Guide to Colorado Fly Fishing in Summers


With about 2,000 lakes and reservoirs and 9,000 miles of streams and rivers, the Centennial State is a fishing paradise for over 340,000 fly fishers who, every year, get captivated by the rhythmic action and spectacular backdrops related to the pursuit. 

Fly fishing in Colorado during the summer provides anglers with a perfect combination of consistent weather conditions and a handful of trout species that you may not find anywhere else across the United States.

What to Expect?

When fly fishing during summer, you can expect excellent fly fishing on all Colorado rivers. Consistent weather, predictable hatches, and dependable flows make Colorado fly fishing during summer a “sure bet”, especially for anglers visiting on a fly fishing trip. Stable conditions also make summer fly fishing in Colorado excellent for anglers of all ages and skill levels.

June marks the start of summer fly fishing season, and you can expect the best fly fishing on the Eagle River, Colorado River, and Gore Creek. Yearly spring run-offs on the Centennial State’s higher elevation rivers like the Colorado River, Gunnison River, and Blue River generally subsides near the end of the month, making these spots a perfect destination for July and August. By the beginning of July, the waters become perfect for wade and float fishing on all Colorado rivers, and you can expect excellent fly fishing every day.

July marks the period when most fishers fall in love with fly fishing in Colorado. By the beginning of the month, the spring run-off subsides statewide. From the renowned Gold Medal waters to stunning lakes and reservoirs, the Centennial State offers something for everyone in July.

In August, fly fishing in Colorado is still perfect, but the conditions begin to change. Water levels significantly drop, temperatures rise, and hatches taper off, but this month offers the best fly fishing on high country creeks. Water levels on all the state’s rivers drop by early August, and wade angling becomes a perfect option on most rivers throughout the month.

Where to Go Fly Fishing in Colorado?

Summer fly fishing in Colorado offers the widest array of fishing destinations in the Centennial State. By the beginning of July, all Colorado’s Gold Medal waters boast hatches that make for world-class angling. Some of Colorado’s best fly fishing locations include:

1. Northwest Colorado

Northwest Colorado boasts numerous rivers, lakes, and rivers, including five different Gold Medal waters. The Colorado River, which meanders through the Rocky Mountain National Park, is one of Colorado’s most popular fly fishing spots. Here, you will enjoy breathtaking scenery while fly fishing. 

The Colorado River is divided into various sections, each offering a unique fishing experience and types of trout. Here, you can expect to catch brookies, browns, and rainbows. When it comes to lakes, Steamboat Lake is the best fly fishing spot and is among the Gold Medal waters.

2. Southwest Colorado

You will find countless lakes, reservoirs, and rivers teeming with plenty of trout, fantastic vistas, and Gold Medal waters in this part of the state. This region offers canyon river fishing, freestone fisheries, and deep pool spots. If you’re into wading, most sites here are perfect for wading. Since this region is well-known, you will find numerous campgrounds near the river you choose.

3. Summit County

Summit County is a must-visit fly fishing destination in Colorado. Here, you will find several lakes, ponds and rivers, and three Gold Medal waters. Gore Creek is every angler’s paradise, and you can reach it from I-70. Although narrow, this stream runs quite fast. If you wish to fish here, make sure you wear waders.

4. Central Colorado

Central Colorado is well-known for offering exceptional lake, brown, cutthroat, brook, and rainbow trout. It provides not only outstanding fly fishing but also breathtaking views of the Rockies. Here, you can enjoy fishing in Gold Medal streams and rivers with blue waters in open grasslands packed with boulders while over 14,000-foot peaks from the background.

Gear Recommendations

The Centennial State offers countless opportunities for wader anglers, so bring your waders or choose to fish from your boat. You will need wading sandals with a closed toe, waders covering your chest, and 8.5-10 feet rods.

When preparing for Colorado fly fishing, it’s wise to carry a thermometer and keep an eye on the water temperatures when angling for trout. Use bigger tippets and bring in the fish quickly to avoid stress and fatigue. If you’re practicing catch-and-release, give the trout a break when the temperatures hit 70 degrees to reduce mortality rates.

Every summer offers unique fly fishing opportunities. Weather and water conditions are never consistent, so it’s crucial you become creative and flexible in choosing how and where to fly fish. If you’re interested in taking a guided fly-fishing trip in Centennial State, where to go fishing, or learning more about fly fishing during summer months, reach out to The Blue Quill Angler.


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