Fish Colorado 101

Everything you need to know if you’ve never fished in Colorado
We may not have all been the biggest fans of school back in the day, but now we’ll take any chance to teach or learn more if we’re talking about fly fishing. Whether you’ve never fished, are planning a trip to Colorado, or simply want to broaden your horizons, we hope this Fish Colorado 101 guide is a helpful resource for you.


The state of Colorado is home to more than 2,000 reservoirs and lakes. Colorado has 315 miles of Gold Medal streams and 3 Gold Medal lakes — meaning the state has recognized them as places that are producing a standing stock of at least 60 pounds per acre and trout that are 14 inches or longer on a regular basis. You can also fish in 37 of the 41 state parks in Colorado

Thanks to Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW), our state is a national leader in nature and public land conservation. We are grateful that their efforts always prioritize protecting our waters as well as the land since their first law passed to address overfishing in 1861.   

The fishing is great in Colorado year-round, and our guides host fly fishing trips all year because each season provides unique opportunities that others cannot. While fishing fans from across the globe recognize Colorado for its unmatched dry fly fishing during the summer (usually June through September), we can’t get enough of fishing in the fall under the yellow Aspen trees or in the winter as a break from the ski season — and, if we’re being honest, the larger crowds. 

We pride ourselves on having one of the largest and best portfolios of water access permits for our guide service in the state. Click here to explore and learn more about all of the water access that is available through a Cutthroat Anglers trip. 

The CPW also created an online interactive Colorado Fishing Atlas to help fishing enthusiasts explore and search for fishing by species, interest, or proximity. Click here to try it on a desktop and here if you’re on your phone. They now even have a fishing app for this information, and, if you’re fishing with family and don’t want to go through a guide service, they also have 101 places to take a kid fishing in Colorado on their site. 


Before you go, make sure you have the proper fishing license and are up-to-date on the most current rules and regulations. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.


Cutthroat Trout inspired the name of our shop. They are native to Colorado and the official state fish is the Greenback Cutthroat Trout sub-species.

Rainbow Trout were introduced to Colorado in the 1880s. These fish are native to the U.S. but not Colorado.


Cutbows are a cross between Colorado Cutthroat and Rainbow Trout. Look for the Rainbow characteristics with the Cutthroat cheek/jaw.


Brown Trout were introduced to Colorado in the late 1800s. These fish mainly came from Europe to Colorado.



The best way to prepare for a fishing trip is to stay up-to-date on the local fishing reports. The state releases their own official report every week, but we release our own local fishing report based on feedback from our guides that we gather throughout the week and share on Fridays here


No matter what, the best way to learn more about fly fishing is to get out there and try. But, it never hurts to get a lesson or two from the seasoned pros. Click here to check out our guided trips page to book a trip or lesson with us. But, if you’re interested in learning more before you go, here are a few of our favorite online resources. 

Sign up for our Newsletter

* indicates required