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Fishing Spots in the Rio Grande National Forests

Posted by Susanna Haynie on March 27, 2017
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I am an outdoor enthusiast and I live in one of the greatest states for my kind of outdoor fun. Not surprising that I subscribed to Colorado Outdoors, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s magazine. There is a Fishing and Hunting Guide, special edition and  6 magazine for a total of $13. Order HERE. However, it might surprise you that I actually neither hunt nor fish, yet, I feel I should at least try to be informed…..

Since it is still winter in the mountains I have attached winter fishing tips at the bottom.

When I received this months edition of the Colorado Outdoors, one article struck me as particularly interesting: Rio Grande Stillwaters by Ron Belak. It covers fisheries in and around the Weminuche Wilderness from Wolf Creek Pass to Rio Grande Reservoirs. The landscape has changed drastically in the past few years: more than 600,000 acres of Englemann spruce killed by bark beetles and over 108,000 forests ravaged by wildfires. There are road side reservoirs generously stocked with rainbow trout.

The Mountains Are Calling, And I Must Go [fishing in Colorado]- John Muir

If you are more into adventures there are many little lakes in the back country wilderness, which will draw your attention. It is absolutely amazing just how many lakes there are. Colorado is truly amazing. When you do venture out, be prepared as you always should be when you head into the mountains: pack layers of clothing, plenty of high calorie foods as you’ll be hiking quite bit, a water filter, sunglasses, hat etc. Be prepared for what the back country might have in store for you.

Don’t forget to  call Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s area offices for the latest conditions. Always play it safe and never venture out on late-season ice. Prepare by reading up on Colorado Fishing Regulations before fishing in any lakes in Colorado.

If you are looking for spring fishing spots AND large fish, then this blogpost on the Colorado Outdoors Magazine website  and for other useful tips on fishing spots.

Since I am currently “dabbling” in plotting places on Google Maps, thought it might be a good idea to plot all the lakes which are described in this article. 3 hours later (needless to say it took me much longer to do this than I anticipated) – I am done. What do you think?


  1. Slip disposable toe warmers or full-length footwarmers under your wool socks to keep feet warm.
  2. Keep a disposable handwarmer and a bandana or small hand towel in your pocket to dry off your hands and then warm them up after handling a wet fish.
  3. Use weight to get your fly (nymph) quickly near the bottom, then try for a slow, natural drift. Fish tend to hang out at the bottom of calm, deep pools and don’t like to move much.
  4. Use lighter tackle (4- or 5-weight rod and reel) to better feel a fish. The hit will likely be delicate, and the fish tire quickly.
  5. Consider a slightly heavier line, e.g. 6-weight line, which is less prone to breaking. The cold can make your fishing line more brittle.
  6. Use small flies. Big bugs are generally summer fish food, though stoneflies or mayflies may hatch on a warm, winter afternoon.
  7. Save your outing for a fair day when the water is clear and low. If the water is high and/or murky, the odds drop drastically of catching a fish.
  8. Go with a buddy, and always tell another person where you’ll be and what time you expect to be home.
  9. Use barbless hooks. They limit the need to handle the fish and you can return the fish to the water more quickly.
  10. Bring a hook-removing tool. You may be able to release the fish without taking your gloves off.

Living in Colorado means having all these adventures available to you. There are only few other place where nature is so close and real.

#lovewhereyoulive Give Colorado Real Estate a call to assist you in buying the perfect primary residence or even a second home in the mountains.

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