Top Colorado Trout Streams

Five Faves from Our Pro
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I have fished well over one hundred streams in Colorado. Maybe two hundred, or even three hundred. I love 'em all.

I am about to share with you five of my favorites. I am going to disappoint some readers, as my selections are mostly in the southwest and south central sections of the Centennial State. I didn't list the South Platte — I love the technical fishing but there are often too many anglers. I love the Pan and the Fork, but again, a three-to-one angler-to-fish ratio doesn't make for a great day out. All three are famous, and deservedly so, but you can find dozens of articles about those rivers. I had to leave out the Blue (big fish, too flat, too close to the stores), the Arkansas (I don't have a good reason for leaving this one off but I couldn't include every river), and the Colorado (such a long drive from anywhere).

Of the rivers I've chosen, all are fairly close to Durango, one of the coolest mountain towns in North America (as if the great fishing weren't reason enough to go). Forget that it's located in one of the most scenic valleys in the West, an outdoor recreation lover's heaven; forget that it hearkens back to the West with its cowboy saloons and turn-of-the-century charm. Durango is an infectious high-energy place, a town setting where the mountains and mesas of the high desert meet. It is the largest town in southwest Colorado, but it's so spread out, so loaded with all the amenities, it feels almost like a small city. Durango is best known for silver, skiing, and off-track mountain biking, but the real draw is its location. And this location allows you to day fish each of the rivers I've chosen here (the Conejos is a bit of a drive, but I've done it).

So here are my"favorites" — just keep in mind, in Colorado, they're all my favorites. I came up with five rivers, all of which are productive and hold big fish. But these are not the only reasons I am sharing these rivers with you. I just like them. Try 'em. You will too.


Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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