Colorado Dreaming

So I probably shouldn’t mess with Mamas and the Papas lyrics. Nevertheless, this Virginia boy is going to be in Colorado on a “hardship tour” of Estes Park, Steamboat Springs, and Denver in early July and I want to do some trout fishing.

Does anybody have recommendations for a trout guide? I’m hoping to do moving water - I’m kind of a river guy. Drift boat fishing is pretty big out there, right? That’d be great! Any help is appreciated.

What are the rivers like? Little bitty affairs where I’ll need a 7’ rod to keep from getting caught in backcasts or big honking rivers where a 9’ might be too short?

  • Big D

    p.s. Also posted in the Advice section in case there’s someone who doesn’t fish but knows a guide. Plus then I can have someone tell me to move my post, which is always fun to tick off the self-appointed board cops.

Big D - fishing as religion
Hi Big D.

I won’t get boring with religion on this, really. We have lots of guide services in Colo. I’ve never used a fishing guide since I live here. I just strike out on my own. There are some good places to fish around Estes Park and Steamboat. I don’t know this shop real well but met them at a sportsmans show and they seem like square dealers. They certainly could refer you to a guide in the Estes Park area. If you happened to add Buena Vista to your tour list you could fish the famous Arkansas and do some whitewater paddling as well. Many of our streams are narrow and lined with willow and brush. You can pick high altitude lakes or beaver pond streams or bigger water like the Colorado, Gunnison, or Arkansas. I prefer streams and ponds. The upper Colorado would be convienent in the Steamboat area, but there are options closer. Also, Trout Unlimited is very active in Colorado. They should have some links to guides on the web.

I wouldn’t even dream of embarrassing myself by claiming to be an expert fly fisherman. I use a 9’ #6 Thomas & Thomas 4 piece pack rod for just about everything. All I can say is that I catch trout with it. Since there is time before your July trip I would be happy to exchange e-mails with you if there is information I can find for you to make your trip more enjoyable.


colorado trout
I haven’t done as much trout fishing in Colorado as I have in Montana, but I’ve done a little. Haven’t ever used a guide in CO. The only big problem with CO is they have very unenlightened stream access laws. Basically, huge chunks of most Colorado streams are private and off limits to the public. You can fish a whole bunch of little creeks that are the headwaters of the Colorado in and around Rocky Mountain National Park. A 4 wt. is all you’d need for them. Or you can hire a guide and float the Colorado or others, as Taj said, in which case 5 to 7 wt. rods work well. I love drift boat fishing, but some of those little mountain creeks in the park are gems. Just don’t expect to catch big fish in them.

I can’t remember off the top of my head, but the author of this book wrote quite a collection of books pertaining to trout fishing in and around Colorado. It was good reading, especially if you are being lazy around the campground and just want to slow down and enjoy the scenery. He lists quite a few rivers to explore although it may not be up to date. When you get to CO be sure and pick up the brochure the State prints that highlites their trout rivers and those that made the “Gold Medal Waters” list. It’s a great free resource. Maybe you can order it online? I found a beautiful 10 mile stretch of canyon to fish and camp in outside of Colorado Springs. I believe it is called Eleven Mile Canyon. It’s right below the dam at Eleven Mile St Park. It’s not terribly far from your intended destination, but it doesn’t have the crazy crowds of Denver, Rocky Mt Ntl Park and Estes Park. Steamboat was beautiful but I couldn’t tell you much about fishin & campin there. It is out of the way too, of course, this is good and bad depending on how you look at that.

I’ll take a look for that brochure on line.

This is a family vacation, and while I’m going to be there for a while, I’ll likely only have one day, and maybe a couple hours here and there, to toss a line.

We won’t be camping. Too many folks. It’d be like the Clampetts in the woods, there just wouldn’t be any peace & quiet once the family entourage arrived. I’m trying to slip away from that for a day.

  • Big D

Rocky Mountain News/Ed Dentry

– Last Updated: Apr-11-07 10:24 AM EST –

Here's a link to Ed Dentry's series about Colorado Fishing that started today. Check back next week for an additional piece about front range and East fishing.,1299,DRMN_85_5477575,00.html
Ed is a regular hunting and fishing writer for the Rocky and knows his stuff well.

Ok, I just double checked the link and it didn't go to where I pasted it from. A search for Ed Dentry at the Rocky should bring success.

The link works.
Just need to highlight the whole link, copy, and paste. Guess I need to learn to do tiny URL’s, though some of those who do them, gloat a bit too much and put the rest of us down.

Thanks JF
I didn’t notice the cut-off in the posted text. There is a lot of learing curve in the computer world that I don’t have much time for. Guess I’d rather spend it fishin’.

True, wanna come sit with my 4 yr old
grandson whom my wife and I are raising so I can go?

Toy rod/reel
Find a toy rod and reel with those safe hook/lures and take him along. He would love it for all of 5 minutes or until he gets distracted with something else. Of course, if you wanted to fish from the yak the wife would have to take him for a walk along the beach.

I’ve a 17 ft Mohawk Blazer, will try him
out in that along with another adult first. He should fit in my Loon with me, maybe my Wenona Sandpiper. When he gets a bit older, he will inherit a Necky Sky.

I take my close to six year old out
She’s been on lakes with me in my Jon Buoy and a real jon boat, and also in a slackwater area of the Potomac in an OK Malibu II. At 20 months, she was sitting in the middle of an Otter II while my wife and I chased a sand shark around the lagoon of an un-named key. She loved that. Nowadays she sits in the bilge and puts on puppet shows with the soft plastics. She doesn’t even get excited over a fish, but she likes being out in a boat.

  • Big D