Colorado River Fishing Report

Lengthy and litigated is a great way to describe this river. Starting high in the Rockies at La Poudre Pass  (elevation over 10,000 feet) the river flows south and west for another 1450 miles before it reaches the Gulf of Mexico. Compacts, treaties and reams of legislation have determined the course of this river for the past two centuries. Luckily, within the state of Colorado the river remains a largely unencumbered, freestone fishery.


Initially, the river winds its way through the Rockies along the western slopes of the Continental Divide. The river gathers momentum as mountain streams and tributaries flow into it. Further along, it gains additional force with the confluence of the Blue, Eagle, and the Roaring Fork rivers. Its Rocky Mountain run ends after passing through De Beque Canyon and opens into the agricultural flats of the Grand Valley. Here it meets with one of its largest tributaries, the Gunnison, at Grand Junction.

A short drive from Basalt to Glenwood Springs will get you to great trout waters. At this point, its pocketwaters, rifles and pools are flush with rainbows and sizeable browns, ranging from 13 to 20 inches. Guides and experienced anglers will tell you that the bows and browns here are among the toughest to catch in the state, surely an enticing invitation to fishermen who enjoy a challenge. Cutthroat and brook are said to be easier to catch and can be found in limited numbers a bit farther north, closer to its headwaters.


While indigenous people have lived along the river for thousands of years, it wasn’t until after 1846, when the Americans won the war with Mexico, that new-world explorers began to fully appreciate the full course and commercial importance of the river. In fact, it took until 1869 for an American explorer, J.W. Powell, to actually run the rapids of through the entire Grand Canyon. Now of course, the Colorado is the main source of water for millions of westerners. If you are an angler traveling with friends and family that aren’t that enthusiastic about fishing, the river provides a wide variety of recreational opportunities from wilderness hiking to river rafting and other outdoor sports.
Roaring Fork, Gunnison, Blue, Eagle and 21 others
La Poudre Pass, Rocky Mountains, Colorado
Gulf of Mexico
1,450 miles
Seasonal Conditions
SpringMidges, BWO, Caddis, Attractors, Salmon Fly
SummerCaddis, Attractors, Golden Stone, PMD, Red Quill, Terrestrials
FallMidges, BWO, Caddis, Terrestrials
Game Fish Opportunities
Fishing Trips
We combine a couple of half day sections on the Roaring Fork or head down to the Colorado depending on fishing conditions.
The Upper Colorado River flows westward from its headwaters in Rocky Mountain National Park. We float fish a section of the river that begins at the Pumphouse Recreation Area near ... morethe town of Kremmling, Colorado. The river is wide and the scenery is beautiful. Floating the river you will find broad meanders, moderate rapids and areas of calm water. We fly fish primarily for rainbow and brown trout which vary in size from 8 to 18 inches and, although cutthroat tout are not as plentiful, we do hook them occasionally. We offer an overnight trip where we camp on the banks of the river. Dinner and breakfast are cooked at camp.
With the flows pick up quickly, leave the Colorado alone at the moment. Unless we get a burst of colder weather which settles down the flows it won't be worth fishing.
With the flows pick up quickly, leave the Colorado alone at the moment. Unless we get a burst of colder weather which settles down the flows it won't be worth fishing.
Current Forecast
Water Flow
River Water Temperature
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Fishing Quality
Water quality

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