Colorado Fly Fishing Vacation Guide
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (License, Regulations)
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (Fishing Maps)
Enlarge: Windy Gap
State Wildlife Areas / River Access
Enlarge: Parshall below Williams Fork
State Wildlife Areas / River Access
Enlarge: Near Kremmling
State Wildlife Areas / River Access
BLM Access including:
Blue River Fishing Access | Pumphouse Recreation Area
Gore Canyon Ranch Access | Radium Recreation Site
Enlarge: Near Dotsero
Enlarge: Below Glenwood Springs
State Wildlife Areas / River Access
+ Colorado River Fly Shops & Guides
|Frying Pan Anglers||970.927.3441||132 Basalt Center Circle||Basalt||81621|
|Mountain Anglers||800.453.4669||311 S Main St.||Breckenridge||80424|
Like having a fishing
guide in your pocket but
you tie the knots.
|303.674.2726||7002 S. Silverhorn Dr.||Evergreen||80439||Fly Fishing Outfitters||970.476.3474||1060 W Beaver Creek Blvd.||Avon||81620||Gore Creek Flyfisherman||970.476.3296||142 Beaver Creek Place||Avon||81620||Taylor Creek Fly Shops||970.927.4374||183 Basalt Center Circle||Basalt||81621||Breckenridge Outfitters||970.453.4135||100 North Main Street||Breckenridge||80424||Mountain Angler||970.453.4665||311 S Main St.||Breckenridge||80424||Alpine Angling Fly Shop||970.963.9245||995 Cowen Dr.||Carbondale||81623||Crystal Fly Shop||970.262.2878||1087 Highway 133||Carbondale||81623||Denver Angler||303.403.4512||6870 S. Yosemite St.||Centennial||80112||Trouts Fly Fishing||303.733.1434||1303 E. 6th Avenue||Denver||80218||Roaring Fork Anglers||970.945.0180||2205 Grand Ave.||Glenwood Springs||81601||Western Anglers||970.244.8658||413 Main Street||Grand Junction||81507||Minturn Anglers||855.311.0245||102 B Main Street||Minturn||81645||Cutthroat Anglers||970.262.2878||400 Blue River Pkwy.||Silverthorne||80498||Mo Henry's Trout Shop||970.927.3441||78902 US Hwy 40||Winter Park||80442|
+ Colorado River Lodging
|Best Western Antlers||970.945.8535||171 W. 6th St.||Glenwood Springs||81601|
|AmericInn Lodge & Suites Eagle||970.328.5155||0085 Pond Road||Eagle||81631|
|Comfort Inn Vail Valley||970.328.7878||0285 Market St.||Eagle||81631|
|Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham||970.328.3000||315 Chambers Ave.||Eagle||81631|
|Holiday Inn Express||800.315.2621||0075 Pond Road||Eagle||81631|
|Daven Haven Lodge||970.627.8144||604 Marina Dr.||Grand Lake||80447|
|Mountain Lakes Lodge||970.627.8448||10480 US Hwy 34||Grand Lake||80447|
|Canyon Motel||970.725.3395||221 Byers Ave.||Hot Sulphur Spgs.||80451|
|Ute Trail Motel||970.725.0123||120 US 40||Hot Sulphur Spgs.||80451|
|Allington Inn & Suites||800.981.4091||215 West Central Ave.||Kremmling||80459|
|Muddy Creek Cabins||970.724.9559||315 River Lane||Kremmling||80459|
|Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa||970.726.5632||3530 County Road 83||Tabernash||80478|
|Best Western Alpenglo Lodge||970.726.8088||78665 US Highway 40||Winter Park||80482|
|Fraser River Valley Lions Club Campgrounds||970.726.4118||Winter Park||80482|
|Holiday Inn Express||970.722.7631||108 Zerex Street||Winter Park||80482|
|Silverado II Resort & Event Center||970.726.5753||490 Kings Crossing Road||Winter Park||80482|
|The Vintage Hotel||970.726.8801||100 County Road 70||Winter Park||80482|
|Winter Park Resort Lodging||970.726.8400||Winter Park||80482|
+ Colorado River Restaurants & Services
|970.306.7113||Taproom: 127 W. Second St.||Eagle||81631|
|City Market||970.328.1302||103 Market Street||Eagle||81631|
|Moe’s Original BBQ||970.337.2277||630 Grand Ave.||Eagle||81631|
|Red Canyon Cafe||970.328.2232||128 Broadway St., Ste. 1||Eagle||81631|
|Elevation Pizza||970.726.0066||551 Zerex Street Alco Center||Fraser||80442|
|Rocky Mountain Roastery||970.726.4400||543 Zerex St.||Fraser||80442|
|The Creekside Eatery at the Crooked Creek Saloon||970.726.9250||401 Zerex St.||Fraser||80442|
|Chili's Bar & Grill||970.384.1700||400 West Meadows Dr.||Glenwood Springs||81601|
|The Chocolate Moose Ice Cream Parlor||970.945.2723||710 Grand Ave.||Glenwood Springs||81601|
|Azteca Mexican Restaurant||970.557.3014||395 E. Agate Ave.||Granby||80446|
