Residents of Colorado, especially Denver anglers, have easy access to some of the best fly fishing trout waters in the world, much of it only minutes away from Denver and the Vail Valley. Plan a day testing your skills against some of the wiliest fish around, and at the same time relaxing in and enjoying the splendor of this marvelous state. It takes little effort to prepare for a rewarding day of Colorado fly fishing in Denver or in the Vail Valley.
First, collect appropriate gear and equipment. If you’re starting from scratch, consult with one of the knowledgeable staff at Minturn Anglers in Denver, Minturn or Vail is a fast way to quickly assemble all the equipment you need without breaking the budget. What they recommended to me was a 9 foot rod and a 5 weight line as the best combination for all types of fishing environments, from fishing from a float boat, wet wading in rivers, or fishing ponds and lakes from the bank. Typically a 4X or 5X tippet will do, although a larger one might be needed if you are fishing waters where trout can reach more than 10 pounds.
While you are at the fly shop, get an up-to-date fishing report. Find out what locations are most active, and what hatches are currently occurring. Take the opportunity to pick up a few fly patterns to match these hatches.
Colorado weather is unpredictable and can change quickly, so be prepared with a good selection of clothing for all situations. Plan to “layer” clothing, so that you can add or remove those vests and jackets as required. High quality waders, wading boots and a wading belt, as well as a dependable rain jacket are necessary items. Protect your eyes and skin with the usual sun glasses, a hat and sunscreen.
If you’re a beginning angler, you might find it useful to hire a guide for the first few trips out. Working with a fly fishing guide from Minturn Anglers as I did when I first started out was the easiest and fastest way to get on the water. I especially appreciated the expert coaching offered by these friendly professionals. This is one of the best ways to ensure a successful day fly fishing Colorado waters!