White River National Forest

A high mountain lake.

The White River National Forest is trout country: native cutthroat, rainbow trout, brook trout, lake trout. You name it; if it's kosher in Colorado, you can find it in the White River.

The backcountry fly fisherman will enjoy the Flat Tops Wilderness. While fish may not be endemic to most of the lakes and streams here, many of them have been stocked (and continue to be stocked). Half the fun of fishing here is figuring out which lakes have fish—and which don't. Trappers Lake is a blue-ribbon trout fishery, and an important spawn-taking site for a strain of native cutthroat found only here.

The Frying Pan River is the exalted one of local trout fisheries. Flowing out of Ruedi Reservoir, you can find some crowded spots along the Frying Pan's 14 miles, and some get-away, isolated spots. Go explore.

The headwaters to Aspen section of the Roaring Fork River, an offshoot of the Colorado River, is renowned among fly fishermen. It's wider than usual, with some very lively sections. The section from Carbondale to Glenwood Springs comes highly recommended.

Anglers will encounter many of their kind along the Colorado River near Glenwood Springs. While not exactly wilderness solitude, it's a good stretch and easily accessible from the road.

The Blue River has more than 60 miles of fishable water before it runs into the Colorado River. The nearby Eagle River and Gore Creek are also excellent trout streams, with Gore Creek especially getting primo ratings.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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