Colorado an Anglers Paradise

Colorado is known for its winter attractions, but it’s an angler’s paradise year round. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, the state has more than 105,344 river miles and more than 249,787 lake acres and seven major river basins. Including Arkansas, Colorado, Green, Platte, Republican, Rio Grande and San Juan. With that much access to water, there is fishing galore around Colorado.

There are a quite a few Gold Medal rivers in Colorado also! According to Colorado, there are 14 in total. What makes them Gold Medal winners? These waters produce 60 pounds of trout per acre and trout that is 14″ or larger per acre. Only 322 miles of 9,000 miles of trout streams and three lakes have a Gold Medal award.

14 waters with Gold Medal standards are below:

Animas River, Arkansas River, Blue River, Colorado River, Fryingpan River, Gore Creek, Gunnison River, North Delaney Lake, North Platte River, Rio Grande, Roaring Fork River, South Platte River, Spinney Mountain Reservoir, and Steamboat Lake.

Where to Find These Waters:

  • The Animas River flows on the west side of Durango along US Hwys 160 and 550, just go south of Durango and you’ll find it.
  • Get access to the Arkansas River from its headwaters recreation area to Canon City, Colorado; US Hwy 285 can bring you to the upper and US Hwy 50 will bring you to the lower portion.
  • The Blue River is north of the Dam at Dillon Reservoir nearby Silverthorne, Colorado; take Colorado Hwy 9 for access.
  • East of Kremmling, Colorado you’ll find the Colorado River.
  • The Fryingpan River is just East of Basalt, Colorado and Forest Road 105 stays along the river.
  • You’ll get to Roaring Fork River just north of the Fryingpan and downstream of the Colorado River by Glenwood Springs.
  • West of Vail you can access Gore Creek just off of I-70/US Hwy 6.
  • The Gunnison River is a little harder to access because roads are minimal but it is 200 yards downstream of Crystal Reservoir Dam.
  • For North Delaney Lake go about ten miles West of Walden on 12W road.
  • North Platte River is north and runs downstream to Wyoming, you can get access off State Hwy 125 and forest roads.
  • To access the Rio Grande River take US Hwy 160 and State Hwy 149.
  • The Gold Medal portion of the South Platte River can be accessed on Hwy 67 to get to downstream of Cheesman Reservoir Dam.
  •  Spinney Mountain Reservoir is actually located off the South Platte River just south of US Hwy 24 and southeast of Hartsel.
  • Last but not least is Steamboat Lake, from Steamboat Springs, go west two miles on US 40 to county road 129 and turn north to drive 26 miles.

Hopefully, this will help you get to the best fishing in Colorado. To find lodging near these places head over to our Colorado section, here, on Destination Deals. Browse our other deals for more to do in the area also. Happy Fishing!