Fishing in the Heart of The Scenic Colorado Rocky Mountains
Colorado’s Rocky Mountains offer some of the best fishing in North America. Experience every angler’s dream in well-known rivers and well-stocked reservoirs, serene streams and babbling creeks, up to the remote and unnamed alpine lakes high above the timber lines, accessible only by foot or 4WD. These waters provide opportunity - opportunity for fly-fishing, river-fishing, lake fishing and ice-fishing - opportunity for the perfect catch with over 35 species of warm and cold water fish.
Hatches & Catches
Closest to town is the pristine, peaceful and tree lined Snake River, flowing through Keystone to connect with Lake Dillon. Stocked annually by the Keystone Resort, the Snake River is mainly catch and release. For a quick catch, head to the inlet into Lake Dillon for your perfect trophy trout. For a more traditional trout stream, we suggest the Blue River.
The Blue River flows from the trout filled drop pools of The Upper Blue in Breckenridge, trailing through the cold clear tail waters below Lake Dillon, a gold medal stretch that flows through Silverthorne and the best place to wade the waters and fish the Blue. This is a very technical section of the river, a challenge even to experienced anglers. It is here you are likely to make the catch of a lifetime. The Blue then fills Lake Dillon, meandering on north of Silverthorne through deep runs, beautiful pools and classic riffles to meet up with Green Mountain Reservoir, then through the Gore Mountains onto the Colorado River.
Pristine Mountain Lakes
Lake Dillon is a pristine and spectacular high mountain lake at 9,000 feet, with 26 miles of shoreline surrounded by the scenic Ten Mile Range and Buffalo Mountain. Stocked annually with Coho and Kokanee Salmon and Cutthroat and Brook Trout, this is the perfect spot for traditional angling. The inlets of the Blue and Snake Rivers and Ten Mile Creek are the best for fishing during the early and late season. Enjoy spin cast fishing for huge trout and salmon. If you’re fortunate you may lure an evasive and unique Arctic Char. Whether you are fishing from the shoreline or relaxing on a scenic cruise, Lake Dillon offers gorgeous views and exceptional fishing. The Green Mountain Reservoir, approximately 2,125 acres within the White River National Forest, is an ideal setting with trails to explore and fun water sports. The inlet of the Blue into Green Mountain Reservoir is known for its fantastic hatches, with Kokanee Salmon being the target of most anglers.
Float the Colorado
The Blue River finally dumps into the Colorado River towards the middle of Gore Canyon. Beginning in the Rocky Mountain National Park, the Colorado River travels west meandering through deep pools, ranch lands and scenic valleys of forests framed by mountain ranges. Gore Canyon boasts extreme rapids, a delight for kayakers. Launching from Pumphouse there are over 60 miles of unbelievable river to float, abuzz with giant salmonfly, the perfect site for great Colorado fly fishing. The Lower Colorado River takes you through the Glenwood Canyon where the Roaring Fork River joins, this is big fish waters and a prime habitat for monster trout!
Colorado’s Playground is scattered with smaller hidden gems. Young anglers and beginnings looking to learn should head to Officer’s Gulch, or for serene seclusion and 8 miles of some of the best fly fishing in Summit County head to Ten Mile Creek, both lying south of Lake Dillon between Frisco and Copper Mountain. A little further south lies the Copper Ponds, surrounded by wetlands making access a little tricky, however the rewards are great!
Tips To Note
- A Colorado fishing license is required for anyone 16 and older who fishes in Colorado, available from Walmart, City Market, Sports Authority or online . Fishing License Fees vary depending on age, residency and length of licence. Single day and 5 day passes are available. Good News - the first full weekend of June is free to fish for all!
- Be sure to keep an eye on all signs and postings as many of the fishing areas have catch/release and bait rules and restrictions.
- Many of our fishing waters are on private land. You may obtain permission to fish some private waters but please DO NOT TRESPASS.
- All of Summit County is at high altitude. Please be prepared and take any appropriate precautions.
- Watch the weather! Storms can move in fast with high winds and lightning.
- Useful Numbers: Division of Wildlife Fish Reports (303-291-7533), Colorado State Parks (303-866-3437) and U.S. Forest Service (303-236-4648).
For the ultimate fishing experience, our local fishing guides are back country pros that know every inch of these waters and cater to both novice and avid anglers. Whether it’s a guided float trip, walk-and-wade trip, river fishing, lake fishing or ice fishing, our local guides provide the transportation, equipment and experience and have access to some of Colorado’s finest private waters for premiere world-class fishing.
Alpine Fishing Adventures – Dillon, CO
Big Ed’s Fishing Ventures – Lake Dillon Marina, CO
Breckenridge Outfitters – Breckenridge, CO
Cutthroat Anglers , Silverthorne, CO
Mountain Anglers – Breckenridge, CO
Summit Fly Fishing – Keystone, CO
A Guide to Summit County’s Fish
Cutthroat (Native) Trout : Cutthroat have a crimson slash on either side of the throat beneath the lower jaws. The greenback cutthroat trout is Colorado’s official state fish.
Brown Trout: Spotting pattern is made up of black spots and red-orange spots inside light blue circles.
Rainbow Trout: Identifying marks are black spots on a light body and red stripe along sides.
Brook Trout: Pectoral, pelvic and anal fins often orange, edged with black and white. Body is dark with white and red spots inside blue circles.
Kookanee Salmon: At the end of their third summer, females develop a red-gray-white pattern. Males develop hook jaw and turn brick red.
Lake Trout (Mackinaw) : Has a white, irregular spot pattern on dark body. Vermiform markings over back and head. Unlike other trout, they have a deeply indented tail fin.