Lulled by wind-rustled aspen leaves, babbling water at my feet and the rhythmic flow of the line as I cast, my mind wandered to the “Back to School” sale commercial I heard on my radio as I was driving up to my favorite fly fishing spot on the Eagle River. Already! I know that I can enjoy many more days fishing before the snow flies again, but what will I do then?
Lucky for us in Colorado, we can fly fish all year round. Actually winter fly fishing in Colorado is a truly unique and serene experience. There are no crowds, as most visitors are 4,000 feet higher on the ski slopes, and spending a day in a white winter wonderland is hard to beat. There are many tailwater fisheries in the state, giving enthusiasts a chance to test their fishing skills even in the middle of winter.
In case you’re not familiar with the term, tailwaters are found just below man-made dams and reservoirs. Water released from the bottom of these structures is somewhat warmer than surrounding surface waters, and provides the best chance for catching those winter trout. Thanks to recommendations made by helpful guides at Minturn Anglers, I know that I can enjoy winter fly fishing at tailwaters near Denver area and Vail Valley:
- Spinney Reservoir
- The top mile of the Eleven Mile Canyon
- Cheeseman Canyon
- Around Deckers
- Waterman Canyon, especially at the top near the reservoir
There is another winter fishing option to consider. I think this year I will treat our grandkids to a day of ice fishing. Minturn Anglers, with convenient shops in Denver, Minturn and Vail, offer ¾ day winter ice fishing trips designed for the entire family. Best of all, they provide all the necessary equipment and expertise so all we have to do is show up with clothing that will keep us warm the entire day. The guides at Minturn know how to work with younger anglers, making sure that warm drinks and other winter activities promise a fun-filled day on the ice.
Come to think of it, maybe I am looking forward to winter fishing in Colorado!