while fishing.

Visit our DIY Guide to Fly Fishing in Rocky Mountain National Park for more information on trout fishing in the park including a map of all lakes and streams that contain trout.

The Colorado river is actually divided into a few different sections, each providing their own experience and types of trout. It's important to note that some areas are catch and release only and you must uses lures and flies. Typically you'll be able to catch browns, brookies, and rainbows.

As far as lakes in Northwest Colorado, Steamboat Lake gets a shout out and is a Gold Medal water. Steamboat Lake is relatively large at 1,053 acres but because it is a well-known spot, you will find more anglers here. Getting into Steamboat Lake requires a park pass priced at $5. This is because it is a Colorado State Park.

Fly Fishing Near Aspen, Colorado

Aspen is well known for its skiing, but that’s not all the area offers to tourists. It offers a few different rivers ideal for fishing, with two of them being Gold Medal waters. If you're after big trout, then you need to check out the Fryingpan River. This Gold Medal water is 14 miles in length and eventually meets up with the Roaring Fork, which can be found in Basalt.

It's important to mention that this area gets quite crowded, but that shouldn't steer you away as you'll still have no problem finding fish. The trout you'll find here are cutthroats, browns, rainbows, and brookies.

The Fryingpan isn't far from a variety of lodging options such as condos, motels, hotels, campgrounds, and bed and breakfast establishments.

Southwest Colorado

In this region, you've got reservoirs, lakes, and rivers to choose from. The Rio Grande River is a Gold Medal water and well-known. If you like wading in the water, you're in luck here because much of it is perfect for wading. There is a nice variety of trout to be found and it is pretty well visited.

Because of the fact that it is so well-known, there are many campgrounds right on the actual river that you can choose from. The hatches are at their peak during the summer, and this is when there is an influx in anglers. The entire area is easily accessible and you can easily spend a day or a whole week here.

Gunnison Region

In the Gunnison region, you have reservoirs and rivers to choose from. The Gunnison River can be found just below the Blue Mesa Reservoir and offers anglers a Gold Medal location. Despite the fact there are excellent opportunities reaching it is tricky. Don't count on driving to the river, instead it is recommended that you enter Black Canyon and float to Gunnison.

Your other option is to visit Gunnison River from above the Blue Mesa. This area is known for its Kokanee salmon, which run in the fall. You'll also find various trout such as rainbow and brown. In this area there are a lot of rules to be followed, as you can only use lures and artificial flies from East and Taylor all the way downstream until you hit the bridge at Hwy 50.

Accommodations are plentiful and you can choose from campgrounds, motels, and cabins. If you’re traveling with a group of anglers a cabin is a great way to go.

Summit County

Summit County is another "not to be missed" area of the state. Again, there are lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. The area offers three different Gold Medal waters.

Gore Creek is especially intriguing for anglers and can be reached from I-70. This is a stream that is running fast and is quite narrow. It's a wise idea to wear waders if you plan to fish here. Keep in mind that there is a limit of two trout with a 16 inch minimum size. As well, you are only allowed to use lures and artificial flies.

What's really great is that this area is very close to Vail, so you can tie it in with a vacation to this popular destination. It also means that there are tons of accommodation options.

​When is the Best Time to Fly Fish in Colorado?

Colorado offers fishing year round. With that said, there are some times of year that will have better catch rates than other times. Some of the waters will freeze over in the winter, but ice fishing may still be offered. Obviously in the winter months it is quite cold to be out there fishing, so you’ll need to dress appropriately.

Basing your fishing on the hatches is always a great idea so here are some tips to keep in mind. If you're heading to the Upper Colorado River you'll want to go in early June when for the Salmonfly hatch. If the Fryingpan is your destination then aim for mid-August all the way until October when the Green Drake mayfly hatch. If it's the Arkansas River that you are going to check out April through to May is ideal as that's when there are some serious Caddis hatches.

Although not everyone enjoys winter fishing, there are still opportunities to enjoy it in Colorado and the fish are still hungry. Advantages include off-season pricing and much less crowds.

Colorado Fly Fishing Trip Planning

Colorado offers ample opportunities for the wade fisherman, bring your waders, or you can opt to fish from a boat. If you have a preference for one type, then you can build your vacation based around that.

There is a selection of flies that you can pack that will help to improve your catch rate. You'll want dry flies and nymphs. Dry flies can include the stimulator, parachute adams, and Dave's hopper. For nymphs consider the juju emerger, San Juan worm, prince, and gold-ribbed hare's ear. If you’d prefer you can buy your flies in Colorado so you can buy ones that are ideal for the conditions and specific waters you plan to fish.

As far as your gear goes, you'll want wading boots, waders that are chest high, rods that are 8.5 feet to 10 feet, and weights of four through six. If you are visiting during the summer, you can always use wading sandals with a closed toe.

Colorado Fishing Regulations

In the state of Colorado you are required to have a fishing license before you do any fishing. Any person who is 16 years of age or older can purchase it through Colorado Parks & Wildlife. It is an annual license until you turn 64 years old, then it becomes a senior annual if you live in the state. You can also opt to purchase just a one day or five day license. This is great if you are visiting from another state.

Colorado is filled with fly fishing opportunities for individuals, families, or groups. Accommodations are quite easy to find, and many of the rivers and lakes are easily accessible. You may opt to plan your fishing trip during the off season so you’ll be the only one out there, or if you don’t mind the crowds then you’ve got a chance to fish for some real large trout during high-season. Plan to spend a couple of days or better yet a full week traveling around and trying out the various locations.