The Adventure Company

Best Time Of Year To Fish In Colorado

the best time of year to fish in colorado the adventure company guided fishing trips

Spring is king when it comes to fishing in Colorado. The fish are deprived of food during the harsh winters, so come springtime they become…feral.  That being said, success comes in every season between the thousands of miles of rivers, streams, and lakes. It’s important to mix up your efforts and see what works best during each season. 

Reel and fly fishing by boat is a popular activity here, as most rivers and lakes don’t seem to warm up by the time winter rolls back around.  When the creeks and streams are too small for a boat, most fishers take to wade fishing. Let’s explore each season and what year-round fishing looks like here in Colorado. 


Don’t sleep on autumn fishing in Colorado. The crowds have subsided, and the fish are looking to fatten up for winter. The weather is still very comfortably warm – this could arguable be the best time of year to fish. 


Use this time of changing temperatures to practice using different techniques and flies.  We suggest a mild, 20-30ºF day with cloud coverage for the best results. Head out after breakfast once it has started to warm up a bit. In winter, the fish are looking to conserve energy – meaning you should look for them in the slower moving currents. 


The long days of being cooped up in winter are finally over!  While you will still need to dress warm, this is your chance to chase the trophies. Springtime usually brings rain storms in Colorado, which can work to your advantage by washing food into the river. In March, Colorado Parks and Wildlife starts to heavily stock local rivers and ponds with 10″ trout. 


As the air starts to warm, the snow capped mountains that feed the rivers start to melt, rapidly. This makes river fishing much more difficult for a few weeks. With the warm temps, fish tend to hide deeper down, waiting for the sun to set. This being said, sunrise and sunset are the most productive times from June – September. 

The Arkansas River starts in Leadville, Colorado and runs through Buena Vista, Salida, Canon City, all the way down to the Mississippi River, has been deemed Gold Medal Waters for trout fishing in 2014. This came after over 20 years of cleaning up mining debris from the river.

Gold Medal waters can be declared by Colorado Parks and Wildlife when a river meets a few qualifications…
     – Consistently producing a trout standing stock of 60lb / acre with an average of 12 ‘quality trout’ (14″+) per acre.
     – Gold Medal waters have to be accessible by the general angler public
     – River segments must be at least 2 miles in length 
     – Lakes must be at least 50 acres

Currently in Colorado, 11 different rivers and 3 lakes account for 325 miles of Gold Medal waters.  For more information, click here.  

For more information on our guided fishing tours, click here. Please note we can include guided fishing on your overnight trips as well. This will come with an additional fee.

Please give our friendly Adventure Coordinators a call at 719-395-6494 or email us at for more information!

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