Fishing in Colorado – a few guidelines you should follow

Colorado is home to some 35 species of both cold- and warm-water fish species. Go to a sunny plains reservoir and bag yourself some walleye while trolling. Or you can catch the favorite rainbow trout in a cool Rocky Mountain stream. Colorado has over 2,000 reservoirs and lakes as well as 3,000 miles of streams where you can indulge your fishing fancy every time.


If you’re like me, you would probably be after trout. Now for trout fishing, beside trout rod and reel,it is essential that you take note of the water temperature, which has a tremendous influence on trout behavior. Water temperature determines where the trout will be located and what food they will be eating. It also dictates the aggressiveness of the trout’s feeding habits. Plenty of anglers include a water thermometer among their fishing gear so they know the temperature of the water. This also contributes to the decision making on which techniques to utilize for effective and successful fishing expeditions every time.


The spring and winter runoff will have water temperatures ranging between 40 and 42 degrees. The fish are most likely to move less so they can conserve energy when the water’s cold. Make sure you’re wading waist deep in the water with good quality waders or near the shore in wading boots. In addition, make sure to have a good quality rod and reel for short distance casting, since you will have to present your fly directly in front of the fish as they are not likely to move away or get spooked from a meal. Your fishing rod and reel should make a good presentation of your lure, which can include small nymphs.


You need dry flies when the water heats up due to daytime temperatures. Fishing is best done when the water is at its warmest, which is around 11 am to 3 pm. Trout fishing is done best when the water is between 55 and 60 degrees, which is the level at which insect and trout activity are much stronger. Aside from causing larger insects to hatch, the temperature range also incites a feeding intensity among the fish. Trout will not hesitate to move a lot further to catch a meal and they are most likely to go for dry flies and nymphs at that point. The fish is also more likely dispersed throughout the water instead of staying close in clusters in deeper niches. You can fish in any depth throughout the day in this temperature.

Anglers can also opt between freestone rivers and tailwater rivers. Free flowing freestone rivers are characterized by unregulated water flow and this is directly influenced by rainfall as well as snow melt. On the other hand, a dam or similar hydraulic structure regulates the flow of water in a tailwater river, so waterflow is consistently and predominantly controlled. Fishing in freestone rivers is easier due to less pressure on the fish but catching them will be a challenge to anglers because of the varying conditions that this type of water can present. Check out condition reports on the specific location in Colorado you will be fishing. For instance, August usually means lower water flows and crystal clear water. With the calm, clear water, fish tend to spook easily so you need stealthy and delicate cast presentation, with use of lighter leaders and tippet to make your fishing line discreet.

A park ranger’s life

I work as a park ranger in Colorado, and, during my career I have encountered many stressful situations. As an experienced ranger, I need to deal with all sorts of things from protecting the visitors to giving them interpretative talks related to the park’s surroundings. Protecting nature is, I believe, a much heavier task than just one cultural or historical monument. In a park, monuments of nature, plants and protected animal species are everywhere. As such, it is extremely difficult to handle all groups in a manner in which they don’t harm the environment.

From the beginning, I knew it was a challenging job, as the park in which I work is quite large.


Though you do your best to keep all things in order, there’s no God given day in which something doesn’t go wrong or some unpleasant event doesn’t take place. Mostly, you couldn’t find a responsible person for a negative deed, sometimes it is disinformation, and other times misplaced attention or even personnel’s mistakes. In such cases, you can only try your best the next day to improve things, to repair what was broken and find better solutions for the problems to come.


However, as the main damage caused to the plant and animal species in parks is due to tourists’ disinformation, I believe a smart idea would be creating a blog where everything related to natural reservations and commonly encountered issues, caused directly or indirectly by humans are thoroughly explained. Even the littlest of parks provides visitor with many indicators and guiding brochures, but these are simply not enough if you receive them the day you visit a certain place. Some of the visitors don’t even read these, even if they are of crucial importance to properly behave when you are in nature. Moreover, for a first time visitor, some indications may be hard to understand. However, if they read a text explaining in detail why certain rules need to be respected for this or that reason, people will be more inclined to give the necessary attention to guides and regulations that they need to obey in natural parks.


As such, I will try keeping people updated with the newest rules that apply to natural reservations and protected species, but also explain why some typical and normal behavior in other circumstances, can be strictly prohibited in such areas. In addition, I will focus my attention on explaining how activities such as camping, fishing or hunting must be done when you are in the perimeter of a protected area. Though general rules that apply to some activities in most parks exist, each and one of them has its particularities that must be kept in mind when you take a walk in that place. As I have some experience in Colorado parks, I’ll share my input with those interested in visiting this area and teach them how to behave according to nature’s unwritten laws.