|Bare Bones BBQ||970.531.0716||66324 Hwy. 40||Granby||80446|
|City Market Food and Pharmacy||970.887.7140||1001 Thompson Dr.||Granby||80446|
|Pearl Dragon Restaurant||970.887.1777||663 W. Agate Ave #A||Granby||80446|
|The Grill at Granby Ranch||970.887.5200||1000 Village Road||Granby||80446|
|The Glory Hole Café||970.725.3237||606 Byers Ave.||Hot Sulphur Spgs.||80451|
|Big Shooter Coffee||970.724.3735||311 Park Ave.||Kremmling||80459|
|Moose Café||970.724.9987||115 W. Park Ave.||Kremmling||80459|
|Tabernash Tavern||970.726.4430||72287 Hwy 40||Tabernash||80478|
|Carver's Bakery||970.726.8202||78336 Hwy 40||Winter Park||80482|
|Casa Mexico||970.726.9674||63 Cooper Creek Way||Winter Park||80482|
|De Antonio's Pizza & Pasta||970.726.9999||78737 Highway 40||Winter Park||80482|
|Fontenot's Seafood & Grill||970.726.4021||78336 Hwy 40||Winter Park||80482|
|Hideaway Park Brewery||970.363.7312||78927 Hwy 40||Winter Park||80482|
|Strip & Tail||970.363.7047||78259 Hwy 40||Winter Park||80482|
|Saffell & Huster: Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties
When Experience Counts!
|970.726.0123||78491 US Hwy 40||Winter Park||80482|
|Century 21 Winter Park Real Estate||970.722.2121||46 Market Street||Fraser||80442|
|Brad Plantz: Sopris Realty||970.618.9745||12 Ptarmigan Dr.||Glenwood Springs||81601|
|Jennifer Colley: RE/MAX Peak to Peak||970.531.0494||63331 US Hwy 40||Granby||80446|
|Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties||970.722.5500||78491 US Hwy 40 Suite #4||Winter Park||80482|
|Paul Lewis: Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties||970.726.6988||78491 US Hwy 40||Winter Park||80482|
|Winter Park Station||970.281.7099||79050 US Hwy 40||Winter Park||80482|
|Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park||970.945.4228||51000 Two Rivers Plaza Rd.||Glenwood Springs||81601|
|The Back Bowl||970.328.2695||0050 Chambers Ave.||Eagle||81631|
|Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District||970.726.8968||1 Main Street||Fraser||80442|
|The Foundry Cinema & Bowl||970.363.7161||22 Second Street||Fraser||80442|
|Rock Gardens Rafting||800.958.6737||1308 County Road 129||Glenwood Springs||81601|
|3 Lakes Ice Fishing Contest: Register at Budget Tackle||970.887.9344||255 E. Agate||Granby||80446|
|Headwaters Trails Alliance||970.627.8008||1415 County Road 48||Grand Lake||80447|
|MAD Adventures||800.451.4844||1421 E Park Ave.||Kremmling||80459|
|Glenwood Hot Springs||970.945.6571||401 North River St.||Glenwood Springs||81601|
|Glenwood Springs Golf Club||970.945.7086||0193 Sunny Acres Road||Glenwood Springs||81601|
|Ironbridge Golf Club||970.384.0630||430 Ironbridge Drive||Glenwood Springs||81601|
|Colorado River Runs||800.826.1081||43 Grand County Road 111||Radium||80423|
|Blue Sky Massage||970.531.1324||79050 US Highway 40||Winter Park||80482|
|Mountain Moon Yoga||970.726.5786||79050 US Highway 40||Winter Park||80482|
FACTS ABOUT THE COLORADO RIVER DRAINAGE
The Colorado begins at La Poudre Pass in the Southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado, at more than 2 miles (3 km) above sea level. After a short run south, the river turns west below Grand Lake, the largest natural lake in the state. For the first 250 miles (400 km) of its course, the Colorado carves its way through the mountainous Western Slope, a sparsely populated region defined by the portion of the state west of the Continental Divide. As it flows southwest, it gains strength from many small tributaries, as well as larger ones including the Blue, Eagle and Roaring Fork rivers. After passing through De Beque Canyon, the Colorado emerges from the Rockies into the Grand Valley, a major farming and ranching region where it meets one of its largest tributaries, the Gunnison River, at Grand Junction. Most of the upper river is a swift whitewater stream ranging from 200 to 500 feet (61 to 152 m) wide, the depth ranging from 6 to 30 feet (1.8 to 9.1 m), with a few notable exceptions, such as the Blackrocks reach where the river is nearly 100 feet (30 m) deep. In a few areas, such as the marshy Kawuneeche Valley near the headwaters and the Grand Valley, it exhibits braided characteristics.
