Fly Fishing Trip: The Colorado Rockies

By Tom Keer

Jul 29, 2015

Walk through the Denver airport in July and August and your odds of seeing anglers heading out on a fly fishing trip are good.

Walk through the Denver airport in July and August and your odds of seeing anglers heading out on a fly fishing trip are good. Folks from all over the country arrive in Denver and then travel throughout the state in search of trout, trout and more trout. July and August are post-run off months, and the water flows and hatches overlap with summer vacation. The combination is tough to beat.

Some anglers establish a base camp in or near a variety of cool towns. They'll hit Breckenridge, Colorado Springs, or Steamboat to name a few, and then they'll branch out from there. I'm a fan of Steamboat, for it's an old Western town that has grown up to support four seasons worth of fishing and hunting activity. Summer specifically means fishing on the Yampa and the Elk Rivers.

Every couple of years I float the Roaring Fork or the Colorado River. There are excellent outfitters and guides that drift different stretches of the river, and they base their decisions on water flow, hatches, and time of year. Drift for the morning, take a mid-day sandwich break, and drift for the afternoon. In addition to the browns, rainbows, cutthroat and cuttbows you'll see some of the prettiest parts of the state.

Walk and wade fishing is my favorite option. I like the Frying Pan, the Gunnison, the Blue and the Crystal Rivers. I fished the White River in Meeker one time and that was a lot of fun. The best stretch runs through the K-T Ranch. Riffles, runs, pools, and spring creeks all roll into one neat little seven-mile stretch. One neighboring ranch family has a haying operation that runs down to the river, and when there is a gust of hot summer wind the grasshoppers blow into the river. Needless to say the trout go on the feed.

If fishing has slowed down in your area or if you're looking for an adventure then check out Colorado. You won't be disappointed. If you would like to get into the sport check great tips on how to start fly fishing.

Tom Keer
Tom Keer
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at or at