Colorado is full of rivers and reservoirs teeming with healthy fish populations. Therefore, the state is the perfection destination for anglers. Each of the following excellent fishing spots holds the title of “Gold Medal Waters,” meaning the Colorado Wildlife Commission designated them as pristine spots to fish. Before you head out to one of these fishing spots, or any other fishing spot in Colorado, make sure you have a fishing license and know the rules of the area. Some spots are catch-and-release while others have a limit of how many fish you can catch. That said, get ready to cast your line at these five prime fishing spots in Colorado.
There isn’t just one fishing hole in Gunnison, there are many. Gunnison is a fishing enthusiasts dream—this area even holds a record for the largest trout in the state. Great fishing can be found at the Gunnison River, Taylor River and Blue Mesa Reservoir. The Gunnison River is full of brown and rainbow trout. For those who don’t mind backcountry hiking, hit up the Gunnison River at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. If you're seeking salmon instead of trout, drop your line at Blue Mesa Reservoir. Kokanee salmon, as well as trout, live in this pristine reservoir and are actually known to be the biggest Kokanee salmon in the entire country. Blue Mesa has many great spots to fish since it has 90 miles of shoreline. If you’re wanting to go on a Colorado fishing trip, Gunnison is the prime location.
For big trout, head to the Fryingpan River, specifically the area downstream of Ruedi Reservoir dam. Trout are known to grow up to 10 pounds here since they live off the abundance of Mysis shrimp. Now both lure and fly fishing are popular here. Since this is a popular spot to catch some big trout, do expect crowds, especially on the weekends. However, this portion of the Fryingpan isn’t the only spot to fish. Head up or downstream to get some solitude.
Referred to simply as the “Fork,” Roaring Fork River offers easy and accessible fishing spots. Unlike other fishing areas in Colorado, the Roaring Fork River makes for a great fishing hole year-round. It is known to be one of the best spots to fish in the winter time. Medium to large trout are found in these waters. Anglers particularly enjoy the fishing spots of the Roaring Fork in Carbondale. There are three bridges in Carbondale that make this river accessible.
Visitors and anglers located in Denver will especially enjoy the great fishing scene at the South Platte River. This river is the spot to fish in and around the Mile High City. Fly fishing is the type of fishing that happens here. The South Platte River is swarming with a variety of trout, both rainbow trout and brown trout. This is another fishing hole that gains popularity during the weekends, so make sure to start early to snag a great spot or head out to South Platte during a weekday. The most abundant part of the river is known as the “Dream Stream.” It is found below Spinney Mountain Area and joints up with Eleven Mile Reservoir.
Year-round fishing is found at the Rio Grande in the San Luis Valley. The Rio Grande is one of the most well-known rivers in the country. The upper Rio Grande has gained the attention of anglers because it is full of fish but also offers seclusion. This Southern Colorado fishing hole is the place to go to catch cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout. Hit up this spot in June and July to experience the fullest fish population here.