Headwaters of the Colorado River
La Poudre Pass elevation 10,184 ft (3,104 m) is a high mountain pass located in the Rocky Mountains of northern Colorado in the United States. The pass straddles the Continental Divide, and separates the headwaters of La Poudre Pass Creek, which drains into the Atlantic Ocean, from the headwaters of the Colorado River, which drains into the Pacific Ocean. At the pass, the Continental Divide is the boundary between Grand and Larimer counties, and is also the northern boundary of Rocky Mountain National Park.
The pass itself is a broad, flat, swampy area. In the wet meadow just south of the divide, the Colorado River begins its course as a tiny stream. Rocky Mountain National Park's La Poudre Pass Ranger Station is also located in the pass. The pass is traversed by a hiking trail, by the Grand Ditch as it carries water from the Never Summer Mountains into the Cache La Poudre River, and by a private, gated, maintenance road for the Grand Ditch.
Entrance sign to Rocky Mountain National Park, in La Poudre Pass. This sign also marks the Continental Divide, and the boundary between Grand and Larimer Counties. To visit the pass, follow Long Draw Road south from its junction with State Highway 14 in Poudre Canyon, just east of Cameron Pass. Long Draw Road is unpaved, but can be traveled by regular passenger automobiles. After passing Long Draw Reservoir the road ends at the La Poudre Pass Trailhead parking area. It's a very short walk from here to the pass, which is marked by the entrance sign to Rocky Mountain National Park. At this sign, you are standing on the Continental Divide.
Middle Park of the Colorado River
The basin surrounds the headwaters of the Colorado River on the west side of the Front Range. It extends southwestward from the source of the Colorado at Grand Lake, downstream past Granby (the largest community), Hot Sulphur Springs, Parshall and Kremmling. It terminates on the western end roughly where the Colorado passes Gore Canyon at the southern end of the Gore Range. The valley also extends into the lower valleys of side tributaries on the upper Colorado such as the Fraser River, Williams Fork, and Willow Creek. The valley of the Fraser contains the towns of Fraser and Winter Park.
The valley receives its name from being the middle (and smallest) of the three large mountain valleys (i.e., parks) in Colorado on the western side of the Front Range. The other two are North Park and South Park. U.S. Highway 34 traverses the valley from the northeast to the southwest, and connects to U.S. Highway 40 at Granby.
The valley is surrounded on the north, east, and south by mountains that form the continental divide, and thus it forms a slight pocket eastward in the drainage basin of the Pacific Ocean in this part of the Rockies. North Park, to the north, is drained by the North Platte River and separated from the valley by relatively low passes, Muddy Pass and Willow Creek Pass. The passes on the east (Milner Pass) and south (Berthoud Pass), connect to the basin of the South Platte River. They are both in the Front Range proper and thus are higher and more likely to be snow covered. Milner Pass is near the height point on Trail Ridge Road (U.S. Highway 34 in Rocky Mountain National Park) and is open only during summer months, allowing a seasonal connection by road between Estes Park and Grand Lake. Berthoud Pass, at the headwaters of the Fraser south of Winter Park, connects the valley via U.S. Highway 40 to Interstate 70 in Clear Creek Canyon. This latter route is the most direct route between the valley and Denver.
The valley contains several reservoirs on the Colorado and its tributaries, including Lake Granby, which inundates a large portion of the northeastern part of the valley. Unlike North Park and South Park, which are wide flat basins at the headwaters of the North and South Platte respectively, Middle Park is a narrower basin, allowing for less agricultural use as pasturelands. The main industry in the valley is tourism, including alpine skiing at Winter Park Ski Resort. Much traffic between Denver and the destination resort of Steamboat Springs passes through the valley as well, allowing for secondary tourism industries to proliferate in the smaller towns. The smaller demand for water allows much of the water in the upper Colorado basin to be transported eastward across the continental divide to the Colorado Front Range as part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project.
Gore Canyon is a short isolated canyon on the upper Colorado River in southwestern Grand County, Colorado in the United States. The steep and rugged canyon, approximately 3 miles (5 km) long, was carved by the river as it passed the northern end of the Gore Range southwest of Kremmling. The Colorado descends from approximately 7300 ft to approximately 7000 ft over the length of the canyon. The steep walls ascend approximately 1000 ft on either side. The canyon effectively marks the southwestern end of the Middle Park basin in north central Colorado.
