Native cutthroat and trout (brown, rainbow) thrive in the White River, where many of Colorado’s biggest fish have been caught. The river jaunts westward at the junction of the North and South Forks and continues along County Road 8. You can find access points to fish the river at the beginning of the Colorado 13 bridge and moving eastward. The specific access points are at Nelson-Prather, Meeker City Park, and Sleepy Cat.
The peak season for fishing the White River is from April to the end of fall. The widest part of the river runs from Buford to Meeker and often contains much larger fish than the headwaters in the North and South Forks. There are countless pools and creeks to explore along the river from within the White River National Forest.
The North Fork mostly runs through State forest land and offers many public fishing access points along the way, including the North Fork and Himes Peaks campgrounds and Trappers Lake. Trappers Lake Lodge offers guided alpine fishing tours with camping and cabins available for overnight stays. The South Fork mostly flows through private property, with some public access from the Flat Tops Wilderness Area.
The thriving trout population feeds on surface insects throughout the year, making this river perfect for fly fishing. The best imitation flies to use during spring and summer are Mayflies (Blue-Winged Olives and Pale Morning Duns), Caddisflies (Green and Spotted Sedges and Little Black Caddis), and Stoneflies (Golden Stone and Yellow Sally). Terrestrials such as beetles, ants, and hoppers are useful flies for August and September. During winter, the trout typically feed on midges.