As obvious as it is to recognize fishing as a sport, it is just as important to enjoy it as an ideal recreation for the entire family. No doubt it is one of the most memorable experiences a parent can pass down to a child. Fishing in Colorado means a chance to catch some 35 different species of fish, including one of the most popular catches, the famous rainbow trout. Whether the person is fishing for sport or simply for a fresh dinner, Colorado has more than 6,000 miles of streams, multiple lakes and reservoirs to choose from. Here are some of the top five fishing spots in the Denver area.
After multiple closures, the Waterton Canyon hiking and biking trail re-opened for business last spring and not a weekend goes by where the parking lot isn’t packed with cars. This incredibly popular hiking trail just so happens to be a top spot for fishing enthusiasts. With just a brief walk from the parking lot, sportsmen will find ideal places for fly fishing. The river is well known for its abundance of brown and rainbow trout. Managed by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, it does have some rules involving the use of bait, artificial flies and lures that can only be used above Marston Dam. Probably one of the best places to take the family, Waterton offers not only fishing and hiking. It also has plenty of picnic tables and sights to see such as amazing bighorn sheep.
Much of Cheesman Reservoir fell victim to the Hayman Fire of 2002 but finally re-opened in 2007. Visitors to the park have not only enjoyed a less crowded venue, they have felt a sense of sentimental pride in being a part of restoring this beautiful Pike National Forest spot. Although fishing is only allowed in the Goose Creek Arm at this time, there has been a bounty of fish caught including bluegill, yellow perch, sucker, rainbow trout and largemouth bass. Serious fishing enthusiasts appreciate the no swimming, no pets and no boats rules. It is still regarded as one of the most remarkable and unique trout fisheries in the Rocky Mountain West.
Grand Lake, Granby
There is nothing better than fresh trout for a cookout lunch or dinner. Some of the popular catches in Grand Lake are brown, brook and rainbow trout, along with kokanee and mackinaw. Not only is Grand Lake known for its catches, it just so happens to be one of the deepest natural lakes in our gorgeous state. One thing that makes this spot ideal is not just the fishing. This lake is simply perfect for a relaxing stroll on the boardwalk; let the kids play on the sandy beach and kick back to forget the cares of the world. There is also a great marina with rafts, boats and even canoe rentals.
No matter what season it is, Georgetown Lake is blessed with fishing galore. What once was a tiny mining camp in 1859 is now a great place to visit on the way to the divide. Just up I-70 from Denver, it’s a piece of cake to locate, and happens to be a hot spot for family fishing trips. Although it happens to be a very popular location for ice fishing, this 55-acre reservoir is not only close to Denver, it is incredibly easy to get to. Stocked well with wild brown and rainbow trout, there is always plenty of room for fishing enthusiasts young and old. One of the bonuses of Georgetown Lake is if the fish aren’t biting, you can always take the kids on the Georgetown Loop Historic Railroad.
Eldorado Canyon State Park
The experience of walking between the gorgeous stark sandstone cliffs with daredevil rock climbers on the left and the sights and sounds of the rushing river to the right are alone worth the trip to Eldorado Canyon. Just outside Boulder, many insist that this is the perfect fishing site due to its accessibility, a wealth of fishing holes and its prevention of over-crowding by limiting the amount of visitors. Rainbow trout is one of the most caught fish at this location. The best fishing is known to be in the upper section. Besides fishing, there is plenty to see such as world famous rock climbers, hiking, biking and plenty of picnic areas.
Colleen Bement is a freelance writer covering all things Denver. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.