The canyon is roadless and inaccessible by most traffic, except for the Union Pacific Railroad's Moffat Subdivision and whitewater boats. Despite the short length, the canyon presented a formidable obstacle for the railroad, and the building of the line through it was considered a monumental engineering achievement in its day. Although the canyon is not directly accessible by roads, it is possible to view part of the canyon from the Grand County road (CR 1, or Trough Road) that passes along its southern rim, as part of the Colorado Headwaters Scenic Byway. The California Zephyr also travels through the canyon.
Gore Canyon is also famous for its wild class V whitewater. "Captain" Samuel Adams considered it unnavigable by boat during his expedition in the 19th century. The construction of the railroad has added boulders and other hazards that have since made the river even more difficult.
Today, expert kayakers and rafters frequent the canyon, and now even hold a river festival including races and other river celebrations. The Gore Canyon Whitewater Festival is held every year on the third Saturday of August and is also the host of the US National White Water Rafting Championship. Gore Canyon was first rafted in the 1970s, and now is even available as a commercial river raft trip. Most outfitters agree that Gore Canyon's whitewater is the wildest commercially available whitewater rafting in the state of Colorado, and perhaps in the nation. Those who are brave enough to raft or kayak Gore Canyon will run rapids such as Pyrite, Tunnel Falls, and Gore Rapid. This is true wild water, so for those who are not expert river runners, Gore Canyon is considered a very dangerous section of the Colorado River.
Glenwood Canyon is a rugged scenic 12.5 mi (20 km) canyon on the Colorado River in western Colorado in the United States. Its canyon walls climb as high as 1,300 ft (396 m) above the Colorado River. It is the largest such canyon on the Upper Colorado. The canyon, which has historically provided the routes of railroads and highways through western Colorado, currently furnishes the routes of Interstate 70 and the Central Corridor between Denver and Grand Junction. The canyon stretches from near Dotsero, where the Colorado receives the Eagle River, downstream in a west-southwest direction to just east of Glenwood Springs, on the mouth of the Roaring Fork. Most of the canyon is in Garfield County, with the upper portion near Dotsero lying in Eagle County.
In 1906, the canyon provided the route of the Taylor State Road, a gravel road that was the first route for automobiles through the Colorado Rockies. The canyon also provided the route for the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad in the late 19th century. Through acquisitions, the line is currently part of the Union Pacific system. As Glenwood Canyon was one of the iconic scenic views along the California Zephyr passenger train, a monument to the dome car design was originally installed in the canyon. In the 1990s the monument was relocated to the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden to make way for the construction of Interstate 70.
The canyon is widely considered one of the most scenic natural features on the Interstate Highway System of the United States. Foot access to the canyon is available at four rest areas along Interstate 70 in the canyon. The Hanging Lake Rest Area (Exit 125) provides access to the canyon along a stretch where I-70 is concealed in the Hanging Lake Tunnel.
The canyon was formed relatively recently in Pleistocene time by the rapid cutting of the Colorado down through layers of sedimentary rock. The upper layers of the canyon are sandstone from Pennsylvanian and Mississippian. Sections of the lower canyon walls are made of Cambrian rock. The Mississippian layer that is prominent throughout much of the upper rim sections of the canyon is part of the Leadville Formation.
Glenwood Springs is one of the most walkable towns in America, a distinction that has been recognized by PBS and Walking Magazine. The town itself is situated in the river valleys at the confluence of the Colorado River and the Roaring Fork River. The area surrounding Glenwood Springs is steeply contoured on all sides with numerous caves to be found.
Glenwood Springs lies about 45 miles (70 km) north of Aspen and 60 miles (100 km) west of Vail. There are 6 world-class ski resorts in this triangle: Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk in the Aspen area and Beaver Creek and Vail Mountain in the Vail area. There is also a family ski resort, Sunlight Mountain, 10 miles (16 km) from town. Another ski area, Red Mountain, existed until the mid-1900s. Some of the ski lift towers can still be seen. Nowadays the old service road acts as a hiking trail.
Glenwood Hot Springs is a premier Colorado Hot Springs resort. The large pool is kept at a comfortable 93 degrees Fahrenheit year round and is the world's largest hot mineral springs pool. The smaller "Therapy Pool" averages 104 degrees Fahrenheit year round is known for its healing minerals.
Two rivers, the Colorado River and Roaring Fork River, converge in Glenwood Springs. Both are used extensively for recreation by locals, visitors and commercial outfitters. The waters of the Roaring Fork are "Gold Medal" fishing waters.