FLY FISH­ING

West of 105 Magazine - - Outdoors -

COLORADO IS A FLY FISHER’S PAR­ADISE. WITH 9,000 MILES OF TROUT STREAMS (322 OF

WHICH CARRY THE “GOLD MEDAL” SIG­NA­TURE AND HAP­PEN TO BE WEST OF 105) AS WELL AS NU­MER­OUS LAKES AND OTHER BOD­IES OF WA­TER, THERE RE­ALLY IS NO BET­TER PLACE TO CAST YOUR LINE. HERE ARE THREE OF THE BEST.

GUN­NI­SON RIVER

The Gun­ni­son River has 27 miles of Gold Medal wa­ters, run­ning from 200 yards down­stream of the Crys­tal Reser­voir Dam to the con­flu­ence with the Smith Fork. The Gold Medal wa­ters are con­tained within Gun­ni­son Gorge Na­tional Con­ser­va­tion Area and Black Canyon of the Gun­ni­son Na­tional Park which means there are great places to camp and plenty of other recre­ation op­por­tu­ni­ties. Plea­sure Park pro­vides ex­cep­tional trout fish­ing but there are also good op­por­tu­ni­ties all the way to Gun­ni­son rang­ing from open river to the depths of the Black Canyon of the Gun­ni­son at the East Por­tal and Blue Mesa Reser­voir. The lat­ter is also pop­u­lar for ice fish­ing in win­ter. Within the Gold Medal wa­ters all rain­bow trout must be re­turned to the wa­ter im­me­di­ately upon catch.

Drag­on­fly An­glers, Mon­trose An­gler, Western An­glers are rec­om­mended.

SOUTH PLATTE RIVER

Much of the Gold Medal wa­ters of the South Platte River are lo­cated in the beau­ti­ful Pike Na­tional For­est.

Split into three dif­fer­ent parts, there is a to­tal of 37 miles of trout-filled wa­ter to choose where to cast a line. The long­est sec­tion is a 20-mile stretch from the bridge on Colorado High­way 9 over Blue River down­stream to Spin­ney Moun­tain Reser­voir; the sec­ond sec­tion is about four miles long and runs from be­low Spin­ney Moun­tain to the in­let of Eleven Miles Reser­voir; and the fi­nal sec­tion starts at the Wig­wam Club and heads down­stream a dozen miles or so to Scraggy View Pic­nic Ground. This last sec­tion is par­tic­u­larly good as there is easy ac­cess to the river and de­cent wildlife pop­u­la­tions rel­a­tively close to town.

Flies and Lies in Deck­ers and Blue Quill in Ever­green are rec­om­mended out­fit­ters.

EA­GLE RIVER

Just north of Min­turn is Gore Creek. A trib­u­tary to the Ea­gle River, this is the small­est sec­tion of Gold Medal wa­ters in Colorado at just about four miles long, but don't let that fool you, this is a great spot to fish, but you will likely have a lit­tle bit of com­pany. It starts at Dowd's Junc­tion where I-70 meets Top of the Rock­ies Scenic By­way and ends just be­fore Vail. This stretch is par­tic­u­larly good as many lo­ca­tions are eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble from the high­way; it is es­pe­cially known for brown trout. Just along the Ea­gle River in Avon is Harry A. Not­ting­ham Park where the lake has four kinds of trout:

Brown, Cut­throat, Rain­bow and Snake River Cut­throat. And a lit­tle fur­ther up the river in Ed­wards is an­other rec­om­mended spot just north of

Berry Creek.

Vail Val­ley An­glers and Min­turn An­glers are rec­om­mended out­fit­ters.

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