Colorado is home to world-class fly fishing. Anglers of all ages and experience levels frequent the abundant lakes, rivers, streams and reservoirs with a hope to catch that photo-worthy trophy fish. Nothing compares to the feeling of a rod tip tugging down towards the water’s surface and the suspense that ensues. What type of fish will be at the end of your line? Rainbow, brown, cutthroat, brook? Will you pull the fish up to the bank or will it get lucky and snap off, taking your fly with it?
For many, fly fishing is not just a hobby. For serious anglers, fly fishing is an art and sport. Much more than simply casting on the water goes into fly fishing. Mastering the activity takes skill, knowledge, and most importantly, patience.
Whether you are a beginner dipping your toes into the sport or a seasoned fly fisher, Summit County has just the spot for you!
What time of year can you fly fish in Summit County?
A little-known fact to visitors and even some locals, is that you can fly fish in Summit County all year round! Yes, you read that right. While most people think of winter in Colorado as reserved for world-class skiing and snowboarding, dog sledding, and huddling around the fireplace, some of the best fly fishing experiences await you during the chillier months!
We’re thankful to live in a place with abundant with rivers, streams and a few good lakes for fly fishing all four seasons of the year. Wherever you might be in Summit, you are never more than 10 minutes from being able to cast into that pool, ripple, or pod of foam.
Fishing Gear & Outfitters
There are dozens of shops, outfitters, and fly-fishing experts in Summit County to choose from. It would be unfair for us to recommend just one. Whether you are visiting the county for a week or looking to move here permanently, we suggest hopping on Google to research the outfitter or shop that best aligns with your experience level and fishing interests. Local experts will also be able to suggest the best fishing spot based on time of year, but we’ve compiled a few below to get you started.
Where are the best fly-fishing spots in Summit County?
Blue River – One of the most popular fly fishing destinations in Summit County is the Blue River. The Blue River runs throughout Summit County and is a 65-mile-long tributary of the Colorado River. Quite literally running through the downtown area of Breckenridge, the river is fishable all the way down to Lake Dillon and to the North past Silverthorne. A popular spot to fish is near the Dillon Dam, where Mysis shrimp abound and attract large trout.
With a variety of features ranging from deep pools, riffles, foamy banks and rocks along the banks to cast from, the Blue River is one of the friendliest fly fishing rivers. The Blue River is easily accessible by the public, so expect to have some friends out there!
Stay up to date with the local fishing report for the Blue River for most recent conditions.
Lower Mohawk Lake - If you are looking to add some adventure to your fishing expedition, consider hiking to Mohawk Lakes. The trailhead to Mohawk Lakes is just 3 miles south of Breckenridge, towards Fairplay. The hike to Lower Mohawk Lake will take you 1 - 1.5 hours. Once at the lake, expect to catch Colorado’s state fish, the cutthroat trout. Here’s a local’s secret tip for you: if you are feeling bold, continue past Lower Mohawk Lake and fish in Upper Mohawk Lake -- the deeper waters breed bigger fish.
Maggie Pond & Meadow Creek Pond - Located respectively in Breckenridge and Frisco, Maggie and Meadow Creek ponds are the perfect spots for fisher-kids. The younger generation will love the thrill of casting in to a smaller body of water and with a little patience, snag that perfect rainbow! Not to mention, both ponds are within walking distance of restaurants and shops for when you need a snack to keep you going!
Montgomery Reservoir - Another family-friendly fishing option, Montgomery Reservoir sits at the base of Hoosier Pass, just outside of Breckenridge to the South. For a great outing, pack a picnic or pick up some sandwiches from a local deli in Breck and head out to Montgomery Reservoir for a day of fishing, relaxing, and enjoying the great outdoors. Cutthroat and rainbow trout are local residents of the reservoir, but you may hook another kind as well.
Eagle River - An arms-length distance from Summit County, the short drive down I-70 towards Vail will land you at Eagle River. A fly fishing destination home to brown and rainbow trout. These mountain trout are most active in the spring and early summer seasons. Plus, the drive to Eagle River is breathtakingly scenic, winding through Ten Mile Canyon and over Vail Pass.
As mentioned, we embrace all outfitters and shops in our community. Therefore, it wouldn’t be fair to recommend just one. However, we have compiled a list of reasons why you should invest in fly fishing lessons if you are fairly new to the sport. One main reason fly fishing lessons are beneficial is that there are different types of bug hatches during the year. A local guide will know what type of fly to attach to your line that will best imitate the bugs fish are eating, depending on the season.
Whether you are fly fishing for the day or fly fishing multiple times in the year, it is crucial to purchase a fishing license. There are multiple places in Summit County to purchase your license. Failure to do so will result in fines more expensive than the cost of one annual fishing license.
For more information about cost, stipulations and to purchase your license online, visit Colorado Park’s and Wildlife’s website today!
Reach out to us, today!
It’s no secret that Summit County is an angler’s paradise. Many of our brokers are firstly real estate experts but secondary fly fishermen and women as well. Contact us to discuss properties and who knows, you may pick up a local fishing tip or two!
By Coldwell Banker