Spring in the Rocky Mountains can be a fickle time. Skiing is variable at best and the trails are too snow covered or muddy to allow for hiking or mountain biking. Locals refer to spring as mud season since the melting snow causes the trails to be muddy. Even if the weather is warm enough to melt the snow and dry the trails, snow can start falling at any time and send the trails right back to their sloppy, muddy state.
One mountain activity that can be fun and productive during this variable time of year is fishing. As the ice recedes on the banks of the rivers and the lakes begin to melt, fish are hungry and willing to eat. This can create some excellent opportunities to catch big fish. Your timing needs to be spot on to fish the rivers during the spring. If you fish too early the rivers are either still iced over or are so cold the fish are barely active enough to chase a fly. Too late and the spring runoff hits as the weather warms and the snow from the peaks of the mountains begins to melt and flood the rivers. Rivers during spring runoff are usually flowing too fast and carry too much silt and debris to be very fishable and can even be unsafe to fish.
While the weather this spring may not be cooperating enough for swimsuits and pool time and still is a little too cold for hiking or mountain biking, it has created a unique opportunity to fish before the spring runoff starts. Fishing right now has been great on the local rivers. The ice is long gone, and the weather has been cold enough to fight the spring runoff. Most of the rivers in the High Country are continuing to fish well and there has even been some dry fly action taking place, a dedicated fisherman’s favorite fishing.
This weekend (June 1 and 2, 2019) is the perfect time to come up to the high country and try your luck on the rivers as Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s annual “free fishing weekend” is taking place. This is the perfect opportunity to get out on the rivers or lakes in Summit County.
Check out the local fishing reports before you head up the mountains so you know what flies to bring along with you. And if you would like a guide to ensure you’re catching the biggest fish around check out some of our favorite local guide services: Breckenridge Outfitters, and Cutthroat Anglers.
Tell us your favorite places to fish in the High Country in the comments below!