Colorado Fishing License

We know — the whole “how to get a fishing license in Colorado” system is a bit confusing. But, we’re here to clear it up by simplifying how to fish in Colorado legally as much as possible. 


  1. A fishing license is required for anyone 16 and older who wants to fish in Colorado. 
  2. The only time you may legally fish without a license is during state-sanctioned free fishing days, usually on the first full weekend of June each year. 
  3. You can get a fishing license in Colorado two different ways:
    • Online through the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission HERE, with a helpful FAQ and buying guide here
    •  In-person with an authorized retailer 
  4. As an authorized fly fishing shop, the Cutthroat Anglers staff is able to issue fishing licenses to anyone — trip-goers, shop customers or walk-ins — at no additional cost to you beyond the state-issued fees. 
  5. The fees for a Colorado fishing license vary person-to-person, for factors like age, residency and duration of license. Click here for a handy pricing chart from the CPW.
  6. Most fishing lovers will encourage you to view the license fees as a donation towards keeping Colorado fishing alive and healthy for years to come. 
  7. The money raised from fishing licensing goes directly to projects that protect the wildlife and hatcheries, study conservation best practices, and encourage children and women to get more involved in the sport. 
  8. When you obtain a Colorado Fishing License, you are telling the state that you understand and will abide by the rules and regulations of fishing in Colorado. 
  9. If you come in person, we’d be happy to walk you through all of the rules you need to follow. Or you read all about them on pages 8-10 of the annual state fishing guide from the CPW. It’s also available here in spanish
  10. The licensing, rules and regulations are updated by the state every year, and the new rules set in place are effective annually from April to the following March. For example, April 2019 - March 2020. 

Still have any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us

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