Colorado is full of still lakes and gurgling rivers that simply call to the fisherwoman and fisherman in everyone. According to Parks and Wildlife, Colorado has over 6,000 miles of streams and rivers and over 2,000 lakes that are open for fishing. That many streams and lakes make it nearly impossible to find a bad fishing hole – but of course, as a visitor you should have an experience to remember. How can you find the secret gem? It requires strategy as well as a bit of guts.
Tactic #1: Seek out the locals. Naturally, locals are wary to give up their favorite spots, lest they become crowded with visitors. This requires strategy. Find out which coffee shop in town opens the earliest. Get there at opening, settle in with your best gear at the counter, and people-watch over your scrambled eggs until you spy a fellow angler. Then, strike up a conversation! Mountain town folks love to chat with visitors.
Tactic #2: If you’re not an early riser, there’s another option: take to the Internet. While many mountain town websites, resorts, and outfitters list their favorite hikes, there are also plenty of other message boards that are angler-specific. Colorado Parks and Wildlife may help you filter down the lakes or rivers where you can catch trout, but the Internet is where you can find out that the cove at north-northwest corner at twilight is the best location to station yourself for a catch.
Tactic #3: Have an adventure! Ask around for the best hike to a lake in the area, and head out. Rather than drive to water, work for each cast. Trek out and up into one of Colorado’s gorgeous mountain ranges and write yourself into a Hemingway short story. Although it makes for a longer day, the solitude is worth it – you’ll be the only one in the water, besides the fish.
No matter where you go, consider bringing a cooler and camping chair for a comfortable lunch spot next to the river for some true tranquility – and a cold brew! As long as you remember your sunscreen, you will have a perfect day in the mountains. Whether you catch the elusive Colorado trout or not, having the local ear on the fishing holes will transform your day from the ordinary to an extra special Colorado outing.