Colorado is a dry state but we do have quite a few lakes, ponds, streams and river to satisfy even the most demanding fishermen. You’ll be surprised to see the available fishing options! Fishing is such a great way to get out and experience nature by yourself, with family or friends. There are several places in near Colorado Springs where everyone can swing a fishing rod and enjoy their time outside. Generally, these waters are not huge lakes or rivers, but their small size offers an intimate Rocky Mountain outdoor experience.
License and access information
You’ll always need a permit or a license to fish in publicly managed waters. Specific procedures will vary depending on if you choose to fish in bodies of water managed by state, county or city entities.
Fishing Spots close to Colorado Springs:
Quail Lake boasts beautiful views and is located in the southwest area of Colorado Springs. It is a fairly small lake but is stocked with fish and offers other activities:
- Basketball court
- Non-motorized boating
- Large group shelter
- Quail Lake Fitness Trail (hiking, biking, jogging and fitness, 1 mile in length)
- Two sand volleyball courts
FOUNTAIN CREEK REGIONAL PARK
Located on the southeast side of Colorado Springs, Fountain Creek Regional Park consists of 460 acres of nature to observe birds and other wildlife. The park includes two ponds and fishing is permitted at Willow Pond #2. It is regularly stocked with fish and the lack of crowds makes this a great option for kids.
Related Reading: 10 Easy Hiking Trails
Monument Lake is a reservoir just north of Colorado Springs that offers a variety of fish including brown trout, catfish and more. The lake can freeze over in the winter time and ice fishing is allowed. Picnic area and porta potties are available.
Palmer Lake Recreational Area is in the northwest area of El Paso County. The park is open year-round and includes a visitor center, playground, parking area, pavilion, and restroom, and handicapped dock. You’ll find a variety of fish but mainly rainbow trout and catfish. Just like Monument Lake, this lake will freeze over during the winter time and ice fishing is allowed.
UPPER AND LOWER PALMER LAKE RESERVOIRS
You’ll have to hike up the Palmer Lake reservoir trail to access the fishing here, but it’s a great option for fishing year-round (ice fishing is allowed).
Related Reading: Hiking with Kids in Colorado Springs
MANITOU LAKE PARK
This option is just past Woodland Park in the Manitou Lake Recreation Area. You will need to buy a day pass unless you have another accepted Colorado Parks and Wildlife pass. Camping is not allowed in this area but there are nearby campgrounds. Fishing is available year-round.
GREEN MOUNTAIN FALLS POND
Green Mountain Falls is an idyllic small town where you will find a small lake in the main park. It is a well-stocked option and reports indicate that fish are easily caught. Easy access to the lake, quick catch and nearby amenities like playground, shops and restaurants, make this ideal for little anglers who might lose interest quickly.
Feel like adventuring a little more? Take a road trip closer to Cripple Creek (about 7 miles east of Victor).You can get a true Rockies vibe when throw your line in the Skaquay Reservoir. You will find this reservoir stocked with rainbow trout. There is a boat ramp but camping is not permitted.
Related Reading: Sledding Spots in Colorado Springs
BRUSH HOLLOW RESERVOIR
Brush Hollow Reservoir is located close to Penrose. It’s a larger reservoir with a total of 97 acres offering trout, bass, catfish – depending on the year. There is a boat ramp, shelter and restrooms.
This very popular little pond is between Florence and Canon City in the Canon City Recreation Area. Easy access with playground, pavilion, and restrooms. Fish rainbow trout, bass and bluegill, some catfish
CATTAILS CROSSING POND
This pond located just east of Pueblo is designated for kids and features easy accessibility for the mobility disabled. What a great find! Picnic tables and restrooms are available. The pond is stocked with trout, bass and catfish. Fishing is possible throughout the year.
Related Reading: Parks in Colorado Springs
LAKE PUEBLO STATE PARK
At Lake Pueblo State Park, you can make it weekend with fishing, swimming, boating, camping. You’ll find a huge variety of fish there. It’s best to make camping reservations ahead of time. This park is usually very busy, especially during the summer months. Swim in designated areas like a specific swim beach. Great place to do it all and quench your thirst for water sport activities.
ELEVEN MILE STATE PARK
Very much like Lake Pueblo, there is a lot of activity at Eleven Mile Reservoir (without the swimming). The campground is huge with 325 sites but also busy which is important to keep in mind if you’re hoping for something more quiet. The park also offers birdwatching, biking, hiking and hunting. The lake will freeze over and offer opportunity to ice fishing. Varieties of trout, pike and kokanee salmon are caught.
SCHRYYER KIDS FISHING PARK
This pond in Manitou Springs is perfect for a beginners or kids fishing experience. The pond is fed by Fountain Creek with easy access and a relaxed atmosphere. If you live in Colorado Springs, you’ll want to give this a try with the whole family. Afterwards, make sure you stop by one of the many fun places in Manitou Springs.
This reservoir is located about 40 minutes from of Colorado Springs and about 4 miles east of Woodland Park. Rampart Reservoir Recreation Area is not only popular for fishing, but its huge variety of outdoor activities. The summers can get very busy as Coloradoans escape the city into the mountains. It is stocked with lots of trout! No overnight camping at the reservoir but it’s a great day trip.
CRYSTAL CREEK RESERVOIR
Located just off of the Pikes Peak Highway in the Pikes Peak North Slope Area, this reservoir offers stunning views of Pikes Peak. Crystal Creek Reservoir is the terminal water supply for Colorado Springs and therefore activities on the lake are strictly guarded and monitored. Fishing is permitted, but also regulated. Make sure you pay attention to any postings in the public parking lots.
Additional resources to explore:
There are plenty of options to fish in Colorado Springs and the surrounding area. Where are your fishing recommendations? What is your experience with these fishing spots?