Whether you’re a beginner or well-seasoned angler, you’ll love fishing in Steamboat Springs. You’ll find numerous world-class fishing destinations, including several lakes and reservoirs in higher country, Yampa River and Elk River. The dry fly-fishing is what makes Yampa River infamous among anglers, as are the species of large trout caught here year-round. If you’re looking for large rainbow trout, Elk River is the perfect place to fish.
The Yampa River is one of the best and most popular places for fly fishing in Steamboat Springs. Here you can catch Rainbow and Brown trout all year round from the fast-flowing water. You can also cast a line in the Elk River from a fishing area in town or access it from one of the surrounding state parks. Stagecoach State Park is only 30 minutes south of town, with excellent fishing opportunities in the reservoir, where the state’s largest pike was caught.
You can also visit the Steamboat and Pearl Lake State Parks north of town for shore and boat fishing. Both lakes have marinas with gear, bait, supplies, and licenses available for anglers. You can even try your hand at catching the rare arctic grayling in Pearl Lake.
Make sure you bring good-quality waders to protect you from the cold Colorado water and rocky riverbeds all year round. There is often unpredictable weather in the Colorado mountains, so always bring a hat and warm outerwear for your fishing trip.
You will need a 1- or 5-day fishing license as a non-resident of Steamboat Springs. You can purchase a license from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website. Make sure you check the state fishing regulations before you go and order a habitat stamp for fish species with catch limits.