Best Colorado Fly Fishing Rivers

Colorado has 47 fly fish spots.

  February 1, 2019

Located in the US, the fly fishing in Colorado offers over thirty trout streams and rivers from which to choose. The best Colorado fly fishing based on popularity are considered to be South Platte River - Cheesman Canyon, Black Canyon Of The Gunnison, South Platte River - Dream Stream, Animas River - Upper, and Gunnison River. For a detailed fly fishing river description and printable river access map, just select a Colorado fly fishing river or stream below.

Where Can I Fly Fish In Colorado?


Colorado Fly Fishing Resources


Black Canyon Of The Gunnison

West of Gunnison and east of Montrose, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River offers exciting fly fishing opportunities. There are few canyons as deep or as scenic as the Black Canyon. This canyon offers 26 miles of Gold Medal fishing waters according to the State due to high trout population. The upper 13 miles of the river are within the Black Canyon National Monument, while the later 13 miles are within the Gunnison Gorge.  MORE INFO

South Platte River - Cheesman Canyon

Southwest of Denver near Deckers, the South Platte River has a 21 mile stretch of amazing trout fishing waters near Cheesman Canyon below Cheesman Dam. This is a world class trout fly fishing area of riffles, pockets and pools. It is a boulder filled canyon that offers exceptional wilderness fishing opportunties.  MORE INFO

South Platte River - Dream Stream

West of Denver in the South Park valley, the Dream Stream Section of the South Platte River is a tailwater stretch known for rainbow trout, brown trout and cutthroat trout. The Dream Stream Section is a 5.5 mile stretch below the Spinney Mountain Reservoir. This river is very popular and can get crowded with fly fisherman chasing after the rainbows averaging 17 inches long. The Dream Stream is mostly 30 feet wide and is pretty slow running, so it makes for easy wading.  MORE INFO

Big Thompson River - Upper

Northeast of Denver near Estes Park, the Big Thompson River (aka Big T) is a surprising large river for the Front Range. The upper Big Thompson River starts near Moraine Park in the Rocky Mountain National Park and flows east through Estes Park and down into Lake Estes.  MORE INFO

Taylor River

North of Gunnison and east of Almont, the Taylor River offers exciting flyfishing opportunities. The Taylor River is usually considered in two sections divided by the Taylor Park Reservoir. The upper section of the Taylor River is above the reservoir to the headwaters, and the lower section is below the dam to the confluence with the East River.  MORE INFO

Los Pinos River

Northeast of Durango, the Los Pinos River above Vallecito Reservoir is known for its rainbow trout, brook trout and cutthroats. A great place to start is Pine River Campground along the river. A trail heads northeast upstream along the river for about 3 miles to the Weminuche Wilderness Area boundary, and then it continues another 10 miles or so along the river to the headwaters.  MORE INFO

Conejos River

Southwest of Alamosa and east of Pagosa Springs, the Conejos River is a 60 mile long river that offers moderate fly fishing opportunties. This a waders paradise. Expect to find rainbow trout, brown trout, and cutthroat trout.  MORE INFO

Florida River

East of Durango, the Florida River is well known for its rainbow trout and brown trout. The best section for fly fishing the Florida River is the tailwater fishery below Lemon Reservoir. Sadly, this beautiful and productive stretch fly fishing stretch on the Florida River is mainly on private land with minimal public access.  MORE INFO

San Miguel River

West of Telluride, the San Miguel River is a popular freestone river known for outstanding dry fly fishing throughout the summer. The San Miguel River starts in the hills east of Telluride and flows west through town and continues 45 miles. It is mainly a freestone river that becomes a warm water fishery. There are plenty of riffles and pocket water holding rainbow trout and cutthroat trout. The San Miguel River is known for its prolific hatches.  MORE INFO

Gore Creek

Passing through Vail, the Gore Creek is a popular choice with local fly fisherman. The headwaters for Gore Creek are up in the Gore Range and the river flows west for 17 miles passing thorough Vail on the way to the Eagle River confluence at Dowds Junction.  MORE INFO

Rio Grande River

West of Del Norte, the Rio Grande River is a popular fly fishing river that starts in the tailwaters of Rio Grande Reservoir and flows down through Creede, South Fork and through Del Norte. In particular, the section from Creede to just past South Fork is considered Gold Medal fly fishing waters and is a catch-and-release zone.  MORE INFO

Eagle River

West of Vail, the Eagle River is a 70 mile river with most open to public fishing. This is a waders paradise with big, wild trout averaging over 15 inches. Expect to find plenty of brown trout and rainbow trout, and in the upper sections, there is even some cutthroat trout and brook trout. The caddis hatch season varies widely across the length of this long river.  MORE INFO

Roaring Fork River

Near Aspen, the Roaring Fork of the Colorado River starts at Independence Pass and flow down through Aspen to Glenwood Springs. This 75 mile river has many fishing opportunties and most of it is wadable. While not wilderness, it is highly accessible via the roads that run parallel to it. You can expect to find plenty of rainbow trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout and brook trout.  MORE INFO

Dolores River

Northeast of Delores and southwest of Telluride, the Dolores River is popular with fly fishermen. The Dolores River starts up near Lizard Head Pass and runs downstream 48 miles to McPhee Reservoir. You can expect to find rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout and cutthroat trout.  MORE INFO