Fishing the Colorado High Country
Fly fishing in Colorado high country streams can cause a sensory overload. The rushing, sparkling water; colorful rainbows and cutthroat trout; azure blue skies and surrounding wildflower meadows truly make this God’s country. And we haven’t even mentioned fishing, but catching fifty fish in a day is not unusual.
The high-country streams aren’t the only fishing option. If you have just an afternoon to steal away, there is fantastic fishing in Durango CO in nearly every stream, river and many local lakes. With the right gear and the right skill level, you can catch your limit.
Be Smart, use a Guide to Find the Fish
Here at Cascade Village, we can recommend the best fishing guides who know the streams and how to find the fish. They charge for their services, of course, but would you rather just splash your lures in the water or catch fish? You only have a few days to stay with us, why not make the most of it and hire a guide whose company you will enjoy and who can help you catch fish?
We suggest you try fly fishing near Durango CO. If you haven’t fished with flies before, there are a number of guides who will start you with fly fishing lessons. The feeling of a rainbow or a cutthroat fighting on a light fly rod will convince you that there is no better type of fishing. If you have a light fly rod, bring it. If not, your guide will help you find the right tackle and flies. Make Cascade Village your base camp for all of your fishing expeditions. Local guides stay busy during nearly year-round, so make your reservations with them early. Your guide will suggest what you will need. Planning your fishing expedition can be as much fun as the trip itself.
Colorado, Best Trout Fishing in the US
Trout is the best known and most common kind of fish in Colorado. Rainbows, browns, brook, lake, and cutthroat are caught while fly fishing in and near Durango. Of these, the lake trout is the largest with the record being 50.3 pounds caught in 2007. They were introduced into Colorado waters in 1890 and can live up to 20 years.
The brook trout or “brookie” is the smallest of the trout family with the largest one caught weighing in at 7 lbs. 10 oz. They were introduced to Colorado in 1872 and are the most prolific. The brown trout was introduced to Colorado in 1890 and are also a large fish with the record being 30 lbs. 8 oz. The rainbow trout was first introduced to Colorado in 1880 and is the leading fish stocked in Colorado streams. The cutthroat is the state fish and is the only one native to Colorado.
Over 40 other species of fish including Kokanee salmon, northern pike, channel catfish, large and small-mouth bass, perch, crappie, and bluegill can be caught in Colorado where there is no fishing season. All species can be taken year-round. Most Durango fishing is for trout, a fierce fighter all the way to being landed.
Best Time for Colorado Fishing? Whenever You Are Free
Durango, CO fly fishing is good all year long and since there are no seasons for different species, the best time for Colorado fishing really is whenever you have some spare time. Fishing is good all year, but tactics change with the season:
- In wintertime, the fish are in deep spots in the streams, so you need to look for the holes and fish those spots. The Animas river that flows around Durango has been designated with Gold Medal status by the State of Colorado and is a good bet most times of the year. Ice fishing is growing in popularity in Colorado.
- During the spring runoff, most streams are running fast and muddy. Not a good time for fishing streams. For these times, try the dam-controlled tailwaters just below a dam. The water will often be clear and the fish hungry. Lake fishing is also good during runoffs. You may see fish cruising close to shore looking for a meal. Try the inlets where small streams run into the lake.
- Summer is good everywhere. If you are from out of town, go to a sporting goods store and ask the person behind the counter for their favorite spots. They won’t give you their favorite, they keep that to themselves, but they will provide you with some useful spots. There are many.
- In the fall, the fishing continues, but fish have begun looking for deep spots in preparation for the winter. Fishing is good with dry flies.
Whenever you plan to come to Durango and Southwest Colorado make reservations with a fishing guide and stay at the Cascade Village Resort. You will be pleased with both.