Spring Fishing Hot Spots in Colorado

by Tad Howard

Why is spring fishing some of the best of the year?

After off a long Colorado winter, water temperatures begin warming, sparking insect activity and the trouts’ need to feed. Some trout spawn in the spring and need to eat heavily both before and after. Brown trout become more active as well, preying on insects, trout eggs and fry. The lower waters of many spring streams provide good sight fishing opportunities and allow anglers a chance to target some of the biggest trout of the season!

Where are some good spots to go for hot spring action? Below are a few of my favorites:

The scenic Yampa River near Steamboat has amazing spring trout fishing. There are several hot spots including the area below Stagecoach Reservoir. Don’t overlook the river within the town of Steamboat for some great action.

 Big Colorado Trout
 Big Colorado Trout

The Frying Pan and Roaring Fork Rivers are a spring pilgrimage for many Colorado anglers. These starkly contrasting waterways provide exciting spring action as trout fatten up for their spawn.

The South Platte River is a spring favorite for many anglers. This season the Platte has had good stream flows and exceptional fishing. With lots of reservoirs and tailwaters creating big trout, spring is prime time to target some giants of the South Platte. Especially noteworthy is the “Dream Stream”. This section has been giving up some big fish but has been unprecedentedly crowded even during the week. Try fishing late in the day or bad weather days to avoid the crowds.

Big Colorado Trout
Big Colorado Trout

The Gunnison River in southern Colorado and its tributaries give up some outstanding fish each season. The tailwaters of the Taylor are best known for huge fish, but look farther downstream including in the tributaries to Blue Mesa for lots of beautiful trout that are much more cooperative.

Gunnison Area Trout
Gunnison Area Trout

The Colorado River and the Williams Fork of the Colorado can have outstanding spring fishing. Spring midge hatches and BWO’s will have trout looking up, especially on cloudy days. Streamer and nymph fishing is always a good choice since these techniques usually produce bigger fish.

Often in the spring, the Big Thompson has had outstanding trout fishing. Large midge and BWO hatches have kept dry fly anglers happy and below the surface, the fish gorge on midge larva.

Get ready to break out the fly rods, dust off the waders, and get in on some of the best fly fishing of the season! Remember the rainbows and cutthroats are spawning, so please don’t bother the actively spawning fish and their spawning beds.

If you go:

Tad is head guide and owner of Colorado Trout Hunters. For more info.... www.coloradotrouthunters.com
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