image of fly fishing in Estes Park

Where to Fly Fish in Estes Park

06/20/2019 | by Lyles Armour | Estes Park

Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park occupy some of Colorado’s most pristine landscape and prime fly-fishing territory. With over 265,000 acres to explore, Rocky Mountain National Park offers plenty of fishing opportunities from seasoned anglers to beginners. With numerous lakes, streams, rivers, and ponds in the area, there are plenty of opportunities to cast in a line.

While there is plenty of fly-fishing spots to choose from, here is our list of favorites on where to fly fish in Estes Park.

The Big Thompson Canyon

image of Big Thompson River
The Big Thomspon River in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

When people ask where to fly fish in Estes Park, often people answer with The Big Thompson Canyon. As one of the premier fishing spots in Colorado, The Big Thompson Canyon is one of the best places for fly fishing in Estes Park. With more than 20 miles of a rushing river, from Estes Park to Loveland, there is a stretch of about 10 miles that is a catch-and-release paradise for anglers. This section sits between the Olympus Dam to the Waltonia Bridge.

Rainbows and brown trout are the main catch along the river, with a higher population of browns as you move downstream.

Need fishing gear or Colorado fishing license? Check out these local outfitters that are here to help.

Wild Basin

A fly fisher’s paradise, the Wild Basin brings fly fishers in from across the Front Range for a chance at fishing these pristine rivers. The highlight of Wild Basin is the main section of the North St. Vrain river. The source of the St. Vrain River is Thunder Lake with three tributaries that ultimately lead into the town of Lyons. The North St. Vrain starts in Rocky Mountain National Park with the South and Middle beginning in the Indian Peaks Wilderness.

The upper reaches of the tributaries offer chances to catch cutthroat, brook, and brown trout. As you move further down in elevation you will be met with more browns mixed with a bit of rainbow trout.

Moraine Park

Located inside Rocky Mountain National Park, Moraine Park is a wide-open stretch of land where parts of the Big Thompson and Cub Creek meander through the park’s landscape. Anglers will mostly find small brook trout with a few brown trout found as well.

Sprague Lake

image of sprague lake
Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park outside of Estes Park, Colorado

Bring the family out to Sprague Lake for fly fishing in Estes Park. As one of the few places in Rocky Mountain National Park that bait is allowed, this is a great choice for beginners and children. The lake is mainly filled with brook trout and a healthy inhabitant of damselflies.

Lake Estes

image of Lake Estes

Stocked annually with thousands of catchable rainbow trout, Lake Estes is also home to brown trout, yellow perch, and walleyes. Lake Estes is also one place to fish bait and keep the fish you catch. It is easily accessed in town and can make for a quick option to fit in some fly fishing in the morning.

Stay at Rocky Mountain Resorts

When looking for accommodations in Estes Park, look no further than Rocky Mountain Resorts. With a variety of condo rentals, cabins, and vacation homes throughout Estes Park, we offer one of the best locations for fly fishing in Estes Park.

image of Bear Creek Vacation Homes
Bear Creek Vacation Condos

At Fawn Valley Inn and Bear Creek Vacation Condos, you can fish right at the property! Whether you prefer to hike to a secluded mountain lake or stream, have a guided fly-fishing experience, or just drive to a lake with a picnic table, there are many choices.

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